THE HAMBURG BALLET’s season 2011/2012

April 18, 2011

Ballet, Press Releases

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THE HAMBURG BALLET’s season 2011/2012

Choreographic creativity is the recurring theme of THE HAMBURG BALLET’s season 2011/2012. With Liliom, a world premiere both in choreography and music, John Neumeier creates a “ballet legend“, based on Ferenc Molnár’s play of the same title. The score was commissioned by THE HAMBURG BALLET and the Hamburgische Staatsoper, Michel Legrand, celebrated film composer and Oscar winner, is currently working on a score characterised by elements of classical and jazz music. It will be performed jointly by the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra and the NDR Bigband. For the first time since Lera Auerbach’s score for The Little Mermaid (2005/2007) a music is composed specially for a ballet by John Neumeier.

For the second premiere, Renku, John Neumeier and his company re-conceptualise a Japanese form of poetry for dance: A “renku” is composed of verses by various poets, successively creating the poem. Renku will bring together several choreographers, each contributing to the work in their personal style, thus creating a comprehensive, but diverse ballet. Among the choreographers involved will be ensemble members Orkan Dann and Yuka Oishi, this year’s winner of the Dr. Wilhelm Oberdörffer Award of the Hamburgische Staatsoper.

The first revival of the season will be John Neumeier’s celebrated symphonic ballet Third Symphony by Gustav Mahler. It was performed for the last time in Hamburg in 2004. As the season’s second revival, THE HAMBURG BALLET will present The Little Mermaid. John Neumeier’s ballet based on Hans Christian Andersen’s tale was successfully premiered in San Francisco and Moscow in 2010 and 2011.

Two celebrated principals will be guest dancers at THE HAMBURG BALLET in 2011/2012.

John Neumeier will create the leading female role in Liliom, Julie, for Alina Cojocaru. Furthermore, the Romanian dancer will make her debut in the title role of Lady of the Camellias in autumn. The second guest will be Roberto Bolle: He will dance Armand in Lady of the Camellias in autumn as well as the title role of Orpheus, a part created for him by John Neumeier. The guest company of the 38th Hamburger Ballett-Tage in June 2012 will be the San Francisco Ballet.

Further highlights at THE HAMBURG BALLET in 2011/2012 include: The School of THE HAMBURG BALLET will return to the Ernst Deutsch Theater with the Creativity Work Shop III. The Young Choreographers will continue their collaboration with Deutsches Schauspielhaus and perform new choreographies of company members. Furthermore, the National Youth Ballet will create new artistic outreach and to promote the social relevance of dance, focusing on young audiences. The company, consisting of eight young dance professionals aged 18 to 23, will start to work at the beginning of the season, being based at the Ballettzentrum Hamburg – John Neumeier. They will build their own repertoire, mostly from younger choreographers’ works, and are to perform not only in theatres, but also in new venues, including schools, museums, nurseries and even prisons. In addition, tours throughout Germany and abroad are intended.

dancer in blue trousers on stage

Meerjungfrau Photograph : Holger Badekow

Premiere I

World premiere


Ballet legend by John Neumeier based on a play by Ferenc Molnár


Michel Legrand

Score commissioned by THE HAMBURG BALLET | Hamburgische Staatsoper

Choreography, Staging and Costumes

John Neumeier

Stage Design

Ferdinand Wögerbauer


Simon Hewett

A cooperation with the NDR Bigband

Premiere A: Premiere B:

December 4, 2011, 6.00 p.m. December 6, 2011, 7.30 p.m.


December 10, 19, 20, 2011,

January 5, 6, 2012,

June 28, 2012, at 7.30 p.m.

“My aim was to tell the story of a Budapest suburb in such a simple and naive way as it might have been told by the old ladies of outer Josefstadt. I did not want to put more meaning into the symbolic figures and the celestial beings than a modest vagabond might do when thinking about them.” Ferenc Molnár.

Molnár’s play, first performed in 1909, was the basis for the musical Carousel. As the first premiere in the 2011/2012 season, John Neumeier will create a ballet, based on the play, on a specially commissioned score. French composer Michel Legrand is currently working on the music, combining elements of classical music and jazz. John Neumeier creates the leading female role, Julie, for Alina Cojocaru, Principal of the Royal Ballet London. She will be dancing on December 4, 6, 20, 2011 as well as on January 5, 2012.

“In 1909, when the “Ballets Russes” performed in Paris for the first time, Ferenc Molnár’s play Liliom premiered in Budapest. In his ‘suburban legend’, the Hungarian writer tells the story of a petty criminal, who, overburdened by life and its ways, turns to more serious crimes. Feeling ashamed towards his mistress and their unborn child, he commits suicide. But even in the after world he cannot escape his destiny. Using a commissioned score by the celebrated, Oscar-winning film composer Michel Legrand I am trying to bring this moving tragicomedy to the stage with the means of ballet. The world premiere of Liliom promises to be an exciting cooperation between the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra and the NDR Bigband.” John Neumeier. 

four ballet dancers in a pas de deux

Photograph : Holger Badekow

Premiere II


A Ballet by several choreographers based on a Japanese form of poetry




Yuka Oishi, Orkan Dann a.o.

