The Hamburg Ballet John Neumeier is famous far beyond the city of Hamburg, Germany. International tours have made the company not only a highlight of the global ballet scene, but also one of Germany's most important cultural ambassadors. The heart of the company is Milwaukee native Artistic Director and Chief Choreographer John Neumeier, who has directed the company since 1973. Neumeier is a master at combining classical ballet tradition with contemporary forms in his works, while developing a unique personal choreographic language.
While making its company debut at The Music Center, Hamburg Ballet John Neumeier will kick off this season and perform the West Coast premiere of one of Neumeier’s original pieces, Bernstein Dances, where “the seriousness of the artist and the lightness of the music pleasantly balance each other” (Hamburger Abendblatt). Premiering in 1998 in New York City and based on the music and spirit of American legendary composer Leonard Bernstein, this full-length work follows a similar structure to that of a revue: a collage of separate episodes resulting in a danced mosaic—unified by Bernstein’s music. Featuring six solo dancers, the work allows the audience to witness the development of an artist through one central figure. A seventh dancer appears periodically, directing, motivating and inspiring the action. Bernstein Dances has a run time of two hours and 30 minutes, and features music from some of the composer’s most indelible works including Candide, MASS, On the Town, Peter Pan, West Side Story and Wonderful Town as well as the complete Serenade (after Plato’s “Symposium”). Additional public events involving the company will be announced at a later date.