CriticalDance Forum

Top 5 Ballet companies
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Author:  PB2003 [ Fri May 26, 2006 7:56 am ]
Post subject:  Top 5 Ballet companies

who do people think are the top five ballet companies in the world today and why?

Author:  valou [ Sat May 27, 2006 6:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Top 5 Ballet companies

PB2003 wrote:
who do people think are the top five ballet companies in the world today and why?


to me, the answer depends on our nature, éducation, history, patriotism, and at least political. The Opéra de Paris Ballet where I'm used to go, and wich offers sometimes a little taste of what foreign companies or solists are able to do and give when they're outside (you've guessed I'm French of course...because of my poor English : sorry for that ! ), has still a very good record although usually the Bolchoï is at the head of the companies closely followed by her sister the Marinsky (ex kirov) . The Royal Ballet is very appréciated too.
well, it's very easy and true to affirm that the best compagnies bring the best dancers, so we have to consider that our modern and mondialised occidental countries are now able to introduce any good dancer of the world while others, much more oriental or historically more autharcic (Russia, China or Korea) still export their own répertoire, culture and identity.

what is a good Ballet company : that's another question !

Author:  PB2003 [ Sun May 28, 2006 11:15 am ]
Post subject: 

Thanks for your reply, your English in fine :)

I was just wondering what people regard as the "gold standard" of ballet companies. I always thought it was the Kirov, Bolshoi, POB, Royal Ballet, NYCB, ABT.

It is true that "Ballet stars" can add to whether a company is regarded as world class or not but obviously there are more opportunities for stars to dance in all sorts of companies nowadays.

Money, Repertoire, dancers and general expense of the production can all go towards makig a ballet company good.

Author:  ksneds [ Sun May 28, 2006 11:43 am ]
Post subject: 

I think "gold standard" depends on what you are talking about...

For the "gold standard" in Balanchine, look at NYCB, ABT or even Miami City Ballet or Suzanne Farrell Ballet

For the "gold standard" in Bournonville look at Royal Danish Ballet

For the "gold standard" in MacMillan, think Royal Ballet

For the "gold standard" in the big full lengths - Royal Ballet, Bolshoi, Kirov, ABT

I think if you are looking for the some of the companies who currently have the biggest influence and generally high standards, my list would include (in no particular order):

Kirov, Bolshoi, NYCB, ABT, Royal Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, POB, Pacific Northwest Ballet, La Scala

And not far behind, Houston Ballet, NB of China, Boston Ballet, Scottish Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, English NB, Joffrey Ballet, Australian Ballet

It really comes down to personal taste, the current financial, dancer and repertoire situation...


Author:  PB2003 [ Mon May 29, 2006 8:47 am ]
Post subject: 

I totally agree, and all those points are valid.

I thought I would just open up a post for discussion and the question to be interpretated however people want to interpret it.

I regulary read about how this company or that company is in the top 5 or top 4 etc but I was thinking, what is it that qualifies them to be there in the first place and with so many companies claiming this, how many of them actually are where they place themselves :) ?

Author:  Stuttgart [ Mon Jun 05, 2006 12:13 pm ]
Post subject: 

What about the Stuttgart Ballet?

Author:  cadancelover [ Mon Jul 03, 2006 10:39 pm ]
Post subject: 

I find Stuttgart Ballet to be a fantastic company that doesn't get as much press as it should. Although I have always liked them I am especially fond of the company now as my daughter dances for them. Do you live in Stuttgart?

Author:  ksneds [ Tue Jul 04, 2006 2:30 am ]
Post subject: 

I blanked on the german companies when making the list, which goes to show how inadequate lists really are...


Author:  PB2003 [ Tue Jul 04, 2006 6:19 am ]
Post subject: 

yes there are a several good german companies.

which company though in individual opinions makes the most complete performances, in terms of sets, costumes, direction, acting, story telling and dancing?

Author:  ksneds [ Tue Jul 04, 2006 7:11 am ]
Post subject: 

But then not all ballets have sets or stories or acting or even much in the way of costumes...

If you are talking about companies that do full length ballets very well - Kirov, ABT, RDB, Royal Swedish, Hamburg...and more I'm sure.


Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Tue Jul 04, 2006 7:58 am ]
Post subject: 

Hi PB and thanks for posing these questions. However, I side with Kate on this matter, as different companies will have different strengths and weaknesses and these will vary with time.

Thus, for contemporary ballet, a company such as Dutch National Ballet has a lot to offer, as does Paris Opera Ballet. For the 19th Century classics the companies that Kate cites all do very well and different people will have their own favourites.

I humbly propose an approach that looks at the positive virtues that the various companies bring to the table. I really can't get on with the League table system proposed by some US critics, which categorises ballet the way we do sports.

Author:  pixie [ Tue Jul 04, 2006 12:16 pm ]
Post subject: 

I am probably going to sound like an oxymoron here with my reply...

I have my personal favourite companies for different reasons. Different companies have their unique qualities and special X-factor, which makes them exclusive. Be it a contemporary company, or a classical company, each has their own style of moving, training and staging. In addition, it also depends which dancers are dancing in the casts, no dancers will dance the same role in the same style or same feel. In fact, not even the same dancer will dance the same role the same way in 2 different nights.

Especially contemporary dance company, it is difficult to rate which are the top 5, because contemporary repertoires are constantly evolving, and with the current use of advanced technology, staging and dance design, contemporary dance companies are constantly updating themselves with new ideas and new experience. Also, classical trained dancers, such as Sylvie Guillem, are going into contemporary sector, and contemporary choreographers are working with classical trained dancers, such as Wayne McGregor.

The bottom line is, each and everyone of us have different 'taste' in everything. The same goes with picking the 'best 5'. For all you know, what one feels are the top 5 on the list today, may not stay the same in one's opinion, one month later...

If there is a "TOP 5 BEST", does it mean that there is "BOTTOM 5 WORST"?

I hope not. I don't believe there is any 'worst/bad' companies, cos everyone is different in their own right. Its about mix-matching the companies to the audience's distinctive taste.

[told you, i was being an oxymoron :roll: ]

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