Staging, Costume and Stage Design etc.


Premiere A: Premiere B:

June 17, 2012, 6.00 p.m. June 19, 2012, 7.30 p.m.


June 29, 2012, 7.30 p.m.

A renku is a Japanese form of poetry, comprised of linked verses by several authors. The writing of a renku is comparable to a group game: something existing is continued by someone else. A poet writes down a verse, finding out later – to his amazement and probably also to his delight – that the team-mate continues the verse in a way, the first author did not expect. Wouldn’t this principle also be feasible for a ballet? Yuka Oishi, Soloist, and Orkan Dann, member of the corps de ballet of THE HAMBURG BALLET, are already scheduled as choreographers for Renku. Among other occasions, they presented their choreographic works as part of the “Junge Choreografen” (Young Choreographers) at Deutsches Schauspielhaus in April 2011.

“With our second premiere, Renku, we present a ballet that is inspired by a traditional Japanese poetic form. A renku consists of verses composed by different authors, each continuing the previous verse in his own style and with his individual dramatic invention. The resulting ballet, although inspired by the renku form, will not necessarily be Japanese in aesthetics and expression. Even though the result is a chain of multiple styles, the renku must become coherent, an artistic entity in the end.” John Neumeier

Revival I

Third Symphony by Gustav Mahler

Ballet by John Neumeier


Gustav Mahler

Choreography, Stage and Costume Design

John Neumeier


Markus Lehtinen

Chorus Master

Christian Günther




November 5, 2011, 7.30 p.m.


November 6, 2011, 6.00 p.m.

November 10 and 18, 2011

June 21, 2012 at 7.30 p.m.

The world premiere of Third Symphony by Gustav Mahler by John Neumeier took place on June 14, 1975. The Fourth Movement, “Nacht” (Night), is dedicated to John Cranko and his company and was premiered in Stuttgart in July 1974, with Marcia Haydée, Richard Cragun and Egon Madsen. The ballet marks the beginning of John Neumeier’s choreographic examination of the symphonic oeuvre of Gustav Mahler. John Neumeier dedicated this ballet to THE HAMBURG BALLET.  The piece was performed in Hamburg in 2004 for the last time.

Revival II


Ballet by John Neumeier based on Hans Christian Andersen’s tale


Lera Auerbach

Choreography, Stage and Costume Design

John Neumeier


Simon Hewett


April 21, 2012, 7.30 p.m.


April 25v and 28, 2012

May 9 and 12, 2012

June 22, 2012 at 7.30 p.m.

For the bicentenial of the birth of the poet Hans Christian Andersen in 2005, John Neumeier created a modern, yet timeless interpretation of The Little Mermaid – a dramatic tale set in two contrasting worlds: The simple, underwater life of the ocean creatures and the flamboyant lifestyle of humans. The mermaid travels through both worlds, enduring torment because of her committed love for the prince – but through her own strength in the end – transcends it. The ballet emphasises parallels between the fairy tale and Hans Christian Andersen’s biography. For THE HAMBURG BALLETT, John Neumeier created a revised Hamburg version in 2007, for which the composer Lera Auerbach also revised the score. With the new version, the company gave a very successful guest performance in Japan in 2009. The Hamburg production was lent to the San Francisco Ballet, and in February 2011 the Moscow production celebrated a highly acclaimed premiere at the Stanislawsky Theatre. The Little Mermaid was performed in Hamburg in 2009 for the last time.


SEASON 2011/2012


Ballet by John Neumeier based on the novel of Alexandre Dumas the Younger.

October 1, 3, 4, 19, 2011

November 1, 2011

March, 10, 14, 15, 17, 2012

June 24, 2012


Ballet by John Neumeier

October 27, 28, 2011

November 13, 2011


Ballet by John Neumeier

November 20, 2011

December 11, 26 (2x), 2011

January 1, 2012


Ballet by John Neumeier

December 14, 15, 23 (2x), 28, 29, 2011


Ballet by John Neumeier after William Shakespeare

January 14, 20, 2012

May 16, 18, 19, 27, 2012

June 20, 2012


Two ballets inspired by the Japanese by John Neumeier

Seven Haiku of the Moon

Seasons – The Colors of Time

January 16, 2012


A Danse Macabre by John Neumeier based on the Novella by Thomas Mann

March 6, 9, 2012


Two Ballets by Jerome Robbins

»Dances at a Gathering«

»The Concert «

March 22, 23, 25, 31 (2x), 2012

June 30, 2012


April 8, 9, 10, 2012


Ballet by John Neumeier after Tennessee Williams

April 18, 23, 27, 2012


Ballet by John Neumeier

May 22, 24, 26, 29, 2012

June 23, 2012


Alina Cojocaru

Lady of the Camellias (Marguerite): October 3 and 19, November 1, 2011

Liliom (Julie): December 4, 6, 20, 2011 and January 5, 2012

Roberto Bolle

Orpheus (Orpheus): October 27 and 28, 2011

Lady of the Camellias (Armand): October 1 and 4, 2011



JUNE 17 – JULY 1, 2012

June 17 Renku

June 18 First Steps (The School of THE HAMBURG BALLET)

