by Maria Demandt, Student, School of The Hamburg Ballet
My name is Maria Demandt, I go to John Neumeier’s Hamburg Ballet School in Germany. I originally come from the Netherlands, this is my second year in Hamburg.
I’ve been dancing since I can remember, but I started to do this on a real ‘ballet school’ when I was 10 years old. I made my decision to go for ballet after I saw the Dutch National Ballet performing ‘The Nutcracker’. I just loved everything about it and wanted to do that too.
An average day at school in Hamburg starts of course with a classical ballet class in the morning. Several days of the week the girls wear pointe shoes during class. After that there normally is another class, like modern or folklore, or variations. Most of the time we have rehearsals the rest of the day for upcoming shows with pieces by John Neumeier or choreographies by teachers from the school for sponsor performances. Actually there is always something going on for witch we need to rehears. Also, a lot of time goes to choreographies by the students and choreography class.
I like the fact that our schedule is actually never the same, no negative routine!
Germany is a very artistic country although it is not especially known for that. There are more then 60 dance companies in Germany, the government spends a lot of money on culture.
Learning a piece of choreography created by a fellow student is for me very inspiring, because it is closer to you, I mean, you are more on one level with the choreographer. The atmosphere is less tense I think, you learn something from your friend and you know how to treat each other well. It happened to me a few times that you just can’t be serious anymore in a rehearsal, also the choreographer. I see this as a good thing; it adds something to the process of making the piece.