English National Ballet
English National Ballet is a classical ballet company founded by Dame Alicia Markova and Sir Anton Dolin and based at Markova House in South Kensington, England. Along with The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and Scottish Ballet, it is one of the four major ballet companies in Great Britain. English National Ballet is one of the foremost touring companies in Europe, performing in theatres throughout the UK as well as conducting international tours and performing at special events; the Company employs 67 dancers and a symphony orchestra, there is an associate school, English National Ballet School, independent from the ballet company. The Company performs seasons at the London Coliseum and has been noted for specially staged performances at the Royal Albert Hall. In 2014 English National Ballet became an Associate Company of Sadler's Wells; the Patron of English National Ballet is HRH The Duke of York. English National Ballet was founded in 1950 by the British dance couple, Alicia Markova and Anton Dolin.
Markova and Dolin were leading stars of the Ballets Russes, one of the most influential ballet companies of the 20th century. After the death of its director Serge Diaghilev in 1929, the Company was disbanded and in 1931, one of its dancers, Ninette de Valois, founded the Vic-Wells Ballet Company in London, with Markova and Dolin as Principal dancers, Markova becoming Prima Ballerina in 1933. Markova and Dolin left the Vic-Wells Ballet in 1935 to tour as the Markova-Dolin Company and following the success of their performances, they decided to form their own company with the sole purpose being to tour both nationally and internationally, taking ballet to audiences that had not had the opportunity to see the art form. London Festival Ballet was founded in 1950 with the financial backing of the Polish impresario Julian Braunsweg; the name was inspired by the imminent Festival of Britain, however the Company would be renamed to today's English National Ballet. Dolin was the Company's first Artistic Director and established the Company as a touring group both nationally in the UK and Internationally, touring abroad for the first time in 1951.
Dolin introduced a number of educational programs in the early years, designed to make ballet accessible to new audiences. Dolin remained as Artistic Director until 1962, succeeded by John Gilpin, principal dancer with the Company from 1950 to 1960 and 1962 to 1971; the Company grew in size and status, undertaking extensive national and international tours, presenting a new generation of dancers—all while facing bankruptcy. Braunsweg left in 1965 and Donald Albery took over until 1968, stabilising the budget with safer programming. Former Royal Ballet dancer Beryl Grey directed the Company from 1968 to 1979, raising technical standards and inviting prominent guest stars and choreographers including Leonide Massine and Rudolf Nureyev, who picked ballerina Eva Evdokimova to be his first Princess Aurora in his production of The Sleeping Beauty in 1975. Evdokimova in turn became the prima ballerina of the Company under Grey's leadership and continued to reign under successive directors John Field and Peter Schaufuss.
It was Evdokimova who suggested to change the name to English National Ballet to reflect the Company's role as Britain's only classical ballet company dedicated to touring ballets nationwide at an affordable price for audiences. The name change was implemented in 1989. Ivan Nagy, Derek Deane and Matz Skoog directed the Company before Wayne Eagling, former head of Dutch National Ballet, took over in 2006. In April 2012, following the February sudden announcement of resignation by Eagling, principal dancer for The Royal Ballet Tamara Rojo was announced to become his successor at the end of the 2012 season, in August of that year. Artistic Directors: Sir Anton Dolin, 1950–1962 John Gilpin, 1962–1968 Dame Beryl Grey, 1968–1979 John Field, 1979–1984 Peter Schaufuss, 1984–1990 Ivan Nagy, 1990–1993 Derek Deane, 1993–2001 Matz Skoog, 2001–2006 Wayne Eagling, 2006–2012 Tamara Rojo, 2012– The Company's dancers are listed on the official website with photographs and linked biographies. Osiel Gouneo Brooklyn Mack Michael Coleman Jane Haworth Official website Postings Strictly Gershwin at the Royal Albert Hall YouTube: English Ballet Company: Swan Lake
The Ballets Russes was an itinerant ballet company based in Paris that performed between 1909 and 1929 throughout Europe and on tours to North and South America. The company never performed in Russia. After its initial Paris season, the company had no formal ties there. Conceived by impresario Sergei Diaghilev, the Ballets Russes is regarded as the most influential ballet company of the 20th century, in part because it promoted ground-breaking artistic collaborations among young choreographers, composers and dancers, all at the forefront of their several fields. Diaghilev commissioned works from composers such as Igor Stravinsky, Claude Debussy, Sergei Prokofiev, artists such as Vasily Kandinsky, Alexandre Benois, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, costume designers Léon Bakst and Coco Chanel; the company's productions created a huge sensation reinvigorating the art of performing dance, bringing many visual artists to public attention, affecting the course of musical composition. It introduced European and American audiences to tales and design motifs drawn from Russian folklore.
