Ballet Nacional de Cuba is one of the most prestigious dance ensembles in the world and plays an important role in the whole Latin American culture.
The artistic level and technical excellence of its dancers coupled with the innovativeness and variety of the artistic vision of its choreographers earned the ballet a place among the best world-class ensembles.
Its foundation in 1948 was mainly triggered off by Alicia Alonso, who was also its central member. In 1950 the National Ballet School of Alicia Alonso was established as a supplement to the activities of the professional ensemble. The artistic direction of the ensemble initially followed classical and romantic movements, but at the same time supported the creators who found inspiration in national and contemporary trends.
Even in the early stages, the ensemble staged productions of Diaghilev’s Russian ballets such as Petrushka or The Afternoon of a Faun, as well as ballets by Cuban choreographers such as Fiesta Negra, Sóngoro Cosongo, Sombras, along with full-length ballets such as Giselle, Swan Lake, or Coppélia.
The 1959 revolution also marked a new beginning for Cuban ballet. That year the Ballet Nacional de Cuba was officially founded as part of the new cultural program. Since then it has grown to unimaginable proportions enriching its repertoire and encouraging the development of young dancers, choreographers, teachers and other artists. It also encouraged painters and musicians, including those who did not work in the dance field. In addition to improving its classical repertoire, the Ballet Nacional de Cuba has also been a powerful impetus for the rapidly growing community of choreographers, some of whom have achieved world-class quality and prestige.
In addition to its intensive appearances in Cuba, where the ballet has become popular among all strata of the population, the Ballet Nacional de Cuba travels around the world every year, including most European, Asian, and American states. It has also won major awards such as the Grand Prix de la Ville de Paris, or the Order of Félix Varela of the Republic of Cuba, as well as outstanding reviews by dance critics of all the countries it has visited. Many of its dancers have been awarded at international festivals and competitions.
Ballet Nacional de Cuba je stelesnením estetiky kubánskej baletnej školy. Tá mieša dedičstvo stáročnej divadelnej tradície s esenciálnymi elementmi miestnej kultúry a vytvára tak čosi skutočne kubánske.
The Ballet Nacional de Cuba is the embodiment of the aesthetics of the Cuban ballet school which mixes the legacy of a centuries-old theatre tradition with the essential elements of local culture creating, thus, something truly Cuban.
Luis Ariam Arencibia – Born in Villa Clara province, he began dancing at the Olga Alonso Art School and continued at the National Art Academy in Havana under the leadership of renowned professors.
After completing his studies in 2013, he became a member of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba under the artistic direction of Alicia Alonso where he performed in productions of classical repertoire such as Giselle, Don Quixote, Swan Lake, or Nutcracker, as well as in modern productions like Tierra y Luna, or Vestida de Nit by Spanish choreographer Marie Rovira; Prosper by English choreographer Cathy Marsthon, Prologue for a Tragedy by Canadian choreographer Brian McDonald, and Rara Avis by Cuban choreographer Albert Méndez. With the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, he regularly travels around the world on tours.
Claudia Garcia – First soloist of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba.
Born in Havana, she started dancing as a three-year-old at the Pro-Danza Ballet Workshop and continued her studies to the National Ballet School under the leadership of professors such as Ramona de Sáa, Ana Julia Bermúdez, or Mirta Hermida.
During her studies she completed several internships in the Republic of South Africa and Mexico. She has received prestigious awards, such as the Silver Medal from the International Academic Encounters for the Teaching of Ballet competition held in Havana in 2014. She graduated with a gold diploma.
In the same year she joined the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, with which she performed in North and South America and Europe. She also represented the ensemble at the Campeche Gala in Mexico. In 2018 she became the first soloist of the ensemble. Her repertoire includes romantic-classical works as well as contemporary works by Cuban and foreign choreographers.
It was established in 1996 under the guidance of Masako Hirata and it is the only institution of its kind in Thailand.
