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Portraits

Dancing through the Day – with Peter Breuer

Choreographer, organizer, communicator, confidant – Peter Breuer plays all of these roles as ballet director at the Salzburger Landestheater.

He actually began dancing at the tender age of just eleven. When he was 42 he departed the stage, buying himself a farmhouse in order to indulge his need for a personal rural oasis. But after just two months, he was drawn back to the theater. The crowning moment of his almost 25 years as director of the Salzburg ballet company was when he was awarded the German Dance Prize for his life’s work. A life which also brims with humor, passion for dance, as well as empathy for his male and female dancers.

So, what does a typical day in the life of a busy artist – whose career led him to England, the United States, Japan and Australia, before finally settling down in Salzburg – actually look like? For Peter Breuer, the day begins quietly. Over breakfast, a cup of coffee and the latest news, he prepares himself for the day ahead.

By nine o’clock you will find him in the studio, taking care of administrative matters. Mornings are also the time when rehearsals begin for spectacular new dance programs. The room is in total commotion, three languages are spoken simultaneously – but when the boss enters the room, all eyes are focused squarely on him. Peter Breuer’s workplace is a pulsating stage for opera, theater and ballet. The top-caliber repertoire of the Landestheater is also esteemed well beyond Salzburg itself. Close partnerships link the Landestheater with the Salzburg Marionette Theater, the Mozarteum Orchestra as well as the Salzburg Festival, which uses the building in summer for performances of its own.

By noon, the dancers and ballet director finally have a moment to catch their breath – it is definitely time for a break! Peter Breuer spends that time in his office, snacking on jam and bread, and adapting musical pieces over the phone with a composer. Later, the day’s program continues with sweat-inducing pirouettes and passionate pas de deux formations – with the ballet director in the midst of it all. After the company has rehearsed the new choreography, the workday is over for the dancers. Peter Breuer, on the other hand, now prepares the schedule for the next several days, and works with his “music guy” to cut the songs down to a suitable length.

With his work at the theater completed, his relaxation phase begins – coffee with the family, a pleasant stroll or a good book. Sometimes Peter Breuer even treats himself to a massage, also a perfect opportunity to mull over the many events of the day.

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