The influence of the Ballets Russes lasts to the present day. The French plural form of the name, “Ballets Russes,” refers to the company founded by Sergei Diaghilev and active during his lifetime. In English, the company is now referred to as "the Ballets Russes", although in the early part of the 20th century, it was sometimes referred to as “The Russian Ballet” or “Diaghilev’s Russian Ballet.” To add to the confusion, some publicity material spelled the name in the singular. The names “Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo” and “The Original Ballet Russe” refer to companies that formed after Diaghilev's death in 1929. Sergei Diaghilev, the company's impresario, was chiefly responsible for its success, he was uniquely prepared for the role. In 1890, he enrolled at the Faculty of Law, St. Petersburg, to prepare for a career in the civil service like many Russian young men of his class. There he was introduced to a student clique of artists and intellectuals calling themselves The Nevsky Pickwickians whose most influential member was Alexandre Benois.
From childhood, Diaghilev had been passionately interested in music. However, his ambition to become a composer was dashed in 1894 when Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov told him he had no talent. In 1898, several members of The Pickwickians founded the journal Mir iskusstva under the editorship of Diaghilev; as early as 1902, Mir iskusstva included reviews of concerts and ballets in Russia. The latter were chiefly written by Benois, who exerted considerable influence on Diaghilev's thinking. Mir iskusstva sponsored exhibitions of Russian art in St. Petersburg, culminating in Diaghilev's important 1905 show of Russian portraiture at the Tauride Palace. Frustrated by the extreme conservatism of the Russian art world, Diaghilev organized the groundbreaking Exhibition of Russian Art at the Petit Palais in Paris in 1906, the first major showing of Russian art in the West, its enormous success created a Parisian fascination with all things Russian. Diaghilev organized a 1907 season of Russian music at the Paris Opéra.
In 1908, Diaghilev returned to the Paris Opéra with six performances of Modest Mussorgsky's opera Boris Godunov, starring basso Fyodor Chaliapin. This was Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's 1908 version; the performances were a sensation. In 1909, Diaghilev presented his first Paris "Saison Russe" devoted to ballet. Most of this original company were resident performers at the Imperial Ballet of Saint Petersburg, hired by Diaghilev to perform in Paris during the Imperial Ballet's summer holidays; the first season's repertory featured a variety of works chiefly choreographed by Michel Fokine, including Le Pavillon d'Armide, the Polovtsian Dances, Les Sylphides, Cléopâtre. The season included Le Festin, a pastiche set by several choreographers to music by several Russian composers; the principal productions are shown in the table below. When Sergei Diaghilev died of diabetes in Venice on 19 August 1929, the Ballets Russes was left with substantial debts; as the Great Depression began, its property was claimed by its creditors and the company of dancers dispersed.
In 1931, Colonel Wassily de Basil and René Blum founded the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, giving its first performances there in 1932. Diaghilev alumni Léonide Massine and George Balanchine worked as choreographers with the company and Tamara Toumanova was a principal dancer. Artistic differences led to a split between Blum and de Basil, after which de Basil renamed his company "Ballets Russes de Colonel W. de Basil". Blum retained the name "Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo". In 1938, he called it "The Covent Garden Russian Ballet" and renamed it the "Original Ballet Russe" in 1939. After World War II began, the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo left Europe and toured extensivel
Les Ballets Persans
Les Ballets Persans is the successor company and the recreation of the former Iranian National Ballet Company. Based in Sweden as a non-profit and non-governmental organization, Les Ballets Persans is an internationally touring dance ensemble founded by Nima Kiann, the Iranian born Swedish dancer, ballet master and dance scholar. Les Ballets Persans is known as The New Iranian National Ballet and has been regarded as the most extensive artistic Iranian project realized in exile. Since its establishment in 2002, Les Ballets Persans has been collaborating with national ballet ensembles of former USSR countries; the company has within its own productions introduced and promoted national ballet companies of Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan in the West for the first time after these countries’ independence following the fall of the Soviet Union. The project and concept of recreating the former Iranian National Ballet Company was introduced by Nima Kiann in 1998. During the forthcoming five years, a great number of cultural and artistic organizations, royalties, art patrons, cultural personalities, etc. were approached throughout Europe and the United States.
