Season 2020/2021 – Editorial

Living Traditions

Anniversaries are important landmarks that make traditions tangible. This is why I honour Ludwig van Beethoven with a new ballet in the week of his 250th birthday. The title of the ballet is Beethoven 9 – a tribute also to the musical tradition, which the composer initiated with the "mythical" number of his symphonies. I look forward to developing further the close cooperation with Kent Nagano that has proven exciting and creative during the creation of Turangalîla.

The Tchaikovsky ballets also rank as a major artistic heritage, having a profound impact on the development of ballet. Celebrating the composer's 100th anniversary in 1993, I presented my version of his three major ballets on consecutive evenings. Today, this would be impossible, as the set and the costumes of the particularly elaborate ballet The Sleeping Beauty have to be restored first. Therefore, I will present a new version of The Sleeping Beauty as our summer premiere in 2021. Jürgen Rose has confirmed his personal support, and I myself will rethink and rework the choreography.

The revivals of the next season demonstrate my concept in organizing artistic input for my company. I created Sylvia as a guest choreographer for the Paris Opera Ballet then, adapted it for the Hamburg Ballet soon after the world premiere. Liliom, on the other hand, is a prime example of a ballet created with a commissioned score – in this case composed by the renowned composer Michel Legrand. The invitation of works by inspiring choreographers such as Christopher Wheeldon's The Winter's Tale also enhances the versatility of my company.

Above all, I aim to develop a unique ballet ensemble that is inspired by creation – in September, we will open our 48th season! There are many ballets in our repertoire and the dancers have to master a considerable amount of choreographic languages when interpreting the variety and diversity of my works. Apart from various narrative ballets, most prominently The Glass Menagerie, we present next season the symphonic ballet All Our Yesterdays and other genres such as the fragmentary Beethoven Project and the ballet opera Orphée et Eurydice.

To bring the ballet tradition of our Hanseatic City to the world, the Hamburg Ballet will again have an active touring schedule. In Vienna and Bonn, we will perform both of my Beethoven ballets. The extended cooperation with the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden is also important to me; we will return there twice within the next season presenting three different programs as well as two ballet workshops. In addition, the Hamburg Ballet will bring three of my works to Japan, on our ninth tour to this country rich in tradition.

I wish our audiences moving ballet performances – in Hamburg and all over the world.

John Neumeier

Season 2020/2021
Information Material for the 2020/2021 Season
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Monday, May 11, 2020 (for subscribers: from Thursday, May 7, 2020)

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