Friday, February 22, 2013

Hannah Beach to join the Hamburg Ballet

Congratulations to Next Generation Ballet (NGB) alum Hannah Beach who has recently accepted an apprentice position with the Hamburg Ballet for the fall.

Photo by Johan Persson
“I am really excited. The director, John Neumeier, is one of the best choreographers around,” said Beach, who has been taking classes at the Conservatory this week with former NGB instructors Peter Stark and Ivonne Lemus.

Beach, 17, is currently in the third year program at the Royal Ballet School (RBS) in London. She’s in town for a short break before returning to London.

“It’s so nice to come home to the family, and Mr. Peter and Ms. Ivonne. I miss them so much when I’m in classes (at RBS),” said Beach.

Beach left Next Generation Ballet at age 16 to study at RBS, where she excelled in her first year and skipped the second year of RBS’s three-year program.

Last fall, she was one of only five students chosen to perform with Royal Ballet’s professional company as part of their Corp de Ballet.

“Performing with Royal Ballet was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. It’s completely changed my life,” said Beach.

She was in 21 performances of Swan Lake and 21 performances of The Nutcracker.

“It was really nerve wracking. You don’t want to mess up as a student, especially in Swan Lake....we all have to look the exact same,” said Beach.

In The Nutcracker, she got to stand out a bit more. “I was one of only eight of the Corp for the Waltz of the Flowers. It was really nice. You could definitely see me on stage.”

Of course, a demanding performance schedule takes its toll, both physically and emotionally.

“It was hard because they perform every night, but it’s worth it. Especially at the end, bowing on stage with the principal dancers,” she beamed.

Performing in The Nutcracker also meant she couldn’t come home for Christmas.

“It’s been a challenge, but Skype is very helpful,” said Felicia Beach, Hannah’s mother.

Felicia and Hannah feel that Hamburg Ballet seems like the right fit for her.

Neumeier, the company director, is internationally known for his choreography.

While many companies perform classic choreography, Hamburg Ballet exclusively performs Neumeier’s choreography, providing a rare opportunity for its dancers to be able to work with the choreographer directly.

“He has his own style. He choreographs all their ballets,” said Hannah.

Sisters Hannah, left, and Gabi, right
pursue ballet careers. Hannah will join
the Hamburg Ballet company in the
fall and Gabi will join the Royal Ballet
It’s an exciting year for many of our students. Three NGB students, including Hannah’s sister Gabi, have been accepted to RBS, and NGB new artist William Dugan will join Hannah in Germany as he joins the School of the Hamburg Ballet. Gabi will attend RBS this fall.

With two young daughters overseas this fall (Gabi is only 15), it will be a big adjustment for Felicia, an accountant, and husband John, who works for Raytheon. 

“Gabi’s leaving a year younger than her sister did, that makes me anxious...But mostly we’re very thankful that the girls are having the education from Royal Ballet, and happy they’ve been able to learn from Peter and Ivonne. There’s no way they would have gotten there without them,” said Felicia. “I’ll just have to log a lot of frequent flyer miles.”

Best of luck to both Hannah and Gabi as they embark on new adventures this fall!

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