Inspired by the legendary Ballets Russes and Ballets Suedois, Les Ballets Persans was formed in exile to create inventive choreographies on three foundations. In order to implement the administrative tasks of the project and making preparations for the establishment of the new dance company, a Founder's Circle was formed in 2000 consisting of Marian Laurell, Lia Schubert, Dr. Karl Ryberg and Nima Kiann among other members; the Foundation of Les Ballet Persans was registered in Sweden in 2001. Considered as a vast integration and remarkable artistic project, the organization received funds from intercultural sponsors and various Swedish authorities such as Swedish National Office for Cultural Affairs, National Integration Office of Sweden, Cultural Administration of Stockholm County Council. Marita Ulvskog, the Culture Minister of Sweden expressed her admiration towards Kiann's efforts through a letter on February 21, 2000:... Please allow me to express my admiration for the energy and purposefulness with which you are equipped in order to pursue this project.
To give life to an artistic tradition after more than twenty years of interruption demands a willpower of the kind that only an indomitable yearning can give. This yearning to recreate what there has been, can be difficult to understand for us, who are not sharing the painful experience, behind; the World Premiere of Les Ballets Persans included four choreographies of Nima Kiann and two full-length ballets of prominent Azerbaijani choreographers Rafiga Akhundova and Maksud Mamedov. The Azeri masterworks were created during the Soviet Era and had been fallen into oblivion since their excerption from the repertoire of the National Ballet of Azerbaijan in 1970's and 1980's. Babek is a Spartacus like heroic ballet based on the story of Babak Khorramdin; the ballet was staged by Les Ballets Persans for the first time in the West. Seven Beauties, a one-act ballet based on Haft Peykar, the romantic epic of Nezami Ganjavi, a Persian 12th century poet. Les Ballet Persans had its World Premiere on October 7, 2002, at Cirkus Theatre in the Royal Djurgården, a late 19th century theater venue in the historical part of Stockholm.
The premiere production of the company involved 106 individuals from 22 nationalities. The dance company was unwillingly drawn into a political conflict between Azerbaijan and Sweden during its world premiere production; the conflict was provoked by an Iranian-Azerbaijani separatist movement. The movement based in Stockholm and active under the name of a cultural organization, came into contact with Les Ballets Persans's office a few weeks before the company's world premiere performance and claimed that by staging two ballets created by Azeri choreographers, Les Ballets Persans has attempted to confiscate national heritage of Azerbaijan; the association, being linked to the movement of Seyyed Ja'far Pishevari, made laud protests in the Media, provoked a verbal conflict between Azerbaijan and Iran and tried to disturb the production by threatening the dance company and its participating artists and dancers. While the Azerbaijan National Association in Stockholm denied in the Iranian and international Media any political agenda and connection to political sources in Baku, its representative in the Azerbaijanian capital inflamed the Ministry of Culture and some radical nationalistic cultural figures against Les Ballets Persans and the initiated collaboration between Azeri and Iranian artists.
The separatist movement demanded that a flag of Azerbaijan Republic would be put up in the proscenium during the performance. The demand was denied by the company and the separatist movement's leader, Ali Mullazadeh, threate
Iranian National Ballet Company
The Iranian National Ballet Company was Iran's only state ballet institution until the Islamic revolution of 1979 and the most known and recognized of all dance companies in the Middle East. It was existed during 21 years; the company, residing at Tehran's Roudaki Hall Opera, was disbanded in the aftermath of the Islamic revolution and was re-established 23 years in exile by Nima Kiann under the name of Les Ballets Persans in Sweden. The history of ballet in Iran started in 1928 when Madame Cornelli, a Russian immigrant who fled the Bolshevik revolution of 1917, started giving dance lessons in Tehran. There was no methodical ballet training. Part of each class was devoted to folk dances. A dance teacher was Madame Yelena, Sarkis Djanbazian who in 1933 and 1938 organized dance classes in the city of Tabriz and Qazvin; these newcomers expanded the European influenced dance scene in Iran by holding performances and dance classes of various style, including classical ballet, European folk dancing, the European partner dancing, etc.
