Founded at the initiative of Prof. John Neumeier, the National Youth Ballet is unique throughout Germany. Eight young professional dancers aged 18 to 23 spend up to two years with the young company, which is supported by federal funds and wishes to bring ballet closer to people’s daily lives again. Therefore, the ensemble appears not only at opera houses, concert halls and theatres, but also in schools, senior citizens’ homes, clubs and even prisons. Dance, music and song are of equal importance in the young company’s performances with its partners. The National Youth Ballet honours the past by studying works from the history of ballet, experiences the present by working with contemporary choreographers of different ages and styles, and invests in the future of dance by commissioning its own works and supporting talented young choreographers. The dancers come from all over the world. Their home is the Hamburg Ballet Centre – John Neumeier; their language is dance. Since its Young Euro Classic debut in 2012, the dancers perform together with young musicians for the seventh time at Young Euro Classic in 2018.
Dancers of the 2017/2018 Season:
Natsuka Abe, Sara Ezzell, Charlotte Larzelere, Freja Maria Lützhøft, Marcelo Ferreira, Artem Prokopchuk, Emiliano Torres, Ricardo Urbina Reyes
Boris Aljinovic shares a fate with many a gifted stage and theatre actors: the son of a German mother and a Croatian father became really well known mainly thanks to television. For 14 years he played Berlin’s inspector Felix Stark on the popular Tatort series, side by side with Dominic Raacke (aka Till Ritter). He gave that role up four years ago – and unlike some others, Aljinovic hung up his handcuffs like a gentleman, without lamenting the fact in the yellow press. After many years of Tatort and many movies, for example with Otto Waalkes, the versatile actor, who can be as silly and playful as he is mindful and profound, is known to almost everyone in Germany. Calm and mindful describes the person Boris Aljinovic well – and gifted with a subtle sense of humour. No wonder: Aljinovic originally wanted to draw comic strips for a living. At the moment, the 51-year-old has taken up stage acting again, produces successful audio books – and prefers to fight wind and waves, often all alone on his sailboat for months, instead of imaginary crooks.
The US-American John Neumeier is among the most important choreographers of our times. As Ballet Director and Artistic Director of the Hamburg Ballet, he turned this company into one of Germany’s leading ones. John Neumeier won international acclaim for his combination of traditional ballet with new, contemporary forms. One of John Neumeier’s passions is the support and education of young talent. In 1978, he founded the Ballet School of the Hamburg Ballet. In 2011, John Neumeier founded the National Youth Ballet, whose artistic director he has been ever since. John Neumeier has been awarded the German Federal Cross of Merit twice and was named a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor in 2003. He already choreographed a ballet for Young Euro Classic in 2012, and in 2013 and 2014 the National Youth Ballet appeared at the Konzerthaus in two of his choreographies as well.
Born in Miami, Kevin Haigen has worked as a dancer, choreographer, ballet teacher and ballet master. He trained at the School of American Ballet under George Balanchine, where he created his first choreographies. In 1976 Kevin Haigen joined the Hamburg Ballet, where he returned in 1991, after several international engagements, as company ballet master and ballet teacher. Ever since, he has assisted John Neumeier in the production of numerous ballets worldwide. Since the founding of the National Youth Ballet, Kevin Haigen has been its Artistic and Pedagogical Director.
Dance and ballet settings of Stravinsky, pop and rock music: the National Youth Ballet presents its own creation “Dumbarton Oaks” as well as the “BJB Songbook – What We Call Growing Up”, a multi-part assembly of pieces by young choreographers setting songs from recent decades, newly arranged and interpreted live.