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Guest Penseur

Ranking of Intl Ballet Festivals

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I am a free-lance writer based in the USA, and need some research help:

Is there an 'authoritative' source (i.e., an organization or publication) that reviews and ranks ballet festivals and/or companies around the world?

Also, I am interested in general information about ballet companies, halls and festivals in Russia and eastern Europe.

The Mariinsky International Ballet Festival (usually February-March) in St. Petersburg, Russia is of special interest.

Thanks very much!

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Sorry, I don't know of any authoritative source that ranks companies around the world, in the sense of publishing a list of companies ranked in order of..... budget? artistic achievement that year? etc.

There are lists of festivals in various places. I believe Dance Magazine publishes a list of them. But they're strictly informational. Rankings are usually done by people who have seen all of them and make a personal assessment, but I know of no World Dance Organization that takes this on as an institutional task.

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Alexandria, thanks for your quick reply. What criteria are used to rank the festivals or companies is open to wide interpretation. Example, the Indy 500 car race is widely considered to be the world's 'greatest' car race, and that could be tied to any one or combination of factors: speed of the cars, dollar amount of prize monies, number of fans attending, etc.

I would imagine the same with ballet: could be artistic achievement, budget, etc. I looked through Dance magazine, no luck...

So, perhaps you or someone in your group knows of a "world renowned expert" (could be a critic, et al. akin to the fashion world's Mr. Blackwell?) whom I could track down?

Sorry for the long message, thanks again!

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Penseur -

I'm sure someone would be willing to venture an opinion as quickly as someone else contradicted it. To say such a pronouncement would generate immense controversy would be an understatement. Most ballet critics tend to limit themselves to a generalized listing of the top companies. Usually in this list in no particular order:

New York City Ballet

American Ballet Theatre

Paris Opera Ballet

The Kirov Ballet

The Bolshoi Ballet

The Royal Ballet (UK)

The Royal Ballet (Denmark) (Called the Royal Danish Ballet outside of Denmark)

You could easily find an expert who would argue the merits of inclusion of almost any of these companies. I've never heard of a similar consensus about festivals, frankly.

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