In the early 1940s Nilla Cram Cook, who had vast knowledge in Eastern cultures and languages, was serving as the United States cultural attaché at the American Embassy in Tehran. During her time as the US culturаl attaché she became employed at the Ministry of Education and Propaganda, as director general of the Arts Department, her endeavors and great interest in Persian culture and literature resulted in the realization of the most extensive Iranian national dance project of the first half of the twentieth century. In 1946, Cram Cook founded the Studio of the Revival of the Iranian Ancient Arts, aiming to revive and restore the “forgotten” ancient Iranian performing arts. Most of the dances were based on Persian mythology. An important work by Cram Cook, The Caravan, was developed from a poem by Saadi and was performed in 1958 by the Iranian National Ballet; the dance troupe performed at functions at the American Embassy in Tehran and toured nationally and internationally, remaining active until around 1953.
In 1955, Mehrdad Pahlbod, the head of the Fine Arts department commissioned Nejad and Haideh Ahmadzadeh to start a ballet school on a professional basis aiming to raise native Iranian ballet dancers for a future national ballet company. The School was opened in 1956 in the premises of Tehran's Conservatory of Music. Two years in 1958, the Iranian National Ballet Company was established with Nejad Ahmadzadeh as its founding director; when the Fine Arts Department of Iran expanded and became The Ministry of Culture and Arts, Nejad Ahmadzadeh was appointed as director of the ballet academy, the ballet company and the National and Folk Music and Dance Ensemble, a sister company to the Iranian National Ballet Company using the same dancers to create and stage a nationally inspired repertoire. As institutionalizing ballet and bringing about a professional national ballet ensemble comparable to the ballet companies in the West had become a serious concern for the government, the Iranian monarch Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi had asked Dame Ninette de Valois to council on the formation of a ballet company during one of his official visits to London and after a command performance in his honor at the Royal Opera House.
In the summer of 1958, Dame Ninette de Valois was visiting Turkey where she had founded a ballet school. On the invitation of the Ministry of Culture and Arts, she prolonged her trip in order to visit the National Ballet Academy of Iran and budding company in Tehran. On her return to London, she sent Ann Cox followed by his wife Sandra Vane. Nicholas Beriozoff, Marion English-Delanian, Richard Brown and Robert and Jacqueline de Warren were sent by de Valois to teach and stage dances and short ballets for the ballet academy and company; the Iranian National Ballet Company developed to become the most renowned Iranian cultural institution during its tenure as the country's only ballet institution. Company productions were performed at official events and functions in the presence of the Royal family and invited national and international dignitaries; the company moved to the Roudaki Hall Opera upon its completion in 1967. The company repertoire included classical and contemporary ballets which were staged by invited guest choreographers and ballet masters from Europe and the United States.
The company established a close collaboration with dance institutions in Soviet Union, United States and Europe. The Royal Ballet, Royal Academy of Dance, Bolshoi Ballet, American Ballet Theatre were parts of a vast exchanging cultural program between the companies; some early works of the company were those choreographed by Nilla Cram Cook for the Revival of the Iranian Ancient Arts Ensemble which were restaged by Cram Cook's former dancers and Haideh Ahmadzadeh. Prominent and world-famous ballet dancers from renowned ballet companies of the world were invited to dance the principal roles of all great classical ballets. In order to keep the high standard of the productions the company relied on guest artists from abroad to perform the leading roles in most work premieres; the Iranian National Ballet Company started operating in 1958 with a dozen of dancers. The company grew to 50 dancers, one third of them Iranian natives; the rest of the company members came from Europe and the United States.
