The Hamburg Ballet John Neumeier 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.

John 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 take place on the stage of the Hamburg State Opera several times per season since 1973, 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 center is a separate building, the Hamburg Ballet Centre opened in 1989. Founded in 1978, the ballet school with its integrated boarding facilities, a pre-ballet department, 8 professional classes including a final 2 years "Theatre Class" program, trains the next generation of dancers. The Ballet Centre is also the home of the National Youth Ballet, founded by John Neumeier in 2011.

John Neumeier was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and studied in his native city as well as in Chicago, Copenhagen, and London. In 1963, John Cranko invited him to join Stuttgart Ballet, where he progressed to soloist and continued his choreographic development. Appointed Director of Ballet Frankfurt in 1969, he soon caused a sensation with his new interpretations of such well-known ballets as The Nutcracker and Romeo and Juliet. In 1973, he became Director and Chief Choreographer of the Hamburg Ballet. Under his direction, the Hamburg Ballet became one of the leading ballet companies on the German dance scene and soon received international recognition.

As a choreographer, Neumeier has continually focused on the preservation of ballet tradition, while giving his works a modern dramatic framework. His ballets range from new versions of full-length story ballets to musicals and symphonic ballets as well as choreographies to sacred music. His latest creations for the Hamburg Ballet are “Ghost Light” in 2020, “Beethoven Project II”, “Hamlet 21” and the new production of “The Sleeping Beauty” in 2021. In addition to his great commitment to the Hamburg Ballet, he regularly works as guest choreographer with the most renowned international ballet companies.

In 1975, John Neumeier conceived the Hamburg Ballet Days as a climax and end to each season. Three years later, he founded The School of the Hamburg Ballet. Today more than 80 % of the company’s dancers are graduates from the school. In 2011, Neumeier founded Germany’s National Youth Ballet, a creative and young company that finds its performing spaces in schools, retirement homes and prisons.

John Neumeier has received some of the most prestigious international awards. He holds the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany as well as the French Order of Arts and Letters and the Legion of Honor. In 2015, the Inamori Foundation presented John Neumeier with the Kyoto Prize for his contributions to the Arts and Philosophy. In 2017, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Awards of the Prix Benois de la Danse and the Prix de Lausanne as well as the Erich Fromm Prize. In 2019, he received the People's Republic of China Friendship Award. In 2021, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark awarded John Neumeier the Medal of Honor ›Ingenio et arti‹, a personal honor bestowed by the Danish royal house on outstanding personalities in the field of arts and scientists.

In 2006, Neumeier established the John Neumeier Foundation with the aim of preserving and eventually making available to the public his collection of dance and ballet-related objects.