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Contemporary Ballet Companies

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I'd like to make a list of contemporary ballet companies after seeing "One Last Dance". I loved the choreography in that movie, and would love to see more dancing like that. I'd like to define contemporary ballet companies as companies with a ballet basis and a contemporary influence. Modern and jazz companies would not fall into this category.


To start with, there are the choreographers from that movie, but who else is out there?


From One Last Dance-Alonzo King's LINES Ballet

Doug Varone and Dancers

Complexions--Desmond Richardson

Patsy Swayze (can't find a website for her)



David Taylor Dance Theatre

Company C Contemporary Ballet Company

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Google "Contemporary Ballet". That should start you off with a lot of different leads. Look for Patsy Swayze under imdb or ibdb (movie or broadway database).

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  • 1 year later...

Ajkun Ballet Theatre, in NYC, does contemporary work. Configurations, in Massachussetts, is another contemporary company. I second Alonzo King and LINES Ballet -- they're definitely the quintessential contemporary ballet company. Keep in mind that many classical ballet companies will load up on contemporary works to attract a new audience! Think of all that Christopher Wheeldon's done with NYCB...


~ Meggy

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I'd have to add here that "contemporary ballet" means a lot of different things to different people. To some, it's Modern Dance, nothing more, nothing less, nothing else, not ballet at all. Others just think "of our time" - done recently, regardless of school (Wheeldon would make them very happy, although he is trying on the Ashton cloak). Still others take the Kirstein approach - "overweight women with dirty feet" and won't like anything called "contemporary" even if it were producing Giselle. Most companies styling themselves "contemporary ballet", I think are in the neoclassical mold, using classical steps, influenced by Balanchine and various philosophies of Modern to extend the vocabulary.

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Ballet Rambert and Netherland Dance Theatre springs to my mind. I associate contemporary ballet still with pointe shoes, and not bare feet (or slippers only).

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Good point(e). For me, contemporary ballet means pointe shoes for the ladies -- that's what qualifies it as "ballet". Flat shoes and bare feet do mix things up, although I am of the school of thought that bare feet means modern and slippers... well, that's up to you! I understand that the distinctions can be heavily, heavily blurred -- think of Wheeldon's After the Rain: Yes, it's New York City Ballet, yes, it's Wendy Whelan, yes, it's Christopher Wheeldon, but the pointe shoes are nixed -- so is it modern or ballet?


I frankly don't care for such distinctions, aside from the pointe shoes = ballet aspect. If it's good dance, I don't mind if you're wearing a tutu, a unitard, sneakers and basketball shorts, or nothing at all. Anything besides pointe shoes -- which represent a technique and a way of working -- is just a costume.


Other thoughts?

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I think the "new audience" is indeed a part of contemporary ballet :-)

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How would one classify a company such as Nederlans Dans Theatre? Much of the repertoire is not en pointe yet, I would not classify NDT as a modern company.

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With its history of Hans van Manen and Jiri Kylian, among others, it's distinctly a ballet company, using neoclassicism as an organizing point, even though much of the repertoire is not en pointe. Bear in mind that both Ashton and Balanchine made ballets in bare feet or in soft shoes.

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Sadly (for me) Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet Company is heading in that direction under the direction of Andre Lewis. They are not performing one classical ballet this season but are instead are presenting and touring A Cinderella Story, Peter Pan, The Messiah and three Mark Godden offerings - Angels in the Architecture, The Magic Flute and Dracula. :yes:

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