The civil unrest and political upheavals that c
Royal Danish Ballet
The Royal Danish Ballet is an internationally renowned classical ballet company, based at the Royal Danish Theatre in Kongens Nytorv, Denmark. It is one of the oldest ballet companies in the world and originates from 1748, when the Royal Danish Theatre was founded, it was organized in 1771 in response to the great popularity of French and Italian styles of dance. The company was founded with the opening of the Royal Danish Theatre, which has served as its home since that time; the Royal Danish Ballet school was founded in 1771 under the French ballet teacher Pierre Laurent, Then Vincenzo Galeotti developed it and August Bournonville founded his methodology for the school. From the outset, the Royal Danish Ballet employed some of the leading French and Italian dancers and choreographers. Within a few years of its founding, in 1771, the Royal Theater Ballet School or Royal Danish Ballet school was established to provide native dancers, of which one of the first was Anine Frølich. One of its early masters, Vincenzo Galeotti, is considered the veritable founder of the company.
He was master of the company from 1775 to 1816, introduced ballet d'action and prepared for the advent of romantic ballet. Galeotti is credited with choreographing Amors og Balletmesterens Luner, still part of the company's repertoire and is the world's oldest ballet still performed with its original choreography. Another major master of the troupe was the Danish dancer August Bournonville. During the half-century that Bournonville led the company, he choreographed some fifty ballets, of which about a dozen are still part of the company's repertoire; the works are influenced by the French school of dance, since Bournonville studied in that country, include key roles for male dancers, undoubtedly written with himself in mind. After his death, one of his successors, Hans Beck, used the basic steps he learned in Bournonville's classes to create the Bournonville school to teach contemporary dancers the tradition of the old master; the third great period of the Danish Royal Ballet came in 1932, when Harald Lander took over the helm of the corps.
Trained in the United States and the Soviet Union, he both adapted traditional ballets and choreographed original works for the company. He encouraged local choreographers, who went on to create prominent works that won international acclaim. Among them was Børge Ralov, who choreographed the first modern Danish Ballet, The Widow in the Mirror, in 1934, he trained many prominent international dancers, including Erik Bruhn. A prominent company director was Henning Kronstam. In the latter half of the 20th century, the Royal Danish Ballet underwent another transformation, with many internationally prominent choreographers, including George Balanchine, commissioned to work with it. Though modern works assumed important stature in the repertoire, the Ballet continued to remain loyal to its classical roots as well, earning it the reputation as one of the finest corps of dancers in the world, incorporating foreign as well as native-born talent. In 2007 the appointment of New York City Ballet principal dancer Nikolaj Hübbe as balletmaster was announced.
1748–1753 Des Larches 1755–1756 Neudin 1756–1763 Antonio Como 1763–1767 Antonio Sacco 1767–1768 Jean Baptiste Martin 1768–1770 Innocente Gambuzzi 1770–1771 Martini 1771–1772 Vincenzo Piatolli 1772–1773 Domenico Andriani 1773–1775 Vincenzo Piatolli 1775–1816 Vincenzo Galeotti 1816–1823 Antoine Bournonville 1823–1830 Pierre Larcher 1830–1877 August Bournonville 1877–1890 Ludvig Gade 1890–1894 Emil Hansen 1894–1915 Hans Beck 1915–1928 Gustav Uhlendorff 1928–1930 Kaj Smith 1930–1932 Victor Schiøler 1932–1951 Harald Lander 1951–1956 Niels Bjørn Larsen 1956–1958 Frank Schaufuss 1958–1960 Henning Rohde 1961–1966 Niels Bjørn Larsen 1966–1978 Flemming Flindt 1978–1985 Henning Kronstam 1985–1994 Frank Andersen 1994–1995 Peter Schaufuss 1995–1997 Johnny Eliasen 1997–1999 Maina Gielgud 1999–2002 Aage Thordal-Christensen 2002–2008 Frank Andersen 2008– Nikolaj Hübbe Royal Danish Theatre Bournonville website Photoblog by David Amzallag Guide to the Royal Danish Ballet Photograph Album on the Premiere of Giselle.
