81-year-old John Neumeier, head of the Hamburg ballet since 1973, is the only major choreographer, who managed to set a new ballet in the midst of a pandemic COVID-19. Premiere of “Ghost light” to be held September 6, at the opening of the Hamburg ballet season. And yet during the holidays John Neumeier said Tatyana Kuznetsova, as he was able to organize the rehearsal, which means the name of the show and what will happen to the world ballet after the end of the pandemic.— How did you manage to convince the official authorities to permit the staging?— It all started with classes. You know that the ballet center Hamburg — amazing place? We have nine huge rooms, Windows on two sides, it is possible to ventilate constantly. I tried to convince the attending physician of the theatre and the unions that we can work in small groups of six or seven dancers, hold classes all day, and each group of actors be placed in a separate dressing room. I explained that it means class classic: you don’t need anyone to touch you can be at a great distance from each other. Explained that without a class dancer could lose his job. For two weeks I tried to convince representatives of different organizations, on April 27 received their consent, and the 28th we started.— Did you go to see these lessons?— I felt like a doctor who passes the house patients: lessons was ten, I looked at everyone, watched for 10-15 minutes. It was very moving: dancers-professionals to behave as students. Usually for artists class — the beginning of a long day, a simple warm-up before an important rehearsal. And then a half hour of the lesson was the main content of the day. Everyone was extremely attentive and focused, absorbed every motion, showed a reverent respect for the teachers. It was really great: I was struck by the incredible beauty and logic of classical techniques — system that has been developing for 300 years. And this inspiration got me thinking: if we were allowed to do classes in small groups, why not take a group to compose choreography? The trade unions were strongly opposed. But my lawyers and myself — I had to thoroughly study all rules and regulations — in the end were able to prove that there is no fundamental difference between a class and rehearsal in the same composition and with the same number of artists.— That is your new ballet was dependent on the composition of the groups in the class?— No, I artists mixed: this is the class began to depend on me formed groups. My assistant Eduardo Bertini has developed a detailed plan of action: at what time each artist enters the building, washes his hands, goes to the dressing room, to class, then to my rehearsal, and then leaves the building through another door. Yes, in my ballet each fragment bolher six or seven people. And the duets I did with artists who live together. I am lucky that we have a troupe of eight or nine couples.— We know the famous spousal Duo of the Hamburg ballet: Anna Lauder—Edvin Revazov, Sylvia Azzoni—Alexander Ryabko. But not all life unions are composed of equal actors. Not did you have to adapt the choreography to the capabilities of the less talented partners?— During a play happened surprises. For example, in the company of a very beautiful Japanese girl, she is the leading soloist of Madoka Sugai. And her boyfriend Nicholas Glassman a showgirl. I made a big pas de Deux, they dance amazing. Now in this fragment I can’t even imagine anyone else.— And what came out of these fragments? What time is the ballet?— It will go half an hour without intermission. While it looks like individual voices in the orchestra, and I don’t know what will come, when all the instruments play at the same time. Now we have the holiday ballet will collect in August. Like Japanese cuisine: very good food on small plates. By September we will understand what happened in the end.— And how to be with a real orchestra?— It is not, we only need the concertmaster — I chose piano pieces by Schubert: the six “Musical moments”, Allegretto in C minor, four “Impromptus”. The beginning — the first part of the g major Sonata, but I have not had. At first I didn’t even know if we would show our work. I was critical of the act of creative collaboration. We have in the play will not be specially made scenery and costumes — now it’s impossible. And it doesn’t matter. Everything should be very simple. I decided to use the white wall from my “Anna Karenina”. Maybe the Ghost of Anna appears in the ballet, maybe will flicker and ghosts from my other productions: “Ladies with camellias”, “Nijinsky”…— …explaining the name of the ballet “Ghost light.”— But not exhausting. “Ghost light” is a theatrical term that traces back to the Victorian theatre. At the end of a rehearsal or performance work were left on the scene, one light source — an ugly lamp on the stand or the cord. She lights all night — against evil spirits or ghosts, I don’t know. But this tradition still exists in America, in all theaters of Broadway the night is burning “Ghost light.” For me it is very symbolic: it is as if the eternal light as the lamps in the churches. He tells us that theater is also a temple, is still alive in our faith.— How many viewers can watch “Ghost light”?— We are going to show it in the September-October, but I don’t know how many performances: everything changes so fast. Our hall can accommodate 1,600 people, but invite, probably only 400. Under the rules, every second row and two or three places between the audience would havebe blank.— What premiere the Hamburg ballet was canceled because of a pandemic?— Christopher Wheeldon had to move their “Winter Wonderland”, it goes in your Large theatre. In my opinion, a very successful ballet. We are also going to resume my “hamlet”, March 13, just before the closing of the theater, was held last rehearsal. Don’t know when we’ll be able to show in “hamlet” very large orchestra, and with this problem right now.— In your career you put almost two hundred ballets. How do you decide which one to renew?— A purely emotional choice. Just feel: right now I have to see “hamlet” on the stage. But since I’m still alive, this “hamlet” will be different from what I did ten years ago. I hope we will be able to finish.— Did you save the company or it will have to be cut?— We became even a little more. At Hamburg ballet employs a group of students, who are given six months on probation. I had left for another six months because they are unable to travel to cities and countries to be viewed in other company. Staff and dancers has received approximately 90% of his salary: the government has provided assistance to the Opera theater, and Opera from its budget even pay extra.— Now like to say that after the pandemic the world will never be the same. What do you think?— I believe that the ballet world is still the same. Now very difficult time and the near future will be difficult. But when you receive the vaccine and we’ll be safe ballet theatre will flourish, and will not change. Because nothing beats the importance of live performance, with happiness to see living people dancing in front of you now, in this moment, and not on the computer screen. It’s a very strong emotional moment when you see on the stage the risk of immediate execution. It seems to me, there is a real hunger at the normal theater. Believe that that fire that I’m trying to support his new ballet, not a glimmer, and burns.— Tell us about your collection of ballet artifacts — the largest private collection in the world. Pandemic prevented collecting?— On the contrary, had plenty of time to parse and organize the things which did not reach the hands. Because the collection is constantly expanding. Recently, I found so much awesome! Many rare materials about Lifar. Two huge album of 90 photographs of him, his family and dancers of the era. Perhaps it’s the albums from the archive of the Petipa. Many letters, most important, I think, but they are in Russian. By the way, I very much needed by Russian explorers.— Where did you find such rarities?— In Paris I bought. Everyone knows I’m a mad collector, so if someone sees something or hears, immediately gives me this information. We hope ��Hamburg still create the center for the study of the history of dance and find a rather large room, which could accommodate my collection and a library.