John Neumeier (born February 24, 1939) is an American ballet dancer, choreographer, and director. He has been the director and chief choreographer of Hamburg Ballet since 1973. Five years later he founded the Hamburg Ballet School, which also includes a boarding school for students. In 1996, Neumeier was made ballet director of Hamburg State Opera.
Neumeier was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he received his first ballet training. After completing a B.A. in English literature and theater studies at Marquette University in 1961, he continued his training in Copenhagen with Vera Volkova and at the Royal Ballet School in London. In 1963 he joined the Stuttgart Ballet under John Cranko, rising to the rank of soloist.In 1969 Neumeier became director of the Frankfurt Ballet, before becoming director and chief choreographer at the Hamburg Ballet in 1973. From 1971 through 1974 Neumeier was also guest choreographer for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, where he provided repertoire and staged his version of The Nutcracker .
Neumeier's choreographic output consists of more than 120 works,including many evening-length narrative ballets. Many are drawn from literary sources, such as Don Juan (created for the Frankfurt Ballet, 1972), Hamlet Connotations (1976) The Lady of the Camellias (Stuttgart Ballet, 1978, 2010), A Streetcar Named Desire (Stuttgart Ballet, 1983), Peer Gynt (1989), The Seagull (2002), Death in Venice (2003), The Little Mermaid (Royal Danish Ballet, 2010), Liliom (2011) and Tatiana (2014). Of particular importance are his adaptations of plays by William Shakespeare, including Romeo and Juliet (Frankfurt Ballet, 1974), A Midsummer Night's Dream (1977), Othello (1985), As You Like It (1985), Hamlet (Royal Danish Ballet, 1985) and VIVALDI, or What You Will (1996). He has reinterpreted and rechoreographed the seminal classics of the 19th century: The Nutcracker (Frankfurt Ballet, 1971), set in the world of 19th-century ballet, Illusions, like Swan Lake (1976), based loosely on the life of Ludwig II of Bavaria, The Sleeping Beauty (1978) and Giselle (2000). He has choreographed works on Biblical subjects, including The Legend of Joseph (Vienna State Ballet, 1977), Saint Matthew Passion (1981), Magnificat (Paris Opera Ballet, 1987), Requiem (1991), Messiah (1999) and Christmas Oratorio (2007, 2013), as well as ballets inspired by mythological subjects: Daphnis et Chloe (Frankfurt Ballet, 1972), Sylvia (Paris Opera Ballet, 1997), Orpheus (2009), Tristan (1982), The Saga of King Arthur (1982) and Parzival - Episodes and Echo (2006). Neumeier is particularly inspired by the life and work of Vaslav Nijinsky and has produced several ballets about him: Vaslav (1979), the full-length Nijinsky (2000) and Le Pavillon d'Armide (2009). Neumeier has also choreographed a number of ballets to the music of Gustav Mahler, including the biographical Purgatorio (2011), set to Deryck Cooke's reconstruction of Mahler's Tenth Symphony. In addition, Neumeier has choreographed Mahler's First (Lieb' und Leid und Welt und Traum, Ballet of the 20th Century, 1980), Third (1975), Fourth (Royal Ballet, 1977), Fifth (1989), Sixth (1984) and Ninth (In the Between, 1994) symphonies, as well as the Rückert-Lieder (1976), Des Knaben Wunderhorn (Soldier Songs, 1989) and Song of the Earth (Paris Opera Ballet, 2015). In 2017 he created and directed a new production of Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice for the Lyric Opera of Chicago featuring the Joffrey Ballet. The same year, he also became a director of the Le Pavillon d'Armide,
VaslavNijinsky was a ballet dancer and choreographer cited as the greatest male dancer of the early 20th century. Born in Kiev to Polish parents, Nijinsky grew up in Imperial Russia but considered himself to be Polish. He was celebrated for his virtuosity and for the depth and intensity of his characterizations. He could dance en pointe, a rare skill among male dancers at the time, and was admired for his seemingly gravity-defying leaps.
Michael Fokine was a groundbreaking Imperial Russian choreographer and dancer.