Its intention has always been to enrich Thai dancers with experience and today the ensemble celebrates two decades of giving away the enthusiasm of dancing.
The ensemble, whose respect grows both in East Asia and beyond, features both classic and modern productions. In recent years, it has worked with many world-renowned artists with whom it has produced world-class productions in Bangkok: Nutcracker (2003) with The Australian Ballet, Don Quixote (2007) with Paris Opera Ballet, Romeo and Juliet (2008) with Paris Opera Ballet and Asami Maki Ballet, BCB Contemporary Performance (2010) with Geneva Grand Theatre Ballet, Nutcracker (2012) with the Paris Opera Ballet, La Sylphide (2013) with English National Ballet and others. With its uncompromising energy, innovativeness and diversity, BCB has established itself as a company that competes with the best ballet companies in the world. BCB has also founded the Bangkok City Ballet School, supported by the Thai Ministry of Culture, to educate the next generation of talented artists with a broad cultural range.
Sarassanan Chaisinlapin was born in Chiang Mai, Thailand and started dancing at the age of 4. She has participated in many dance competitions in Thailand and overseas, where she has won awards in several dance styles: classical ballet, neoclassical ballet, jazz, and contemporary dance.
She first performed in Bangkok City Ballet as a soloist in 2009. Since 2011 she has been the first soloist of the company. Her repertoire includes productions of Don Quixote, Coppélia, Raymonda, Swan Lake, Flower Festival in Genzano, The Sleeping Beauty, or La Bayadère. In addition to ballet, she is also active as a dancer in productions of new promising choreographers.
The beginnings of ballet in today’s Estonia date back to 1914. The first full-length ballet was introduced to the repertoire of the National Opera in 1922 and since 1926 there has been a permanent dance ensemble in the Estonian National Opera. Under the leadership of Rahel Olbrei, in the first half of the 20th century, it got its artistic shape thanks to classical productions that helped to establish the ballet group artistically. Its other artistic director, Anna Ekston, founded the Estonian National Ballet School (now Tallinn Ballet School) in 1946.
In 1954 the production of Swan Lake directed by the Russian ballet grandmaster Vladimír Burmeister became ground-breaking. The production shone thanks to Helmi Puur, who played the Odette and Odile parts.
In the second half of the 20th century, young choreographers and their progressive works began to play a prominent role in the Estonian National Ballet program. Shchedrin’s Carmen (1969) and Anna Karenina (1973) were the best performances of Enn Suve, who led the ensemble as its artistic director in 1967-1973.
For over a quarter of a century, the Estonian National Ballet was led by Mai Murdmaa (1974-2001), who put her own stamp on the troupe. Her work dealt mainly with philosophical-existential themes and her choreography often used 20th century music, including domestic authors. From world-famous names she used the music of Sergei Prokofiev, Igor Stravinsky, Arvo Pärt, Maurice Ravel, Béla Bartók, or George Gershwin. The artistically rich work of Mai Murdmaa turned the dancers of the Estonian National Ballet into complex artistic personalities exceptional not only for their technique and physical readiness, but also for their convincing acting skills.
Since 2009, Thomas Edur has been the artistic director of the Estonian National Ballet. Under his direction the troupe has travelled with great success throughout Europe, the Middle East, East Asia, and Russia.
He graduated from the private dance school Fouette in Tallinn (2001) and the Tallinn Ballet School (2010). Since the same year he has been a member of the Estonian National Ballet. In the 2013/2014 season he was also a soloist of the Eifman Ballet in St. Petersburg, Russia, and since 2014 he has been its guest soloist. His repertoire includes the main characters in both classic, neoclassical, and modern works. In 2018 he made his debut in the Estonian National Ballet as a choreographer with a short ballet “Keep a Light in the Window” to the music by Arthur Lemba, Lepo Sumera, and Sasha Pushkin. In 2012 he won the Crystal Shoe, in 2013 the annual Estonian Dance Union Prize and in 2018 the Estonian Theatre Prize for his roles of Alan in A Streetcar Named Desire and Hilarion in Adam’s Giselle. In the same year he received the same award for the choreography of his ballet “Keep a Light in the Window”.
