John Neumeier

John Neumeier

John Neumeier (1942, Milwaukee, United States) has been choreographer and artistic director at the Hamburg Ballett since 1973. Under his direction, the company has grown into one of Germany’s most important dance companies and has gained widespread international recognition.

Neumeier trained in Milwaukee, Copenhagen and London (at The Royal Ballet School). He joined the Stuttgarter Ballett in 1963, where he ultimately was promoted to principal. From 1969, Neumeier was ballet director in Frankfurt before becoming the artistic director of Ballett Hamburg in 1973.

As a guest choreographer, Neumeier was connected to a great variety of large dance companies, such as The Royal Ballet in London, companies of the national operas of Vienna, Munich, Dresden and Paris, and The Tokyo Ballet. Dutch National Ballet danced his choreography Sylvia in 2011. That same year, he founded the Bundesjugendballett in Germany, a company for eight young dancers.

Neumeier, as a choreographer, is a storyteller who continuously aims his arrows on the preservation of the ballet tradition, while merging his choreographies with modern-appearing dance theatre.

In 2014-2015 Dutch National Ballet will perform Neumeier’s interpretation of La Dame aux Camélias.


  • 2012, Transatlantic Media & Communication Award
  • 2012, Order of Friendship of the Russian Federation.
  • 2012, Gustaf-Gründgens-Preis
  • 2009, Hans Christian Andersen Honours Award
  • 2008, Jubiläums Tanzpreis (Germany)
  • 2007, Herbert von Karajan Musikpreis (Germany)
  • 2007, honorary citizen of the city of Hamburg (Germany)
  • 2007, Deutscher Kritikerpreis (Germany)
  • 2006, Lifetime Achievement Benois de la Danse, Nijinsky Award
  • 2003, Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and French Order of Arts and Letters and the Legion of Honour