15.2 Ballet

There are many myths and preconceptions about Ballet. That it is formal, elitist, snobbish and not for young people or men. That it is boring, and not cool, and that you need to understand ballet in depth in order to understand it. Today, many ballet companies seek to alter these misconceptions, and aim to attract new and young audiences.

Ballet is a well known form of dance in which there are many styles. It is a highly technical form of dance which requires years of training and discipline to learn and master. Today ballet is taught in dance schools all over the world. It originated in Italy, in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th century and was a type of performance dance, and later developed into a concert dance form in France and Russia. To begin with ballet was only danced by men. It wasn‚Äėt until the late 17th century that women began to dance ballet. Ballet has its own vocabulary based on French terminology. The French word for Ballet has its origin in the Italian word Balletto, a diminutive of ballo, which means dance.

In Hamburg, The Hamburg Ballet – John Neumeier is an internationally acclaimed ballet company, which has been directed by the American dancer and choreographer John Neumeier since 1973. In addition, The School of The Hamburg Ballet was established in 1978 and today students are taught at the Ballettzentrum Hamburg. The building was once a secondary school for girls and is one of the last buildings designed by the famous Hamburg architect Fritz Schumacher. Today there are nine ballet studios, where both members of the company and students can train and rehearse, as well as the boarding school which can house up to 35 young people.

Over the last 40 years, The Hamburg Ballet has developed a broad repertoire, which includes over one hundred and twenty of John Neumeiers choreographies. The main interest of the Director and Chief Choreographer is to create new, contemporary forms in connection with the classical ballet tradition.

The Ballet Centre is also the home to the first German National Youth Ballet – Bundesjugendballett, however it does not belong to The Hamburg Ballet. The dancers of the National Youth Ballet act as mediators, seeking to transmit their enthusiasm and passion for dance to their audience. They aim to bring it into society, all over the world, approaching those who don‚Äėt usually have the opportunity to watch ballet. Seeking a connection to the young generation.

You can find where both organisations will be performing next on their websites.