John Neumeier receives the Friendship Award of the People's Republic of China
John Neumeier has received the Friendship Award of the People's Republic of China. Vice Science Minister Jianguo Zhang conferred John Neumeier the most prestigious award for foreign experts who have made outstanding contributions to the country's economic and social development as well as cooperation and exchanges between China and the world.
The award ceremony was arranged especially by the Ministery of Science according to John Neumeier's schedule and his tour to Beijing with the Hamburg Ballet presenting three performances of his iconic ballet "Lady of the Camellias". Usually, the Friendship Award that was established in 1991, is conferred in a group ceremony around the National Holiday comemorating the formation of the Peoples's Republic of China.
In his speech, Jianguo Zhang emphasized John Neumeier's outstanding merits in deepening the cultural exchange between China and Germany. He particularly stressed the enthusiastic support for China's development and the friendly support.
In his speech, John Neumeier alluded to Friedrich Schiller's idea of the English Country Dance as an ideal metaphor of social life and expressed his gratitude when receiving the Friendship Award: "I believe that my profession has a significant privilege, because it is a profession which can communicate without language. When I met Madame Feng, the Artistic Director of the National Ballet of China, I was very fortunate to extend my reach of communication to China. In this country, I was extremely happy to find both dancers of good quality, but also of sincerity and honesty towards their profession. I think it is very typical that I feel that Madame Feng is a friend close to my heart, although we do not speak the same language. There is a more important understanding between our concept of art, but also our concept of humanity."