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Since 1973 John Neumeier has been Director and Chief Choreographer of The Hamburg Ballet, since 1996 he has been “Ballettintendant”. He received his first dance training in his home town Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he also created his first choreographic works, and went on to study ballet both in Copenhagen and at the Royal Ballet School in London. In 1963 he joined the Stuttgart Ballet, where he progressed to solo dancer. Before being appointed Director in Hamburg, he had been Director of Ballet in Frankfurt since 1969. Under Neumeier’s direction The Hamburg Ballet became one of the leading ballet companies of 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. He has worked as a guest choreographer with many companies, including The Royal Ballet in London, the State Operas of Vienna, Munich and Dresden as well as The Ballet of the Paris Opera and The Tokyo Ballet. He received various awards, most recently the Herbert von Karajan Musikpreis in 2007 and the Deutscher Jubiläums Tanzpreis in 2008. He was made an honorary citizen of the city of Hamburg in 2007. Lady of the Camellias is his seventh ballet to enter American Ballet Theatre’s repertoire since Le Baiser de la Fée (1974), the pas de deux Epilogue (1975), Hamlet Connotations (1976), the pas de deux Désir (1979), Spring and Fall (1998) and Getting Closer (1999).