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The ballet in the Prague National Theatre is the most prominent ballet ensemble in Czech, and as such, it has played a significant part in shaping the evolution of Czech dance art.
Established in 1883, the National Theatre ballet of Prague is the oldest continuously operating ballet company in the Czech Republic. It operates in the same building as the Prague drama and opera companies.
The company has been around for a long time, and they regularly put on performances of both Czech works and worldwide classics. Also, in the past few decades, the repertory has expanded to include additional pieces from the Western tradition.
To great acclaim, the National Theatre Ballet in Prague performed classics, including Giselle, Coppélia, Swan Lake (Act II), and Excelsior. Tchaikovsky himself attended the debut of the National Theatre Ballet’s staging of Swan Lake in Prague, making it the first time the ballet had been performed outside of Russia.
The Evolution of prague Ballet in the National Theatre
The Launch of the Ballet Company in Prague
Initially, Václav Reisinger was in charge of ballet of the National Theatre in Prague from 1883 when it was launched.
From 1884, he collaborated with a cast of more than twenty dancers to produce a new ballet called Hashish. Augustin Berger, Reisinger’s successor, served in the role twice and helped the company grow by hiring a group of figurants (support dancers) to perform as a chorus and elevating the overall level of professionalism.
The company was a significant performer of regional works during its early years, including A Christmas Eve Dream in 1886, A Fairy Tale in 1889, Janáek’s Rákos Rákoczy in 1891, Bajaja in 1897, Jindich Kàan z Albest, and numerous children’s entertainment pieces.
A Dash of Italian flavor
From 1902 through 1912, Achille Viscusi served as a ballet instructor, introducing an Italian flavour to the firm’s instruction and dancing style. Remislav Remislavsky, a Polish performer and dancer, was a ballet teacher in 1922, bringing a Russian influence that dominated the company for the rest of the twentieth century.
Modern, Shorter Pieces
The period following World War II saw the company’s technological achievements flourish. In this period, creative leadership came from Saa Machov (1946–1951) and Jia Nmec (1952–1969). During the 1960s, the repertory took a new direction with the introduction of contemporary, shorter compositions. It was in the 1970s that directors Emerich Gabzdyl and Miroslav Krá were at the helm. The Romeo and Juliet ballet that Kra choreographed was so successful that it was produced for theatrical release.
Introduction of Western pieces
Since Vlastimil Harapes took over as creative director in 1990, the firm has performed works by composers and choreographers such as Tchaikovsky in 1994, Coppélia in 1995, etc.
Choreographer Vladimir Lpor played a crucial role in the success of the company’s recent shows.
The organization has performed ballets by Kylián, Cranko, and Glen, all active at the beginning of the twentieth century.
The Prague Ballet National Theatre Today
Presently, Petr Zuska serves as artistic director of the national theatre ballet in Prague, which consists of 82 dancers.
Among the countries represented by the dancers are Czech, Ukraine, Slovakia, Moldova, Russia, Hungary, the United States, Great Britain, Japan, France, New Zealand, and Italy.
The Czech National Ballet was founded and is managed artistically in the same way as any other European company. Still, it has its own unique artistic spirit that comes from the fascinatingly multiethnic atmosphere of Prague.
The Best of Swan Lake Tickets
Immerse yourself in the enchanting world of Swan Lake at the newly renovated Hybernia Theatre, situated in the heart of Prague. Indulge in the timeless melodies of Tchaikovsky and witness captivating scenes from this world-renowned ballet, brought to life by the extraordinary talents of top dancers and soloists from the prestigious Prague National Theatre.
- Prices start at €46 per head.
- Cancellation is free
- Witness a captivating performance featuring the best scenes from the works of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
- Immerse yourself in a classic fairytale filled with enchanting princesses, magical spells, and more.
- Transport yourself back to childhood as you witness the timeless stories brought to life by world-renowned ballet dancers.
- Observe a show in the Hybernia Theatre, which reopened in Prague after a renovation.
What is Included
- Entry ticket
Witness Mind-blowing Performances
The ballet in Prague national theatre, home of the ballet, has a strong reputation throughout Central Europe, so if you are ever in Prague, you should definitely check it out.
Its multiethnic population allows for a wide range of expressive styles to reflect the diversity of human nature and personality. The outcome is a synthesis of several dance traditions, with each adding something to and drawing inspiration from the others.