Recently, three of the top ballet companies in London employed new artistic directors. The Scottish Ballet, the English national Ballet and the Royal Ballet acquired the services of new artistic directors who presented their ambitions and plans for development. Each director wants to reach a bigger fraction of the audience and deliver astonishing work that will attract even more viewers. Basically, they all want to be the very best.
Competition is always welcome when it comes to arts, but these companies are aiming for more than just fame and popularity. They are competing for funding and domination of the box-office. Tamara Rojo, the new director at the English National Ballet stated that she is looking to give this company a new, unique identity and present new, creative and beautiful shows to reach wider audiences.
This summer we saw two of these major ballets, the Scottish Ballet and the ENB, join forces with the National Dance Company of Wales to prepare and perform a remembering show for the Summer Olympics in London.
We’ve seen such collaborations turn into long-term projects and the best example for this are the US companies which worked together to depict the beauty of Jewels, a ballet by George Balanchine. It won’t be a surprise if we see the three UK companies working together again and maybe on a longer-term project.
One of the biggest problems the British ballet companies will face is building new choreographies which will be appreciated by the audiences in smaller cities where 19th century classics are the favorite choice at the box office.
Can the ENB and the Royal Ballet work with some smaller and less pretentious ballet companies in order to popularize themselves in smaller cities. Lending a few dancers, some money and studio time can do miracles and revive the interest in modern ballet.