Dutch National Ballet is organising its first international ballet conference, Positioning Ballet. The conference will take place from Friday 10 to Sunday 12 February 2017, in Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Amsterdam. It coincides with the world premiere of the double programme Made in Amsterdam I & II on 11 and 12 February 2017. By organizing Positioning Ballet, we aim to provide a platform for artistic directors, choreographers, dancers and dance journalists to exchange ideas about the future of classical ballet. Prominent people from the ballet world will come together in Amsterdam to debate and reflect on some of today’s relevant themes: heritage, diversity and identity.

Heritage: How do we deal with the growing heritage? What does a ballet company present on stage and why? Why is The Sleeping Beauty continually reawakened with a kiss?
Diversity: How can ballet better reflect the colourful society of today? Could ballet be more colourful?
Identity: What does the ballet company of the future look like?

The international participants will include artistic directors from leading companies like The Royal Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Mariinsky Theatre, San Francisco Ballet, National Ballet of Canada and English National Ballet, and prominent choreographers and dancers. Important opinion makers will attend, in order to shape the discussion and provoke thought about each subject.

On Saturday, the themes will be introduced by three leading keynote speakers, followed by a panel discussion by professionals from the dance world, moderated by Peggy Olislaegers, one of Europe’s most influential dance dramaturges.

Among confirmed keynote speakers are: Wiebke Huester (journalist), Theresa Ruth Howard (The Ailey School/journalist).

Among confirmed panel members are: Ted Brandsen (Dutch National Ballet), Laura Cappelle, (journalist), Assis Carreiro (Independent international cultural leader, former director Ballet Flanders), Monique Duurvoort (former dancer, MDDdance), Yuri Fateyev (Mariinsky Theatre), Karen Kain (The National Ballet of Canada), Paul Liburd (former dancer, teacher at Rambert School), Kevin McKenzie (American Ballet Theatre), Kevin O’Hare (The Royal Ballet), Johannes Öhman (Swedish Royal Ballet), Krzyzstof Pastor (Polish National Ballet), Tamara Rojo (English National Ballet), Alistair Spalding (Sadler’s Wells Theatre) and Luísa Taveira (Founding member and former Artistic Director National Ballet of Portugal).

Ted Brandsen, director of Dutch National Ballet: “All over the world, ballet companies belong to the artistic premier league, performing at the highest possible artistic level. Ballet companies’ artistic achievements are also judged as such by the audience of millions they reach. This means that companies have a huge responsibility to continually reflect critically on their own practice. By organising Positioning Ballet, Dutch National Ballet is creating a unique international platform for leaders of the ballet sector to come together to discuss the various artistic visions and working methods, and to take a critical look at them”.

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