June 19 Renku

June 20 A Midsummer Night’s Dream

June 21 Third Symphony of Gustav Mahler

June 22 The Little Mermaid

June 23 Purgatorio

June 24 Lady of the Camellias

June 26 Guest Performance: San Francisco Ballet

June 27 Guest Performance: San Francisco Ballet

Juni 28 Liliom

June 29 Renku

June 30 Chopin Dances

July 01 Nijinsky-Gala XXXVIII



Last update: April 2011 | subject to change


A Midsummer Night’s Dream

September 14, 15, 2011


The Floating World

October 8, 9, 2011


October 14, 15 and 16, 2011


Oktober 9, 2011


January / February 2012


Saint Matthew Passion

April 3, 2012



April 5, 2012

Saint Matthew Passion

April 6, 2012

Additional Dates

SEASON 2011/2012

Hamburger Theaternacht

September 10, 2011, 7.00 to 10.00 p.m.

at the Ballettzentrum Hamburg – John Neumeier

Ballett-Werkstätten (Ballet work-shops)

October 30, 2011

November 20, 2011, Charity work-shop

April 29, 2012

May 20, 2012

at 11.00 am

Junge Choreografen (Young Choreographers)

at Deutsches Schauspielhaus

Dates will be announced



The School of THE HAMBURG BALLET at the Ernst Deutsch Theater

February 27 – March 3, 2012


Hamburgische Staatsoper, Großes Haus

May 15, June 18, 2012


Große Theaterstrase 25, D-20354 Hamburg

Tel. +49 (0)40 35 68 68

Fax +49 (0)40 35 68 610

Mo. to Sa. 10.00 a. m. to 6.30 p. m.

During summer break (July 11 until August 21, 2011):

Mo. to Fri. 10.00 a. m. to 6.30 p. m., Sa. 10.00 a. m. to 2.00 p. m.

Online booking

Select and purchase tickets – easy and convenient at the website.


Advance booking for performances between September 3 and October 31, 2011 starts on Monday, May 9, 2011. Tickets will also be sold during summer break. Advance booking for all other performances of 2011/12 season starts on Monday, August 22, 2011 (for subscribers only) respectively Monday, August 29, 2011 (for all other customers, also online booking and sale by private booking offices). Please note that the dates for the advance booking mentioned above do not apply to the Nijinsky-Gala and the Ballett-Werkstätten (ballet work-shops). Orders for those performances can be placed from May 9, 2011 to July 10, 2011 exclusively in written form (orders by e-mail will not be accepted) with a special order form that you can receive as a download ( and or at the box office. Please note: The number of tickets available for purchase is limited based on the high demand of tickets for those performances. Each customer can purchase a maximum of 2 tickets for the Nijinsky-Gala and 2 tickets for each Ballett-Werkstatt. Tickets for those performances will not be available for purchase through the internet, ticket agencies or on short notice. There will be a limited number of tickets available on short call 28 days prior to all other performances. The evening box-office opens 90 minutes prior to the beginning of the performance. The ticket sale for the respective performance has priority. Written ticket orders or orders via telephone have to be paid for within a deadline you will receive with our order confirmation. The quickest way to get your tickets is to book using your credit card (MasterCard, VISA and American Express accepted). On request we will send you the tickets by post. There will be a charge of € 5 (online booking: € 2.50) for each dispatch. Tickets which have been paid for cannot be returned or subsequently reduced. A list of our general business conditions in German is available from our box-office or can be found on our homepage.

Other advance booking offices

Tickets are also available at some private booking offices in Hamburg and at Hamburg Tourismus GmbH (Hotline +49 (0)40 300 51 777; and the Hamburg Tourist Office website)  and at all Ticket-online booking offices and TUI-travel agencies.


Information can be obtained from our subscription office:

Tel. +49 (0)40 35 68 800

Mo. to Fri. 10.00 a. m. to 6.30 p. m.

During summer break

(July 11 until August 21, 2011):

Mo. to Fri. 10.00 a. m. to 2.00 p. m.

Information online

For details on ballets, casts and dates please visit Hamburg Ballet’s website.


THE HAMBURG BALLET merchandise, including THE HAMBURG BALLET calendar, is available via the service section/shop on Hamburg Ballet’s website.

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