Hamburg Ballet Commemorates Sixth Japan Tour at Min-On's Invitation
On February 12, 2009, the Hamburg Ballet, led by world-renowned choreographer John Neumeier, opened its Japan tour at NHK Hall in Shibuya, Tokyo, at the invitation of the Min-On Concert Association (Min-On). Mr. Neumeier has been leading the company for 35 years. Under his direction, the Hamburg Ballet has become one of the world's leading ballet companies.
The tour is featuring "The Lady of the Camellias" and the acclaimed "The Little Mermaid." At the opening, ambassadors to Japan and diplomats from 55 countries and territories were able to watch principal dancer Silvia Azzoni performing "The Little Mermaid," which was presented in Japan for the first time. Ms. Azzoni is the winner of the 2008 Prix Benois de la Danse. On February 18, the ballet presented "The Lady of the Camellias" at Kanagawa Kenmin Hall in Yokohama. Princess Takamado of the Japanese Imperial Family attended. The tour will include 12 performances in six cities throughout Japan.
Commenting on the Hamburg Ballet's sixth Min-On sponsored tour in Japan, Mr. Neumeier stated, "I regard the Hamburg Ballet and Min-On as brothers who aim for the same, shared goal. This is because Min-On, distancing itself from commercialism, upholds the lofty vision of 'contributing what they can toward world peace' in pursuing international exchange in the fields of culture and art. As a result of an outlook which always puts economy first, contemporary civilization now seems to have reached a stalemate. At a time like this, a profound philosophy, a strong will and the capability to work toward lofty goals in a concrete way are necessary, as is demonstrated by Min-On. It is for this reason I work together with Min-On. I, too, would like to give courage to people around the world through ballet which embodies the supreme brilliance of human artistic endeavor."
[Adapted from articles in the February 13 and 19, 2009 issues of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]