The National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet in Lviv opened for the first time on October 4, 1900. The premiere of the opera Janek on the life of the Carpathian highlanders was attended by writer H. Sienkiewicz, composer J. Paderewski, and delegations of theatres from all over Europe. The intention was to build a large theatre of national importance in the west of Ukraine.
The first opera performance at the then Grand City Theatre took place in 1921 and it was Swan Lake by P.I. Tchaikovsky.
In 1939, the theatre was renamed the Lviv State Theatre of Opera and Ballet, and artists from the leading USSR art schools began to join its ranks. At that time, the repertoire of the theatre began to expand to include works by Ukrainian composers. The theatre continued to function even during World War II.
During the post-war period, the repertoire of the theatre grew also thanks to the works of domestic, Ukrainian composers like M. Lysenko, M. Verikivsky, B. Lyatoshynsky and others. The works of Russian composers such as e.g. P. Tchaikovsky or N. Rimsky-Korsakov also played an important role.
From 1956, the theatre name has featured Ivan Frank (renamed to commemorate the centenary of his birth). And since 1961, when it gained its academic status, the name of the theatre has been renamed. In 2000, when the theatre celebrated 100 years of its existence, it got the name of Lviv’s native and exceptional soprano Solomiya Krushelnytska, and after five years, the President of Ukraine awarded the theatre the title “national”. Over the past 20 years, the National Academy of Opera and Ballet has successfully performed in China, Spain, Mexico, Portugal, Switzerland, England, France, Austria, and Poland.
The internationally successful dance artist Victor Ullate gave his name to the Madrid ensemble in 1988. Thirteen years later, in 2001, Eduardo Lao became the artistic director and the union of the two men brought the ensemble to extraordinary international success.
As the most successful independent dance ensemble of Spain, the Victor Ullate Ballet Madrid has gained a reputation at home and abroad not only for its innovative works, but also for the quality of its dancers. The long-term reputation allows the company to choose top professional dancers who have in many cases already started a successful career. Names such as Marie-Claude Pietragalla, Carole Arbo, Joan Boada, as well as flamenco dancer Antonio Márquez have been featured in the productions of the troupe. The intellectuals of the Francisco Nieva or Vicente Molina Foix format wrote librettos specifically for the Victor Ullate Ballet. The ensemble has also collaborated with leading avant-garde composers such as Luis Delgado.
The repertoire of Victor Ullate Ballet covers all aspects of modern ballet of the past 25 years. Works such as Giselle, or Don Quixote, in Victor Ullate’s innovative designs, have captivated critics all over the world and are still an important reference to Spanish ballet of the world-class quality. The New York critic Clive Barnes said: “It works. Just look at these dancers. Spain is no longer “just” a flamenco country”.
The program of the group also includes international choreographies by authors such as George Balanchine, Maurice Béjart, Hans Van Manen, Jan Linkens, Nils Christie, William Forsythe, and Micha Van Hoecke.
Maurice Béjart utterly handed over his works The Firebird, Webern Opus 5, Seven Greek Dances, Nomos Alpha, and Bakthi – a list of masterpieces that, in addition to Béjart’s own ensemble, featured only Victor Ullate Ballet, Paris Opera, and Tokyo Ballet.
A Spanish prima ballerina, a former first soloist of the Bayerisches Staatsballett in Munich. She is the holder of the Prix Benois de la Danse and in 2011 she was declared the dancer of the decade at the World Ballet Stars Gala in St. Petersburg.
