The Czech National Ballet in Prague occupies a solid position in the Central European context. Its founding in 1883 gave rise to the continuous evolutionary tradition of Czech professional dance. Truly cosmopolitan, made up of dancers of 18 nationalities, the Czech National Ballet is the largest dance company in the Czech Republic. This diversity affords it a colourful scale of means of expression, representing a variety of ethnicities and their differing natures and temperaments. The result is a blending together of numerous dance schools and styles, mutual enrichment and inspiration.
The Czech National Ballet’s dialogue with global dance theatre has been cultivated for over two decades. Its current Artistic Director is Filip Barankiewicz. The company’s worldwide acclaim is demonstrated by its regularly collaborating with foreign choreographers, restagers and designers. The experience with diverse movement phraseologies serves to spice up the artistic work, helping the company to find its Central European identity.
The international character of the Czech National Ballet in Prague reflects its national identity and enhances its prestige. We offer the traditional classical repertoire and modern contemporary theatre alike, yet with a special artistic spirit.
Attesting to the company’s singularity is its variegated repertoire, which includes famous narrative ballets retelling mesmerising stories (The Sleeping Beauty, La Fille mal gardée, Swan Lake, Onegin and The Nutcracker – A Christmas Carol), fascinating mixed bills (FORSYTHE/CLUG/MCGREGOR, by William Forsythe, Edward Clug and Wayne McGregor; Phoenix, by Alejandro Cerrudo, Douglas Lee and Cayetano Soto; and Kylián – Bridges of Time, by Jiří Kylián) and contemporary ballets (Leonce & Lena, by Christian Spuck; Kafka: The Trial, by Mauro Bigonzetti.
Three engrossing new ballet productions to be presented within the 2022/23 season
The first production to be staged is of John Neumeier’s adaptation of Tennessee Williams’s play A Streetcar Named Desires, to music by Sergey Prokofiev and Alfred Schnittke. The very first work by the legendary choreographer to appear in the Czech National Ballet repertoire, it retells Williams’s psychological drama, one of the most critically acclaimed and frequently performed American plays. Neumeier’s A Streetcar Named Desire will receive its Czech premiere on 15 December 2022 at the Estates Theatre. The production will be a new contribution to the Czech National Ballet repertoire in line with its embracing narrative global dance pieces inspired by famed literary works, cases in point in this respect being Kafka: The Trial and Leonce & Lena.
The revival of the adaptation of the widely popular ballet Cinderella by the distinguished French choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot, a major figure of Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, attests to another of the Czech National Ballet’s penchants: bringing back on stage acclaimed high-quality works of lasting importance and appeal. In his take on the fabulous story of Cinderella, the creator brings to bear his singular, refined style, reflecting the beauty of modern aesthetics and giving vent to extraordinary energy, permeating all its components: music, visual design, choreography and direction. The revived production of Maillot’s Cinderella will premiere on 23 March 2023 at the National Theatre.
The theatre season will culminate with the premiere of a new revival of La Sylphide. We will stage the Romantic ballet as choreographed by Johan Kobborg. His production is based on August Bournonville’s celebrated adaptation of the original version.
Johan Kobborg gained great acclaim as principal dancer of the Royal Danish Ballet and The Royal Ballet in London. He has also been a sought-after choreographer and director. His La Sylphide is a tribute to August Bournonville and his style, a vital part of the global cultural heritage.