John Neumeier

(b. 1942)

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(b Milwaukee, 24 Feb. 1942)

US dancer, choreographer, and ballet director. He studied ballet in Milwaukee, with Bentley Stone and Walter Camryn in Chicago (1957–62), with Vera Volkova in Copenhagen, and at the Royal Ballet School in London (1962–3). He also studied modern dance with Sybil Shearer in Chicago from 1957. Although he danced briefly with the Shearer company in Chicago (1960–2), he subsequently worked for most of his career in Germany. He danced with the Stuttgart Ballet (1963–9), where he began to choreograph, and was named director of the Frankfurt Ballet (1969–73) when he was only 27 years old. In 1973 he became director of the Hamburg Ballet, a position he has held ever since. As chief choreographer, artistic director, and from 1996 ‘Ballettindendant’ he has made Hamburg the second most important centre for ballet in Germany, after Stuttgart. In 1978 he also became director of the newly founded Hamburg Ballet School. He has created numerous ballets for Hamburg, and while remaining within the classical vocabulary has experimented with a wide range of themes and styles. He made his reputation with radical re-interpretations of pre-existent ballets, such as Romeo and Juliet, The Nutcracker (both 1971), Baiser de la fée (1972), and Daphnis and Chloe (1972), but has also tackled musical classics, including Bach's St Matthew Passion, 1981, and literary texts such as Othello (mus. Pärt, Schnittke, Vasconcelos, and others, 1985), Amleth (Hamlet, mus. Tippett, Royal Danish Ballet, 1985), and The Seagull (mus. several, 2003). He has also choreographed extensively for other companies, including the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the Royal Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, the National Ballet of Canada, the Paris Opera Ballet, the Vienna State Opera Ballet, the Royal Danish Ballet, and the Stuttgart Ballet. A list of his works includes Separate Journeys (mus. Barber, 1968), Rondo (1970), Don Juan (mus. Gluck, 1972), Le Sacre (mus. Stravinsky, 1972), Gustav Mahler's Third Symphony (1975), Hamlet: Connotations (mus. Copland, 1976), Swan Lake (1976), Gustav Mahler's Fourth Symphony (Royal Ballet, 1977), Legend of Joseph (mus. Strauss, Vienna, 1977), A Midsummer Night's Dream (mus. Mendelssohn and Ligeti, 1977), Lady of the Camellias (mus. Chopin, Stuttgart Ballet, 1978), Don Quixote (mus. 1979), Age of Anxiety (mus. Bernstein, 1979), St Matthew Passion (mus. Bach, 1981), A Streetcar Named Desire (mus. Prokofiev and Schnittke, Stuttgart, 1983), Sixth Symphony of Gustav Mahler (1984), Shall We Dance? (mus. Gershwin, 1986), Magnificat (mus. Bach, 1987), Peer Gynt (mus. Schnittke, 1989), Medea (Bartók, Schnittke, Bach, Galasso, and others, 1990), Requiem (mus. Mozart, 1991), A Cinderella Story (mus. Prokofiev, 1992), Now and Then (mus. Ravel, National Ballet of Canada, 1992), Serenade (mus. Bernstein, 1993), Zwischenräume, or Mahler's Ninth Symphony (1994), Ondine (mus. Henze, 1994), Sylvia (Paris Opera Ballet, 1997), Getting Closer (American Ballet Theatre, 1999), Death in Venice (mus. Bach, 2003), and The Little Mermaid (mus. Lera Auerbach, Royal Danish Ballet, 2005). He has also directed and choreographed opera productions, including Orpheus and Eurydice for Hamburg Opera. Many of his ballets have been filmed for television.

http://www.hamburgballett.de Website for Hamburg Ballet


Subjects: Dance.

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