With eighty dancers from thirty nations, the Staatsballett Berlin is the largest ballet company in Germany and presents its versatile repertoire on three of the capital’s opera stages: Deutsche Oper Berlin, Komische Oper Berlin and Staatsoper Unter den Linden. Founded in 2004 when the former ballet ensembles of these institutions were merged, the Staatsballett is an independent organisation under the auspices of the Stiftung Oper in Berlin (Berlin Opera Foundation).
The founding director in 2004 was Vladimir Malakhov, one of the outstanding dancers of his generation. Until 2014, he brought a varied repertoire to the stage, hallmarked by numerous new productions, the rediscovery of rare ballets and the engagement of outstanding dancer personalities, whom he attracted to Berlin. Works by Maurice Béjart and George Balanchine featured on the programme as did pieces by protagonists of the choreographic avant-garde at the time, such as Mauro Bigonzetti and Angelin Preljocaj.
The Spanish dancer Nacho Duato, director of the Staatsballett from 2014 to 2018, was also a sought-after choreographer worldwide. His own works with his very personal and sensitive dance vocabulary shaped the repertoire, alongside those of his mentor and teacher Jirí Kylián, and others like Ohad Naharin.
Under the joint artistic direction of Johannes Öhman and Sasha Waltz, who plays a leading role in Berlin’s contemporary dance scene, new choreographic working methods were tried out. Personalities such as Alexander Ekman, Alexei Ratmansky and Richard Siegal developed new productions with the company, each with a different approach.
During Dr Christiane Theobald's interim directorship, works by Pina Bausch and Mats Ek were performed, as well as pieces by younger generation names like David Dawson. The programme’s various supporting formats have established dialogues from different perspectives and have increased audience involvement.
With the start of the 2023/24 season, Christian Spuck takes over as Artistic Director of the Staatsballett Berlin.
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