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Season 2022/23 – Editorial


When I moved to Hamburg almost 50 years ago, I would never have dreamed that I would live here for the better part of my life. What convinced me to stay: the feeling, time and again, that something could grow – was, in fact, growing. An efficient organization slowly developed, resulting in more performances, more dancers, more touring, the successful establishment of a ballet school and Germany's National Youth Ballet. 30 years ago, a Ballet Center centered all activities under one roof. Above all however, there were the people who inspired my art. First and foremost, the dancers, but also an artistic and administrative staff, friends, sponsors and politicians and, of course, our audience.

In our anniversary season, I intend to spread dance throughout the city of Hamburg, creating spaces of encounter outside the opera home. A ballet gala will be performed in front of the Town Hall, we will have an Open House in our Ballet Center as well as performances of "Saint Matthew Passion" in St. Michael's Church. At the end of the season, we will double the length of the Hamburg Ballet Days. I am delighted that three guest companies from Stuttgart, Copenhagen and the Bolshoi Ballet from Moscow, all of which have friendly ties with us, have agreed to perform some of my major works during the festival.

It may seem that in the forthcoming season, we are offering a comprehensive "retrospective" of my years as a ballet director. This however, is not my intention. I wish to revisit and rework the wide range of works from the past renewing them again for the present and a possible future. Watching these ballets, the audience should not think: "Those were the days!", but rather: "This is now, this must be new." To emphasize the message of the "present", I have decided to create a ballet, "Dona Nobis Pacem" with the marvelous score of the Mass in B minor by Johann Sebastian Bach. It will, for the time being, be the last creation with "my company" – the company I have shaped and developed for half a century.

Bach's mass is somehow a mystery. Although a masterpiece, Bach reworked many pieces from former works for his mass. I have no illusions that my 169 works will all be performed in the future. Therefore, it might be interesting to integrate some parts from my previous ballets into my new work. Who would recognize movements from my sixth ballet?

With this in mind, I'd like to encourage you to join our artistic journey during our 50th anniversary season.

John Neumeier

50 Years – Join Our Celebrations!

The Hamburg Ballet celebrates a special anniversary and everyone is invited. Right at the start of the season, John Neumeier and his company will ignite a firework of dances on Hamburg's central square in front of the town hall (Sept. 3). He follows his vision to create new forms of experiencing the art of ballet – "Made in Hamburg". With this goal in mind, he opens the doors of the Hamburg Ballet Center (May 13) and presents his "Saint Matthew Passion" in St. Michael's Church (June 21, 22).

Hamburg's mayor Peter Tschentscher greatly appreciates the creative energy and international reputation of the Honorary Citizen. Therefore, he also opens the doors of the Town Hall: for a ballet gala for the benefit of John Neumeier's ballet school (Oct. 29) as well as for a Senate Reception with current and former members of the Hamburg Ballet at the beginning of the Anniversary Ballet Days (June 10).

Jörn Rieckhoff

Season 2022/23
Information Material for the 2023/23 Season

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