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7 Famous Ballet Companies Around the World


There is still a large place for ballet in the world today. As such, there are plenty of prestigious and terrific ballet companies to be found across the globe. All of which are in competition, but also in partnership to bring the art of dance to the masses.

Naturally, some ballet companies are of a bit higher quality than others, and this brings the truly great companies fame and recognition for their efforts. Today, we will be taking a closer look at seven of these famous ballet companies, as well as the impact they have made on the world around them.

1.Paris Opera Ballet 

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The official ballet of the Opera national de Paris, or the Palais Garnier, has roots tracing all the way back to the foundation of the Academie Royale de Danse in 1661. With such a long and rich history behind it, it is no wonder that the Paris Opera Ballet is regarded as one of the four best and renowned ballet companies in the world. Their ballet dancers train rigorously every day to master their form and perfect their movements.

The company consists of 154 dancers, with the principal dancers among them giving 180 dancer performances per year. This makes the ballet company a prominent force within the world of dance easily.

2. Mariinsky Ballet

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The Mariinsky Ballet, otherwise known as the Kirov Ballet, is one of the leading ballet company of the world. Located in St. Petersburg, Russia, the ballet company usually performs in the Mariinsky Theatre found nearby. With over 200 dancers in their ranks, Mariinsky Ballet is capable of performing hundreds of shows per year.

The ballet company is also closely associated with the Vaganova Ballet Academy, one of the top academies in the world. The academy has a major influence on teaching, giving Mariinsky access to the latest in dance teaching techniques.

3. Bolshoi Ballet

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An internationally renowned ballet company and based at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, Russia, the Bolshoi Ballet is ranked among the world’s oldest ballet companies. Founded in 1776, the company survived until the early 20th century before receiving worldwide acclaim.

Today it is generally accepted to be one of the foremost ballet companies in the world. It is also one of the largest ballet companies, as it has an approximate 220 dancers among it’s ranks. Because of the size of the company, the Bolshoi Ballet operates with two troupes of corps de ballet.

4. Cuban National Ballet

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Based at the Great Theatre of Havana in Havana, Cuba, this classical ballet company was founded by the Cuban prima ballerina assoluta, Alicia Alonso in 1948. Along with her husband, Fernando Alonso, Alicia created a uniquely Cuban-style of dance by using the Ballet Nacionale, as well as it’s network of schools, to her benefit.

The style that the couple crafted improves on the traditional dance style while also strong choreographic movement with specific works. Said works are known to rank among the most significant achievements of contemporary choreography.

Impressively, Alicia Alonso is still leading the Cuban National Ballet to this day.

5. The Australian Ballet

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The Australian Ballet is actually the largest classical ballet company in the entirety of Australia. Created as part of a joint effort between J.C. Williamson Theatres Ltd. And the Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust in 1962, the company has become one of the world’s major ballet companies on an international scale.

Naturally, the Australian Ballet works very closely with the Australian Ballet School. This means that many graduates of the school go on to dance for the Australian Ballet, allowing it to perform approximately 200 performances per year. As such, this has led the Australian Ballet to dub itself as “the busiest ballet company in the world.”

6. American Ballet Theatre

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Lucia Chase and Richard Pleasant founded this ballet company in 1939, and it has grown to be known as one of the world’s leading classical ballet companies in the many decades since then.

The United States Congress formally recognized the ballet company as “America’s National Ballet Company” in 2006. This due to many factors, with one of the more prominent ones being that the American Ballet Theatre is the parent company to the American Ballet Theatre Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School, from which a large portion of the company’s dancer are educated.

7. National Ballet of Canada

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In 1951, Cecilia Franca founded what is now known as the largest ballet company in all of Canada. Based in Ontario, Canada, the National Ballet of Canada features dancers trained in the style of England’s Royal Ballet.

The ballet tours in both the U.S. And Canada, but has also had international appearances in Paris, London, Moscow, as well as St. Petersburg, and even Hamburg. As you can imagine, this has gained the ballet company international recognition for its efforts.