Swan Lake is the best-known classic ballet, the one you must have seen at least once in your life since it's the greatest classical hit of all times. As a matter of fact, Tchaikovsky's famous music is his first commission for the ballet. The première took place on March 4, 1877 but it is thanks to the reprise of the choreographer Marius Petipa in 1895 that the success will be even more visible. Since then, Swan Lake has delighted and moved generations of spectators with the death of the swan, the biggest scene of classical ballet.
The Sleeping Beauty is a jewel of the classical repertoire and a true masterpiece, due especially to the extravagant music of Tchaikovsky. This ballet was first performed in 1890 at the legendary Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, which still has one of the most famous companies in the world. The great choreographer Marius Petipa has forever immortalized the famous fairy tale of Charles Perrault and the Grimm brothers with the magic of medieval settings.
Giselle is considered the ultimate romantic ballet. Since its creation in 1841 in Paris, not only has it never left the program but above all, it has laid the foundation for white ballet with tutus and point shoes. The music composed by Adolphe Adam marvelously accompanies this heartbreaking story of a young and noble peasant woman dying of grief and then becoming a Wili. The role of Giselle is one of the most beautiful that all the biggest stars have danced or will dance at one time or another.
Don Quixote was represented for the first time on December 14, 1869, at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow. No need to present the largest Russian ballet company for which the famous choreographer Marius Petipa produced this masterpiece. The story of the famous hero of Cervantes is just an pretext for Ludwig Minkus' playful and academic music. The dancers display more than one impressive step with the notorious grace that continues to dazzle the audience.
The Mariinsky Theater of Saint Petersburg, the choreography of Marius Petipa and the music of Ludwig Minkus, all the elements were brought together to create La Bayadère, this great classic which received a triumphal welcome on the night of its premiere in St. Petersburg. This ballet is undoubtedly one of the most impressive works, thanks to its scenery and a very moving story. The story that takes place in India tells the tormented love of the dancer Nikiya and the brave warrior Solor. A superb and memorable show.
Romeo and Juliet
Before becoming the famous ballet by Prokofiev, Romeo and Juliet is obviously the title of the play by Shakespeare where heroes more than any others symbolize love. The score, composed in 1935, marvellously renders the torments of the youth sacrificed by the two rival families. Commissioned by the Kirov of Leningrad, but finally created in Brno, the original choreography has skilfully been revised since by Ashton, Cranko, MacMillan but especially by Rudolf Nureyev who had danced this famous work with Margot Fonteyn, a legendary couple ...
With the Nutcracker, Tchaikovsky's fairy tale ballet, Christmas is never far away. Since its premiere on 18 December 1892 at the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg with the choreography of Lev Ivanov, the ballet always had much success. The Nutcracker is probably the most popular of all ballets. It has delighted generations of children and their parents likewise, dazzled by the flake dance, the king of the mice, the Sugar Plum Fairy and of course, little Clara and her Christmas present, the beautiful nutcracker that is transformed into her Prince Charming !
Prokofiev composed his ballet Cinderella after the famous tale of Perrault, between 1940 and 1944, period of great turbulence. Yet the sumptuous and playful music is perfect for this wonderful comedy. This ballet was created at the famous Bolshoi in Moscow in 1945. Since then, many choreographers have proposed their vision of the ballet which has resulted in multiple versions with always the same success. The adventures of the girl and her lost shoe continues to delight the spectators.
Thanks to Frederick Ashton, the beautiful tradition of great classical ballets has remained very much alive, especially for the Royal Ballet of London, which still retains much of its choreography in the repertoire. It must be said that the legacy of the artist is considerable because there are more than 80 choreographies in this neoclassical style where the demanding technique leads to the most sublime dance.
George Balanchine is the choreographer on the border of classicism and modernism. His influence remains considerable, especially in the United States where his aura still lingers among the famous dance companies like the New York City Ballet. This choreographer, who has also worked for Broadway, is considered one of the founders of neoclassical ballet due to his deep knowledge of romantic ballet.
The contribution of Maurice Béjart to ballet is considerable. Despite his departure, he remains the most popular choreographer, who brought modernity to all homes in France and Europe. A big fan of diversity, he went to draw inspiration from Mozart, Wagner or Pierre Henry mixing aesthetic research and choreography. A great master of dance who remains very much alive!
Much-admired in Zurich, Stuttgart or St. Petersburg, Edward Clug is one of the young choreographers who matter. Since his debut as a dancer in Romania and subsequently as director and principal choreographer of the Slovene National Theater, he has elevated the company to an international level which allows him today to be invited all over the world. He works regularly for the Zurich Ballet or the Nederlands Dans Theater.
The ballet world owes a lot to John Cranko, the outstanding South African choreographer. As Director of the Stuttgart Ballet, he propelled the company to the vanguard while discovering major personalities of the dance world such as John Neumeier, Jiri Kylian or William Forsythe. His work as a choreographer is substantial with particularly Onegin, his superb masterpiece.
The unique style of William Forsythe is incomparable and has elevated the choreographer to the highest step. One of the greatest personalities of contemporary dance transcends the beauty of gesture into attractive movement with stunning technique. Whether in Paris, Frankfurt, Berlin or anywhere else in the world, Forsythe performances offer as many artistic highlights as the intensely as his art.
The most noble defender of contemporary dance, Jirí Kylián is a jack of all trades. The many inspirations are boundless for this wonderful artist who likes to exploit all the capacities of the human body. His gestures are like capturing a movement that is always evanescent. Jirí Kylián is now one of the most sought-after choreographers around the world of dance thanks to his magnificent choreographic art.
Sir Kenneth MacMillan is undoubtedly one of the greatest representatives of the excellence of the Royal Ballet of London, of which he maintained the artistic requirement as artistic director in the 70s. His name also remains attached to the Company of the Deutsche Oper of Berlin and the American Ballet Theater. We owe him many classical choreographies like Romeo and Juliet, Manon, Mayerling ... The absolute musts in the ballet repertory.
Wayne McGregor is a sparkling choreographer who leaves no spectator indifferent. Energy and fluidity are the adjectives that arise most often to qualify his work. Still, a McGregor ballet is indescribable, it´s an integral experience! Whether it's the Paris Opera Ballet or the London Opera Ballet, the biggest dance companies in the world are fighting to get their hands on this awesome choreographer.
John Neumeier's choreographies are often full of emotion. The artist, rightly considered as one of the greatest neo-classical and contemporary choreographers, has crafted over a hundred, often narrative, creations. He knew as no other how to emphasize music, Bach and especially Mahler. The Hamburg Ballett is forever attached to his name yet John Neumeier has worked with all the biggest dance companies in the world.
The most gifted of all, Rudolf Nureyev is one of the most incredible personalities in the world of dance. This true lord also had an extraordinary destiny. Enthused with freedom, he left the Soviet Union to settle in Paris where he revolutionized the classical repertoire. His legacy is one of the most powerful on display today.
Marius Petipa is a legend of classical dance, a true father for the ballet because he laid the foundations of the technique. His choreographies on romantic libretto´s, have remained in the repertoire. There is not a choreographer who is not indebted to the legacy of the creator of La Bayadère, Swan Lake, Nutcracker, Cinderella to name but four!