Dutch National Ballet presents

Positioning Ballet Ballet Working Conference

This show was to been seen in February 2019

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.

Look back on 2019


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.

Flashback on 2017

Aftermovie of Positioning Ballet 2017
Aftermovie 2019
Aftermovie 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. KaufmanWendeline 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


Contact: conference@operaballet.nl