4 Nov 2020
Program Change: Hamburg Ballet Japan Tour 2021, Ghost Light

 Japan Performing Arts Foundation would like to announce that there has been a change in the program of the Hamburg Ballet's Japan tour scheduled in March 2021.


After active and thorough discussion with Director and Chief Choreographer of the Hamburg Ballet John Neumeier, we have come to the conclusion to stage his most recent ballet, Ghost Light. Consequently, Bernstein Dances will not be staged on the upcoming tour. We apologize to our valued audiences who have been anticipating the original program but appreciate everyone's kind understanding for the positive decision which reflects John Neumeier's fervent wish to stage the most suitable programs for the audience in Japan under the current circumstances; to include his new creation in the time of Corona.


Like most of the ballet companies across the world, the Hamburg Ballet was strongly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the Company was one of the first to return to its studio after the lockdown, and almost immediately, John Neumeier developed the idea of creating a ballet observing and structured according to social distancing. His concept involved all the dancers of his company. To respect social distancing, he created separate parts of the work with small groups of two to eight dancers. On September 6, the ballet, Ghost Light, opened the Hamburg State Opera's 2020/21 season. In October, it was performed at the Festspielhaus in Baden-Baden and received critical acclaim; "This is Neumeier without decoration. His movement language has seldom been so clear, soradical, so modern." (Die Welt, Manuel Brug, September 8, 2020). "Emotional and intoxicating" (Badisches Tagblatte, Christiane Lenhardt, October 10, 2020)


John Neumeier's thoughts corresponded to our belief that "the flame of art should not be blown out", and thus we made the decision to present Ghost Light. Please see below his message to the audiences in Japan that we have just received. We hope you will enjoy the ballet created in the time of Corona, performed by all the dancers of the Hamburg Ballet. Thank you for your continued support and kind understanding.


Japan Performing Arts Foundation (NBS)


*Please note that the tour information as of 4 November 2020 is subject to change especially depending on the COVID-19 pandemic situation. For tour updates, please follow our website or social media channels.


New Tour Schedule (as of 4 November 2020)

Anna Karenina

Choreography, Set, Lighting Concept and Costumes John Neumeier


Performance Dates

Friday 12 March 2021, 18:30 @Tokyo Bunka Kaikan (Tokyo)

Saturday 13 March 2021, 14:00 @Tokyo Bunka Kaikan (Tokyo)

Sunday 14 March 2021, 14:00 @Tokyo Bunka Kaikan (Tokyo)


Running Time About 3 hours including an intermission


Ticket Prices

S: ¥24,000  A: ¥21,000  B: ¥18,000  C: ¥15,000  D: ¥12,000  E: ¥9,000


The World of John Neumeier, gala

Choreography John Neumeier


Performance Dates

Saturday 20 March 2021, 17:00 @Tokyo Bunka Kaikan (Tokyo)

Sunday 21 March 2021, 14:00 @Tokyo Bunka Kaikan (Tokyo)


Running Time About 2 hours and 30 minutes including an intermission


Ticket Prices

S: ¥24,000  A: ¥21,000  B: ¥18,000  C: ¥15,000  D: ¥12,000  E: ¥9,000



Ghost Light

A Ballet in the Time of Corona by John Neumeier

Choreography, Set, Lighting Concept and Costumes John Neumeier


Performance Dates

Wednesday 17 March 2021, 19:00 @Tokyo Bunka Kaikan (Tokyo)


Running Time About 1 hour and 45 minutes. There will be no intermission.


Ticket Prices

S: ¥24,000  A: ¥21,000  B: ¥18,000  C: ¥15,000  D: ¥12,000  E: ¥9,000



A message from John Neumeier

Since our first guest appearance in Japan, it has always been my wish to present the Hamburg Ballet as a vibrant, many faceted, classical - but at the same time contemporary ensemble. The repertoire of each tour must give a current, new and true choreographic picture of my company at the present moment, and be relevant to both dancers and audience.


It is, therefore, important for me to introduce the ballet "Ghost Light" during the upcoming Japan tour. This ballet, dedicated to my dancers, is my most recent portrait of the Hamburg Ballet. Performed by the entire company including all principals and soloists, "Ghost Light" reflects our commitment and dedication to preserving the flame of creation as a living ballet tradition during the difficulties of the worldwide Corona pandemic.


In response to the recent livestreaming of "Ghost Light" last October, I have received many messages from fans around the world who were deeply moved by the message of this ballet. I am sure that our Japanese audiences will also identify with this work and recognize it in a true choreographic picture of our time. "Ghost Light" documents the artist's perseverance and patience as well as it highlights the importance and necessity of live performance on all stages of the world!

John Neumeier_Baden-Baden 2020_1 © Kiran West.jpg

Presented by Japan Performing Arts Foundation, Nikkei Ink.