World Class BalletsBy
The Bolshoi Ballet
The Bolshoi Ballet is one of the oldest ballet schools in the world. This school’s history can be traced back to 1776. This extraordinary troupe considers the Bolshoi Theatre to be its home. It is one of the largest ballet’s corps in the world with more than 200 dancers. Since it is so large, it often operates two separate corps de ballet.
This company has had a long-standing rivalry with the Mariinsky ballet and has struggled to create its own identity. Many experts attribute the company’s identity with Alexander Gorsky. Alexander became the Ballet Master of this group in 1900. It was he who led the troupe towards a bolder and more relaxed style than its rival.
This world-class ballet company is also known as the Imperial Russian Ballet and the Kirov Ballet. Founded in 1740, it is one of the oldest ballets in the world. This company makes its home in St. Petersburg, Russia. Their principal venue is the Mariinsky Theatre.
This is a large ballet with more than 200 hundred dancers. Many of its dancers learn their craft at the Vaganova Ballet Academy. In fact, the Mariinsky ballet is recognized as being the parent company of the school. The school is known throughout the world as one of the leading places for a person to study the classical ballet.
The Royal Ballet
There are actually four world-class ballet companies in England. The Royal Ballet is the largest of these. Based at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, this troupe received a royal charter in 1956. The company has more than 100 dancers and is closely tied to the Royal Ballet School.
Founded in 1931 by Dame Ninettte de Valois, who was an Irish born dancer and choreographer. She established the company along with the Birmingham Royal Ballet and the Royal Ballet School. In 1925, Dame Ninete was hired by Lilian Baylis to stage dance performances at the Sadler’s Wells Theatre and the Old Vic. Both locations were owned by Lilian. Lilian lost the Old Vic, in 1939, both companies danced at the Sadler’s Wells. This situation continued until 1946, when the Royal Ballet was invited to move to Covent Garden.
Today both companies are completely independent, each having their own charters and their own venues.
Royal Winnipeg Ballet
The oldest ballet company in Canada is the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. This ballet was founded in 1939 by Betty Farrally and Gwyneth Lloyd. The company was the first company granted the “royal” title by Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.
This company considers Winnipeg to be its home city, but they spend more than twenty weeks every year touring the world. However, when they are at home, the company dances at the Centennial Concert Hall.
The Paris Opera Ballet
The Paris Opera Ballet is the world’s oldest ballet company. It was founded in 1669 under the name of the Academie d’Opera. Since that time, the ballet company has had a number of different names, but they have been known as the Paris Opera Ballet since 1994.
The company considers Paris to be its home. When in Paris, this troupe dances at the Palais Garnier. The Palais Garnier was completed in 1875 and seats over 1, 900 guests.
The New York Ballet
The New York Ballet company was officially founded in 1948. However, it was the result of a number of merging ballet companies, including the American Ballet and the Ballet Caravan. This company calls both the Saratoga Performing Arts Center and the Lincoln Center’s David Koch Theatre home. They have the largest repertoire of any ballet company in the United States and o stage more than sixty different ballet’s productions in a year.