Ballet began in the fifteenth century in Italian renaissance courts and quickly spread. Nowadays ballet is taught around the world and continues to be infused historically with cultures to evolve the art form.
There are thousands of Professional Ballet Companies out there with unlimited amounts of dancers fighting for a spot. And that generates an important question: Which companies are at the top?
Here’s a list:
The Royal Ballet
-Was founded in 1931 and remains one of the most famous companies around the world. The Royal Ballet is internationally renowned and remains Britain’s largest classical ballet company. Employing approximately one hundred dancers. And it performs out of its permanent home the Royal Opera House in London England.
The Paris Opera Ballet
-Is the oldest National Ballet Company in the world. It was founded in 1669 making it almost 300 years old. It continues to be one on the finest companies out there, performing both classical and contemporary works. The Paris Opera Ballet has 180 dancers per season.
American Ballet Theater
Also known as ABT, it was founded in 1940. It is recognized today as one of the world’s leading Ballet Companies in the world. In the nearly 75 years of ABT ‘s existence, it has performed in 136 cities and 43countries. Performing for over 600,000 people per season.
New York City Ballet
-Was founded in 1948 and it employs 90 dancers.NYC Ballet has two permanent homes, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center and the David H. Koch Theater.New York City Ballet has evolved from the Producing Company of the School of American Ballet, to Ballet Caravan in 1936, which merged into American Ballet Caravan in 1941, and finally in 1946 to what we know as New York City Ballet.
National ballet of Canada
-Was founded in 1951. It employs 120 artists. The National Ballet of Canada has performed for over 10 million people. It’s home is the Four Seasons Centre for Performing Arts, in Toronto, Ontario.
The Bolshoi Ballet
In Moscow, Russia, was founded in 1825. It is among some of the oldest and most renowned Ballet Companies in the world. It employs 200 dancers. And its one of the most famous theatres in the world.
The Mariinsky Ballet
-Was founded approximately 1740 in St. Petersburg, Russia. It has had pervious names such as imperial Russian Ballet, The Soviet Ballet, and Kirov ballet. The Mariinsky Ballet is today known as one of the world’s oldest and greatest Ballet Companies, hiring over 200 dancers.
Alla Scala Theatre
Based in Milan, Italy, it was founded in 1778. The Alla Scala Ballet is the largest Ballet Company in Italy and remains one of the oldest companies in the world.
As a dancer we all strive to be the best and we all want to be part of the top notch companies out there. Every dancer’s dream is to be part of one of the these prestigious companies.
But how to get there?
There are multiple ways but the most common are…
If you’re young enough, you could audition to enroll in the schools linked to these major companies. By doing so they will be surrounded by company facility and be given more opportunities to grow and mold to the dancer that fits the company’s style. Also you will be given more chance to be on stage at a professional level and gain more performance experience. Which will allow you to be given first priority when the company is looking for new dancers, since they would rather take dancers from their own school before going elsewhere.
If you’re a little older don’t worry, you can still get into the schools linked to these major companies. Try applying and audition for summer intensives.
During this time it gives a student the opportunity to show off all their quality and strengths. Show how versatile you are and absorbent of different teaching methods, techniques and styles. It often allows dancers to shine by not putting them under intense pressure like an audition session does.
You can also enter to go to major competitions like the Youth America Grand Prix, The Prix de Lausanne, Varna International Ballet Competition, Etc… Where representatives of these schools and companies will be present with offers to the most outstanding competitors. These completions allow the dancers to get exposed to the competitive side of the art form and learn how to manage and deal with their nerves. Meet the top notch dancers, teachers, choreographs and directors of schools and companies from around the world.
But if you are already an experienced dancer, another way to get into these major companies is auditioning either in person or by video. Also you could contact the company and ask to attend classes, find a way to get seen by teachers and specially the directors if the opportunity is presented to you.