She studied at the Victor Ullate Ballet School and quickly became a member of the Victor Ullate Ballet. Already at the age of 15 she appeared in the performance of Allegro Brillante by George Ballanchin. Later she worked as the first soloist in Ballet de Marseille, where she performed the role of Esmeralda in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. After three years she was engaged in the San Francisco Ballet, where she performed in several modern and classical ballets, among others in Giselle by Helgi Tómasson.
She moved from San Francisco to Munich, where she was the first soloist to appear with the ensemble worldwide. Her exceptional roles include Princess Natalie and Princess Odetta in Illusions – Like Swan Lake by John Neumeier, Catherine in The Taming of the Shrew by John Crank and Hippolyte / Titania in Neumeier’s Midsummer Night’s Dream.
In 2002 she received the Nijinsky Award, in 2003 the Prix Benois de la Danse at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow for her role as Tatiana in Crank’s Onegin, and in 2011 she was declared the dancer of the decade at the World Ballet Stars Gala in St. Petersburg.
The ballet of the Slovak National Theatre began to write its history in May 1920 with the performance of Delibes’ Coppélia and Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances. They were presented in choreographies by Václav Kalina on the stage of the then City Opera in Bratislava, built according to Viennese architects Helmer and Fellner. Many dance and choreographic personalities have been in charge of the ballet, such as: Václav Kalina, Achille Viscusi, Ella Fuchsová-Lehotská, Vladimir Pirnikov, Bohumil Relský, Maximilián Froman, Bedřich Fussegger, Rudolf Macharovský, Stanislav Remar, Jozef Zajko, Boris Slovák, Karol Tóth, Gabriela Zahradníková, Jozef Sabovčík, Emil Bartko, Mário Radačovský, currently the head of the ballet is Jozef Dolinský. In the creation of the first ballet scene, foreign choreographers, especially Czech choreographers, put a significant stamp on the ballet group, and later, after the establishment of the dance school, it was mainly domestic authors. Since the 1960s, the ballet of the Slovak National Theatre has been developing a line of original ballet works by the choreographers: Jozef Zajko, Stanislav Remar, Karol Tóth, Pavel Šmok, Jozef Dolinský Senior, Libor Vaculík, Ondrej Šoth, Robert Balogh, Igor Holováč, Ján Ďurovčík, Daniel de Andrade, Natália Horečná, etc. Currently, the ballet collaborates with major European authors such as Vasilij Medvedev, Youri Vámos, Natália Horečná, Boris Eifman. We also develop cooperation with renowned music composers Peter Breiner, Carl Davis, and others. Important dance personalities have also left their mark on the history of the ballet such as: Jozef Zajko, Augusta Herényiová, Trúda Tašká-Boudová, Titus Pomšár, Ondrej Halász, Jozef Dolinský st., Ján Haľama, Zoltán Nagy, Gabriela Zahradníková, Nora Gallovičová, Igor Holováč, Jozef Dolinský, Nikoleta Stehlíková, Romina Kołodziej, Andrej Szabo, Adrian Ducin, and others. Today, the internationally composed ensemble consists of seventy dancers of fifteen nationalities.
Olga Chelpanova graduated from the Art School of the Republic of Komi, the Choreographic Institute of Art in Syktyvkar and the Moscow University GITIS. She was the first soloist of the National Opera Ballet in Yoshkar-Ola. She has been with the Slovak National Theatre Ballet since 2017, and since 2018 she has been the first soloist of the ballet. She portrayed the main characters in the ballets Giselle, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Esmeralda, Corsair, Don Quixote, Bayadère, Chopiniana. Her repertoire also includes titles such as Carmen from the Carmen Suite, Amor from Carmina Burana, Spartacus, Romeo and Juliet, The Master and Margarita. In the Slovak National Theatre Ballet she portrays the main characters in classic titles by Rafael Avnikjan: Odelia-Odette in Swan Lake, Masha in The Nutcracker and the main character in the romantic ballet Giselle.
