The Stuttgart Ballet
It's the show day and this time we want to make a very special post and introduce you to one of the most famous ballet companies in the world: The Stuttgart Ballet. We want to use this post to thank them for all the support that they are giving for this project, because without their help we wouldn't be able to develop this performance for the children in Kenya.
This ballet company of 63 dancers is directed by Tamas Detrich. Among its dancers are
internationally renowned soloists and exceptional dancers. The staff that works behind the
scenes to help the dancers give their best and who make all the performances possible, is
excellent. The company normally performs in the Opera House and the Play House of the
State Theatre Stuttgart. In addition, several times a year the company is invited to tour around the world and dance on different stages in different countries.
Stuttgart is a city located in the south-west of Germany. It is well known in the world for
being home of many important companies and industries but also for a great cultural and
artistic wealth, and the Stuttgart Ballet is a shining example of this. Ballet in Stuttgart has a rich history whose origins go back to the 17th-century court of Württemberg. Very important artists, such as the great dance reformer Jean-Georges Noverre, contributed to turn Stuttgart into an acclaimed centre for dance in Europe from the 18th to the early 20th century. Slowly the public interest in classical dance grew in Stuttgart and in 1957, Nicolas Beriozoff, a former dancer with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, was designated to lead the ballet ensemble of the Württemberg State Theatre in Stuttgart. Beriozoff enlarged the company and added some new classical pieces to the repertoire, such as The Sleeping
Beauty, Swan Lake or The Nutcracker.
In 1961, the South African John Cranko was appointed director and choreographer of the
ballet in Stuttgart, and a new era began. In the next twelve years, Cranko was not only
responsible for the most successful chapter of Stuttgart's ballet history, but also was named
one of the best choreographers of the 20th century.
He was accompanied by exceptional dancers such as Egon Madsen, Richard Cragun, Birgit Keil, Ray Barra and Marcia Haydée, who became his muse and prima ballerina. A comprehensive vision focused on showcasing his dancer's unique talents and diversifying the repertoire as well as the use of his exceptional choreographic abilities were the key factors which lead the Stuttgart Ballet to worldwide acclaim under Cranko's aegis. With three legendary new works he helped to renew the genre of the full-length narrative ballet: Romeo and Juliet (1962), Onegin (1965, new version 1967) and The Taming of the Shrew (1969). He also created one act masterpieces such as Jeu de Cartes, Opus 1 and Initials
R.B.M.E. Guest choreographers such as Kenneth MacMillan and Peter Wright were
responsible for the further refinement of the Stuttgart aesthetic, as well as dancers from
within the company whom Cranko encouraged to choreograph themselves, such as John
Neumeier and Jiří Kylián.
A New York tour in 1969 turned into an overwhelming triumph described as “The Stuttgart
Ballet Miracle“ and laid the foundations for the company's worldwide popularity. Back home, Cranko also helped develop the Stuttgart public into a very well informed, passionate
dance audience. John Cranko made a huge effort to give to the ballet the value it deserved as
well. In 1971 he founded the Stuttgart Ballet School (now known as John Cranko School),
one of the most prestigious dance schools in the world.
After Cranko's tragic and early death in 1973 the American choreographer Glen Tetley was
appointed director in 1974. In his two years leading the company he introduced some modern ballets into the repertoire. From 1976 to 1996, prima ballerina Marcia Haydée took over the Stuttgart Ballet. In her 20 years as a director, she began collaborations with well-known choreographers such as Hans van Manen and Maurice Béjart, or former company members such as John Neumeier and Jiří Kylián. She also appointed William Forsythe, who was still a dancer in the company, and Uwe Scholz as resident choreographers, thus establishing the Stuttgart Ballet as one of the most artistically interesting companies in the world. Marcia also had a great success with her staging of The Sleeping Beauty in 1987.
In 1996, Reid Anderson, who was a dancer with the Stuttgart Ballet for 17 years, became the
director of the company. He continued the company's success with highly diverse
programming and giving creative opportunities to young choreographers, cultivating the
Cranko heritage, without forgetting the classical and neo-classical repertory.
As of September 2018, Tamas Detrich has been leading the Stuttgart Ballet. Born in New
York, he moved to Stuttgart to attend the John Cranko School from which he graduated.
During his 25 years dancing with the company, most of them as a principal dancer, he danced the leading roles in all the major works of John Cranko as well as in ballets by John
Neumeier, Hans van Manen and many other famous choreographers. In 2001 he became a
Ballet Master of the Stuttgart Ballet and in 2009 he was appointed Associate Artistic
Director, before he took over the company in 2018.
We cannot stop saying THANK YOU to all the company for letting us bring the ballet closer
to the children in Kenya and making it such a beautiful experience.