The Hamburg Ballet is famous far beyond the city of Hamburg. International tours have made it not only a highlight of the international ballet scene, but also one of Germany's most important cultural ambassadors. The heart of the company is artistic director and chief choreographer John Neumeier, who has directed the company since 1973. Mr. Neumeier is a master at combining classical ballet tradition with contemporary forms in his works, while developing a unique personal choreographic language. John Neumeier's lecture demonstrations (Ballett-Werkstatt) are a special feature of the Hamburg Ballet's tradition. During these matinees, which have taken place on the stage of the Hamburg State Opera several times per season since 1973, Mr. Neumeier, with his company, explains specific aspects of ballet history: information concerning current repertoire or the technical and historical background of traditional ballets. Since 1975, the dance festival "Hamburg Ballet Days" has provided the high point and finale of every season. The festival traditionally opens with a premiere of a new work and ends with the Nijinsky Gala, featuring international guest stars as well as the entire Hamburg Ballet ensemble.

Although the company performs at the Hamburg State Opera, its creative home, rehearsal venue and educational centre is a separate building, the Hamburg Ballet Center, which opened in 1989. Founded in 1978, the ballet school with its integrated boarding facilities, a pre-ballet department, eight professional classes including a final two-year "Theatre Class" program, trains the next generation of dancers. The Ballet Center is also the home of the National Youth Ballet, founded by John Neumeier in 2011.

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