She is a multiple winner of the international Arabesque competition in Russia. In 2008 she won a bronze medal at the Galina Ulanova Ballet Competition in Krasnoyarsk. A year later she became a laureate of the Yvan Kyrl theatre competition, where she won the prize for the best interpretation of the classical repertoire for the character of Cinderella. In the same year she received a diploma from the Ministry of Culture and a journalistic prize from the Republic of Mari. She received awards for classical repertoire parts: Princess Aurora of The Sleeping Beauty by P. I. Tchaikovsky, Esmeralda in the ballet by C. Pugni, Margarita in The Master and Margarita, as well as Medor of Corsair. She won the Prize for the most outstanding artistic growth and expressiveness (2012) at the Arabesque competition in Perm, and at the Grigorovich International Competition she won the third place. In 2014, she won the main prize at an international competition in Korea.
Konstantin Korotkov graduated from the IS Palant Academy of Culturology and Art in Yoshkar-Ola (Republic of Mari) and the Moscow GITIS University with a solo diploma. After school, he was engaged as the first soloist in the National Opera Ballet in Yoshkar-Ola. Since 2017 he has been a soloist at the Slovak National Theatre Ballet and since 2018 he has been the first soloist. He has performed dozens of characters such as: Siegried in Swan Lake, Basil in Don Quixote, Albert in Giselle, Conrad in Corsair, Colin in La fille Mal Gardeé, Prince in Cinderella, Demetrius and Puck in The Midsummer Night’s Dream, Solor in the ballet Bayadère, Fébus in the ballet Esmeralda by C. Pugni, but also Prince Désiré in the ballet The Sleeping Beauty and the classic version of the ballet Romeo and Juliet, José from the suite Carmen, Spartacus, etc. In the Ballet of the Slovak National Theatre he dances the main characters in the works of choreographers – Rafael Avnikjan (Swan Lake, The Nutcracker), Daniel de Andrade (Nijinsky – Dance God), Boris Eifman (Beyond Sin / The Karamazov Brothers).
In 2007 he was awarded a prize at the Talent of the Republic of Mari and a year later he was awarded the prize for the interpretation of the contemporary work – the ballet Polyphony. In 2008 he won a theatre prize at the Kyrlya International Competition and he won a silver medal at the Galina Ulanova Competition in Krasnoyarsk. He won the third place at the International Grigorovich Competition (2012). In 2013 he won the main prize for the character of Konrad from the ballet Corsair. In 2014 he won the main prize for the Master in The Master and Margarita ballet. He has been a laureate of the Arabesque competition three times. He holds an honorary degree in art and culture from the Republic of Mari.
The Ballet of the National Theatre Brno is the second largest ballet company in the Czech Republic. It consists of almost 50 members from 16 countries. The repertoire of the Ballet of the National Theatre Brno is very varied, featuring both classical ballets (Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Bayadèra), as well as modern works by world choreographers such as George Balanchine, Jiří Kylián, or Nacho Duato.
Since 2013, Mário Radačovský has been the artistic director of the ballet of the National Theatre in Brno.
Black And White is a modern staging of the flagship of the classical repertoire – Swan Lake. It is one of the most played ballets in the world. The Ballet of the National Theatre Brno version has been a success in the US and it represents the present-day. It is an attempt to bring this work closer to the young generation by looking at it from a different angle, denying all traditions and visually reshaping Swan Lake as such. The classic ballet adaptation is dominated by ballerina characters (the main double of Odette – Odile), so it is mainly a testimony of the female element. The version of the Ballet of the National Theatre Brno presents Swan Lake from the perspective of the main character Prince Siegfried, who goes through a difficult life situation associated with the treatment of a serious disease – cancer. Sometimes a second is enough and life turns upside down…
Ballet has a long history in Stuttgart. Long before the founding of today’s Stuttgart Ballett Theater, Stuttgart was the centre of dance in Europe. To date, this theatre is considered the most important in Germany. Since 1961, John Cranko has been its director, and a new era begun. Since 1969 it has been called Stuttgart Ballet and the group has been known worldwide for its activities. The theatre has won many awards during its existence, such as the Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievements and Contribution to Dance in 1981.
