Norwegian National Ballet

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Norway's sole classical ballet company, based in Oslo, The company's origins date from 1945 when a group called the Ny Norsk Ballett (the New Norwegian Ballet) was founded by Gerd Kjølaas and Louise Browne. In 1958 it became the nucleus of a newly formed, and publicly subsidized company based at the National Opera House in Oslo. The first production was Coppélia. The British dancer and teacher Joan Harris was an influential early director (1961–5). She added a corps de ballet, produced the classics, and introduced English ballets to the repertoire as well as the RAD teaching syllabus to the associated school. Other directors have included Brian Macdonald, Sonia Arova (1966–71), Anne Borg (1971–7, 1983–8), Brenda Last (1977–80), Dinna Bjørn (1990–2000) and Espen Gijane. The company made its first visit to the US in 1974. The repertoire is classically based, but each generation has added contemporary ballets from Balanchine, Tetley, Cranko, Ashton, Flindt, van Manen, and Kylián through to Ek, Forsythe, and Elo. In recent years it has encouraged young Norwegian choreographers such as Kaloyan Boyadjiev. The company adopted the name Norwegian National Ballet in 1993.

Subjects: Dance.

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