Bronislava Nijinska was a Polish ballet dancer, and an innovative choreographer. She came of age in a family of traveling, professional dancers.
George Zoritch, was a Russian-born American ballet dancer who starred in performances by Ballet Russe companies on stages all over the United States from the 1930s to the 1960s. Internationally known, he was one of the most glamorous figures and striking personalities in mid-twentieth-century ballet.
The Ballets Russes was an itinerant ballet company based in Paris that performed between 1909 and 1929 throughout Europe and on tours to North and South America. The company never performed in Russia, where the Revolution disrupted society. After its initial Paris season, the company had no formal ties there.
The company Ballets Russes de Monte-Carlo was formed in 1932 after the death of Sergei Diaghilev and the demise of Ballets Russes. Its director was Wassily de Basil, and its artistic director was René Blum. They fell out in 1936 and the company split. The part which de Basil retained went through two name changes before becoming the Original Ballet Russe. Blum founded Les Ballets de Monte Carlo, which changed its name to Ballet Russe de Monte-Carlo when Léonide Massine became artistic director in 1938. It operated under this name until it disbanded some 20 years later.
Wayne Eagling is a Canadian ballet dancer, now retired. After more than twenty years as a popular member of The Royal Ballet in London, he became well known as an international choreographer and company director.
Silvia Azzoni is an Italian ballet dancer who performs at the Hamburg Ballet as a principal dancer.
The Hamburg Ballet is an internationally acclaimed ballet company based in Hamburg, Germany. Since 1973, it has been directed by the American dancer and choreographer John Neumeier. In addition there is a ballet school, Ballettschule des Hamburg Ballett, established in 1978. The performances of the Hamburg Ballet are usually held at the Hamburg State Opera, while the training and education facility is the "Ballettzentrum Hamburg - John Neumeier". The Hamburg Ballet is well known for guest performances at home and abroad. In the season 2012/13 the company celebrated its 40th anniversary.
Nicolas Le Riche is a French ballet dancer, choreographer and ballet director.
Thiago Bordin is a Brazilian/German ballet dancer and choreographer.
Stéphane Bullion is a French Etoile dancer of the Paris Opera Ballet.
The Polish National Ballet (PNB) is the largest and the most important ballet company in Poland. It continues a national ballet heritage, which dates to the 17th century.
Manuel Legris is a French ballet dancer, born in Paris on October 10, 1964. He was a étoile of the Paris Opera Ballet for 23 years. Since September 1, 2010, he has directed the Vienna State Ballet. He will assume the position of artistic director of La Scala Theatre Ballet in December 2020.
Le Pavillon d'Armide is a ballet in one act and three scenes choreographed by Michel Fokine with music by Nikolai Tcherepnin to a libretto by Alexandre Benois. It was inspired by the novella Omphale by Théophile Gautier.
Alexandre Riabko is a Ukrainian ballet dancer, and a principal dancer of the Hamburg Ballet.
Das Lied von der Erde, a symphonic work written by the Austrian composer Gustav Mahler in 1908–1909 and scored for two voices and orchestra, has been used for ballets by several well-known choreographers. Among them are Antony Tudor (1908–1987), Kenneth MacMillan (1929–1992), Heinz Spoerli, and John Neumeier.
Alexandr Trush is a Ukrainian principal dancer of the Hamburg Ballet.
Stanislas Idzikowski was a Polish dancer and ballet master, active in England, and with such historic companies as Pavlova's, Ballets Russes, and Vic-Wells. During his performance career, 1910-1933, he became famous for his brilliant classical technique, and for the development of ballet roles. With Beaumont he co-authored an influential book on the Cecchetti Method, still in print. He later taught dance in London.
Kyra Vaslavovna Nijinsky, was a ballet dancer of Polish and Hungarian ancestry, with a Russian dance and cultural heritage. She was the daughter of Vaslav Nijinsky and the niece of Bronislava Nijinska. In the 1930s she appeared in ballets mounted by Ida Rubinstein, Max Reinhardt, Marie Rambert, Frederick Ashton, Antony Tudor.