The first soloists of the Stuttgart Ballet are the Slovaks: Miriam Novitzká née Káčerová and Roman Novitzký, who have classical and modern works in their repertoires and belong to the world dance leaders. The soloists form a couple not only on stage but also in their private lives.
Miriam Novitzká née Káčerová
Miriam Novitzká née Káčerová was born in Trnava. She studied at the Dance Conservatory in Bratislava from 1993 to 2001. Subsequently, she continued her studies at the Académie de Danse Classique of Princess Grace in Monaco, where she successfully completed her studies in 2004. In January 2004 she was admitted as a chorine in Zurich Ballet where she worked with Heinz Spoerli. In 2005 she became a member of the Stuttgart Ballet Corps, where she was later promoted to a demi-soloist in 2010/2011 and in early 2013 to a soloist and in the 2014-2015 season she became the prima ballerina.
Her repertoire includes the title characters: Giselle, Julie in Romeo and Juliet, Tatiana in Onegin (by John Cranko) and Desdemona in Othello, Margarita in Dame with Camellias (by John Neumeier), as well as Lilac Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty (by Marcia Haydée), and Bianca in The Taming of the Shrew (by John Cranko).
In addition, she danced in the works of many well-known choreographers such as George Balanchine, Frederick Ashton, Kenneth MacMillan, Glen Tetley, and collaborated with choreographers such as Jiři Kylian, William Forsythe, Hans van Manen, Marco Goecke. The choreographers who created a role directly for Miriam included Mauro Bigonzetti, Jorma Elo, Douglas Lee, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Demis Volpi, and Christian Spuck.
Roman Novitzký was born in Bratislava, he studied at the Eva Jaczova Dance Conservatory in Bratislava, which he finished in 2003. He immediately became a member of the Slovak National Theatre Ballet, where he worked for six years and where he achieved the position of the first soloist and his repertoire included characters from classical as well as modern ballets like Swan Lake, Bayadère, The Sleeping Beauty, La Sylphide, Caligula, Spartacus, Ivan the Terrible, and others…. In the role of Spartacus in the production by Ján Ďurovčík he made significant contributions to the Slovak dance scene. The guest appearances took him to Japan, Taiwan, and Canada. In the 2009/2010 season, Roman Novitzký became a member of the Stuttgart Ballet in Stuttgart, Germany. In the 2011/12 season he was promoted to the position of a demi-soloist and in the 2013/14 season to the soloist of the ballet. In the 2015/2016 season he became the First Soloist. In 2012 he started to work as a choreographer, his choreographies became part of the repertoire of the Stuttgart Ballet, the Korean National Ballet, the Innsbruck Ballet and many gala performances. Roman Novitzký is also one of the official photographers of the Stuttgart ballet.
His repertoire includes the main characters in John Cranko’s ballets, including the title characters in Onegin, Paris and Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet, Lucentio and Hortensio in The Taming of the Shrew, and Officer in The Lady and the Fool. He also danced the lead role in Kenneth MacMillan’s Song of the Earth and Requiem, Gurn in La Sylphide (by Peter Schaufuss after Bournonville), des Grieux in The Lady of the Camellias (by John Neumeier), Jose Antonio in Don Quixote (by Maximiliano Guerra), and The Master in Krabat (by Demis Volpi). His repertoire includes works by world-famous names such as George Balanchine, Maurice Béjart, Glen Tetley, Hans van Manen, Jiří Kylián, Wayne McGregor and Jorma Elo. Internationally renowned choreographers such as Mauro Bigonzetti, Edward Clug, Marco Goecke, Christian Spuck and Demis Volpi have also created special roles for Roman.