Special Collections and Archives, The UC Irvine Libraries, California. Archival footage of the Royal Danish Ballet performing Konservatoriet at Jacob's Pillow, July 1955
Montreal is the most populous municipality in the Canadian province of Quebec and the second-most populous municipality in Canada. Called Ville-Marie, or "City of Mary", it is named after Mount Royal, the triple-peaked hill in the heart of the city; the city is centred on the Island of Montreal, which took its name from the same source as the city, a few much smaller peripheral islands, the largest of, Île Bizard. It has a distinct four-season continental climate with cold, snowy winters. In 2016, the city had a population of 1,704,694, with a population of 1,942,044 in the urban agglomeration, including all of the other municipalities on the Island of Montreal; the broader metropolitan area had a population of 4,098,927. French is the city's official language and is the language spoken at home by 49.8% of the population of the city, followed by English at 22.8% and 18.3% other languages. In the larger Montreal Census Metropolitan Area, 65.8% of the population speaks French at home, compared to 15.3% who speak English.
The agglomeration Montreal is one of the most bilingual cities in Quebec and Canada, with over 59% of the population able to speak both English and French. Montreal is the second-largest French-speaking city in the world, after Paris, it is situated 258 kilometres south-west of Quebec City. The commercial capital of Canada, Montreal was surpassed in population and in economic strength by Toronto in the 1970s, it remains an important centre of commerce, transport, pharmaceuticals, design, art, tourism, fashion, gaming and world affairs. Montreal has the second-highest number of consulates in North America, serves as the location of the headquarters of the International Civil Aviation Organization, was named a UNESCO City of Design in 2006. In 2017, Montreal was ranked the 12th most liveable city in the world by the Economist Intelligence Unit in its annual Global Liveability Ranking, the best city in the world to be a university student in the QS World University Rankings. Montreal has hosted multiple international conferences and events, including the 1967 International and Universal Exposition and the 1976 Summer Olympics.
It is the only Canadian city to have held the Summer Olympics. In 2018, Montreal was ranked as an Alpha− world city; as of 2016 the city hosts the Canadian Grand Prix of Formula One, the Montreal International Jazz Festival and the Just for Laughs festival. In the Mohawk language, the island is called Tiohtià:ke Tsi, it is a name referring to the Lachine Rapids to the island's Ka-wé-no-te. It means "a place where nations and rivers unite and divide". In the Ojibwe language, the land is called Mooniyaang which means "the first stopping place" and is part of the seven fires prophecy; the city was first named Ville Marie by European settlers from La Flèche, or "City of Mary", named for the Virgin Mary. Its current name comes from the triple-peaked hill in the heart of the city. According to one theory, the name derives from mont Réal,. A possibility by the Government of Canada on its web site concerning Canadian place names, is that the name was adopted as it is written nowadays because an early map of 1556 used the Italian name of the mountain, Monte Real.
Archaeological evidence demonstrates that First Nations native people occupied the island of Montreal as early as 4,000 years ago. By the year AD 1000, they had started to cultivate maize. Within a few hundred years, they had built fortified villages; the Saint Lawrence Iroquoians, an ethnically and culturally distinct group from the Iroquois nations of the Haudenosaunee based in present-day New York, established the village of Hochelaga at the foot of Mount Royal two centuries before the French arrived. Archeologists have found evidence of their habitation there and at other locations in the valley since at least the 14th century; the French explorer Jacques Cartier visited Hochelaga on October 2, 1535, estimated the population of the native people at Hochelaga to be "over a thousand people". Evidence of earlier occupation of the island, such as those uncovered in 1642 during the construction of Fort Ville-Marie, have been removed. Seventy years the French explorer Samuel de Champlain reported that the St Lawrence Iroquoians and their settlements had disappeared altogether from the St Lawrence valley.
This is believed to be due to epidemics of European diseases, or intertribal wars. In 1611 Champlain established a fur trading post on the Island of Montreal, on a site named La Place Royale. At the confluence of Petite Riviere and St. Lawrence River, it is where present-day Pointe-à-Callière stands. On his 1616 map, Samuel de Champlain named the island Lille de Villemenon, in honour of the sieur de Villemenon, a French dignitary, seeking the viceroyship of New France. In 1639 Jérôme Le Royer de La Dauversière obtained the Seigneurial title to the Island of Montreal in the name of the Notre Dame Society of Montreal to establish a Roman Catholic mission to evangelize natives. Dauversiere hired Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve 30, to lead a group of colonists to build a mission on his new seigneury; the colonists left France in 1641 for Quebec, arrived on the island the following year. On May 17, 1642, Ville-Marie was founded on the southern shore of Montreal is