Dutch National Ballet presents
This conference took place from 16-17 February 2019
Ballet Working Conference
Dutch National Ballet is organising the second edition of Positioning Ballet: a working conference that gives artistic directors, choreographers and dance journalists the opportunity to exchange ideas about the future of ballet.
During the first edition of Positioning Ballet in 2017, the artistic directors of leading international ballet companies came together to reflect on their practices, discussing the themes of heritage, diversity and identity.
"The Positioning Ballet conference (…) was a welcome opportunity for a significant number of influential people with a stake in the future of ballet, to come together and open a conversation on where the art form is heading." - quote from Dancing Times, April 2017.
Positioning Ballet 2019
During this second edition, we discussed the challenges faced by artistic directors today. What sort of leadership is required today? The society in which ballet resonates today is different to the world in which the art of ballet originated. For this reason, while recognizing the diversity of practices in the ballet world, we addressed the following topics:
What is the working culture that ballet would like to embody?
How should we deal with the changing relationship between ballet and audiences, so that ballet remains relevant to the public in the 21st century?
In the first part of the conference, the artistic directors entered into dialogue through break-out sessions and plenary discussions, moderated by Peggy Olislaegers.The guest keynote speakers were Jennifer Homans and Theresa Ruth Howard. A panel with panel members Laura Cappelle, Sarah L. Kaufman, Wendeline Wijkstra, Adesola Akinleye and Ernst Meisner discussed the topics mentioned above.
In addition to the working sessions, there were also be ballet performances by Dutch National Ballet. The company presented David Dawson’s new work Requiem (world premiere on 9 February 2019) and the programme Ode to the Master, featuring ballets from the oeuvre of Hans van Manen.
Additional food for thought
scottish ballet.co.uk/articles/behaviour-in-the-ballet-world - Christopher Hampson
the guardian.com/stage/2018/jul/16/dance-ballet-metoo-culture-bullying - Judith Mackrell
dance magazine.com/radical-reimagining-of-ballet - Theresa Ruth Howard
nytimes.com/2018/12/21/arts/dance/marius-petipa-bicentennial - Alastair Macaulay
dancemagazine.com/dance-company-culture - Claudia Bauer
Article - Maggie Foyer – Journalist Seeing Dance