Vienna State Ballet

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Vienna State Ballet dancers Olga Esina and Roman Lazik perform "Donauwalzer" in the Belvedere Palace, Vienna, Austria, on December 31, 2011 (photo by Alfred Weidinger)

Vienna State Ballet, Wiener Staatsballett, is considered one of the world´s top ballet companies. It was formerly named the Vienna State Opera Ballet as it is based at the Vienna State Opera building. The name change, on September 1, 2010, was accompanied by a change in leadership. Manuel Legris, a former principal dancer with the Paris Opera Ballet, became the artistic director, succeeding Gyula Harangozo.

2010-2011 season[edit]

Legris created eight premieres, including "La Sylphide" by Pierre Lacotte, a multi-part evening "Masterpieces of the 20th Century", with choreography by Serge Lifar, Nils Christe, two new productions of Roland Petit, and the "Stravinsky Violin Concerto" by George Balanchine.

There were also revivals of The Sleeping Beauty in the version by Peter Wright; Anna Karenina by Boris Eifman; Don Quixote by Rudolf Nureyev; choreography by Balanchine, Robbins, Neumeier, Tharp, and Forsythe; a Nureyev Gala; and the repertoire pieces Le Concours by Maurice Béjart and Marie Antoinette by Patrick de Bana.

There were premieres in the first season of the new ballet director, beginning with performances of Juwelen der Neuen Welt (Jewels of the New World), a tribute to the American contribution to dance in the 20th century. It was followed by Schritte und Spuren (Steps and Traces) with works from Jiří Kylián and other choreographers representing this generation. Classical ballet was embodied with Don Quixote, a performance created by Rudolf Nureyev especially for the Vienna Ballet. In tribute to Jerome Robbins, Vienna hosted the world premiere of an exclusive evening featuring only the works by Robbins. A gala in honor of Rudolf Nureyev, which is an annually occurring event, completed the season. The premieres of Marie Antoinette by Patrick de Bana, Le Concours by Maurice Béjart, and the production Junge Talente des Wiener Staatsballetts (Young Talent in the Vienna State Ballet) all took place at the Vienna State Ballet at the Volksoper. The first soloist for the company is Liudmila Konovalova, who took the position in 2011.

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