Author Archives: Hamburg Ballett

About Hamburg Ballett

Hamburg Ballet, also known as the Hamburg State Opera Ballet: One of the first examples of German civic opera, the Hamburg Goosemarket Opera, established in 1678, offered its clients regular ballet performances. In 1989 the Hamburg State Opera opened the Ballettzentrum Hamburg - John Neumeier, a complex housing various studios for company use, the school, and a boarding school. With this strong base, the Hamburg Ballet has continued to grow.

Happiness in dance

By Evgeniya Koptyug

The Hanseatic city usually makes a quiet impression on a Sunday morning. But not on November 28, 2010. I board the subway in the rural North of Hamburg, still a whole half hour away from downtown. And suddenly it’s loud and lively: the train is full of excited and foremost very much awake passengers.“It’s a benefit Ballett-Werkstatt, right?” one lady asks her companion. “Yes, and at the end there will be a book signing!” answers the other. It’s funny and gratifying to listen to these enthusiastic conversations around me, since I’m an intern at the HAMBURG BALLET. The mood is unavoidably contagious. On arrival at the State Opera I am almost bursting with curiosity and anticipation.

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The Phantom in Our Heads

By Anna Schwan
The window on floor 4S of the Paris Opera is round, round and more than one meter wide. It’s decorated with ornate wrought-iron bars and leads straight to the Opera’s roof. Here I have the most beautiful view of  Paris. The city is at my feet, I see the domes of the palaces, the church towers and not far from the horizon also the Eiffel Tower. Our dancers currently get this view almost every day. Because on the 4th floor is the ballet studio “Noureev”, where they rehearse daily, except when they are dancing on stage.

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Ballet is a life, not a job

by Evgeniya Koptyug

“Please close the door quietly, especially during rehearsals,” reads a sign at the Wigman studio in the Ballet Center John Neumeier in Hamburg. Not a sound is heard from inside.

I pull open the heavy outer door, and then a second one. The bit of autumn sun Hamburg got today is shining through the high windows of the studio. Nineteen students are standing next to the bar that spans the classroom walls. It’s warm. I try to be as unnoticeable as it is possible to be in office clothes in a room full of hard-working future dancers. But thankfully my presence doesn’t seem to disturb them, because they are concentrating 150 percent on the class. And on the ballet master who is moving around the studio.

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Hamburg Ballett – Motto: “Try everything”


Doris Kirchhof und Kirsten Sindt © Evgeniya Koptyug

The traffic noises and the cacophony from the building site nearby seem to disappear as I step over the threshold of the stage entrance to the Hamburg State Opera. My feelings are a mixture of Christmas and birthday-like excited anticipation. A childhood dream is coming true: I am visiting the costume department of an internationally famous opera house. It’s hard not to squeal with delight as the afternoon goes by. I do it anyway at some point. Luckily my interviewees react with understanding!

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