We have already told you about the famous Russian ballet schools, now it’s time to talk about foreign schools. How do they study the art of classical dance in other countries?
School at the Paris National Opera
This is the oldest educational institution in the ballet world - it is over 300 years old! And all this time, students study classical academic dance - this is the only specialty here. And the curriculum has remained unchanged since the opening day.
It is very difficult to get into the school at the Grand Opera as they enroll no more than 30 people every year. The training is preceded by a year of preparation and casting, following which the applicant may be offered a contract for one trimester or academic year.
By the way, studying at L'Ecole de Danse de l'Opera de Paris is free thanks to the scholarship that students receive.
Royal Ballet School of London
Studying here is not only prestigious but also very expensive, because the institution has long held the status of one of the most reputable in the world.
You can enter it from the age of 11, and 5 years of study will follow. The entrance competition is harsh as they enroll only 18 people at a time. There are also students who study for free. They find individual approach to every student - this is another feature of the British ballet school. Londoners have their own teaching system, and teachers emphasize that it differs from the canons of classical ballet. Talented graduates receive an invitation to join the Royal Birmingham Ballet.
School at the American Ballet Theater
Ballet schools in Russia and France are classical educational institutions with age-old canons. In contrast to them, the New York School represents a new wave and its own style. It was founded in 1937 by the Bolshoi Theater soloist Mikhail Mordkin.
Children with American citizenship can enroll here from the age of 7, but only after studying at a preparatory partner school. All the other children get a chance to study here from the age of 12, so that at the age of 20 they graduate as ready-made artists. Tuition is paid, an internship format is available to foreigners. After graduation, the most talented students will find employment at the American Ballet Theater.
Berlin State Ballet School
This year, the school celebrates its 70th anniversary, during the entire period of its existence, the educational process has been built on the methodologies of Russian ballet. But there is also a place for German originality. Ballerina Olympiada Alfa, who moved from Moscow to Berlin, talked about the differences between the two ballet schools: “The Moscow ballet school is famous for its dance, emotionality and artistry. In Germany, they give priority to technical cleanliness of performance.”
The Berlin Ballet School accepts children from the age of 10, the training lasts 9 years. Many students are guaranteed employment in theaters in Germany and Europe.
Ballet Academy at the Vienna State Opera
Another European school with a rich history - the educational institution has existed since 1771.
Children from 9 to 18 years old can study here; a special educational program is available for adults.
One of particular features of the Academy is that students have an opportunity to take part in productions of the Vienna Opera. Every year, students dance in performances before the New Year and at the end of the school year. Academy students also attend the ball at the Opera, which is another great tradition.
Beijing Dance Academy
The educational institution, founded in 1954, trains dancers, choreographers and dance researchers. Both residents of China and foreigners can enter the Academy. The first rector collaborated with the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet and the Moscow State Academy of Choreography. Thus, the Chinese ballet school has Russian roots. Today, they study the world ballet classics, but also don’t forget about their own heritage - the works by Chinese authors. Two years ago, the Beijing Academy brought their version of Swan Lake to St. Petersburg. By the way, the Soviet ballet master Pyotr Gusev opened this production for China in 1958. And the new 2019 version is a remake of that very ballet produced 60 years ago. So, the connection between Chinese and Russian ballet is really strong.