Switzerland’s largest professional ballet company has been directed by Christian Spuck since the 2012/13 season. Resident at Zurich Opera House, the 36-strong ensemble not only features prominently in the Opera House’s programme; its international guest performances are also regularly acclaimed. Formerly the Ballet of the Zurich City Theatre, the company was shaped by its directors Nicholas Beriozoff, Patricia Neary, Uwe Scholz and Bernd Bienert. Within a few short years, Swiss choreographer Heinz Spoerli, Ballet Director from 1996 to 2012, established the company as one of the leading European ballet ensembles.
Under the direction of German choreographer Christian Spuck, the company continues to cultivate its established traditions and to tread new artistic paths, continuously developing the genre of traditional narrative ballet using innovative choreographic techniques. The dancers also dedicate their energies to contemporary, abstract dance. Internationally renowned choreographers such as William Forsythe, Paul Lightfoot, Sol León, Douglas Lee, Stephan Thoss and Edward Clug work in Zurich, ensuring that the company’s repertoire remains stylistically varied. The ensemble also continues to cultivate the choreographic legacy of Heinz Spoerli, whose ballets remain part of Zurich Ballet’s repertoire. In the “Young Choreographers” series, members of the ensemble assume personal artistic responsibility.
The Junior Ballet was established in 2001 as an institution aimed at promoting talented young dancers, giving fourteen young dancers from all over the world the opportunity to enjoy a supervised transition from the end of their training to full entry into professional life. During an engagement lasting no more than two years, they train together with the members of Zurich Ballet, dance with them at selected performances from the repertoire, and at a ballet evening arranged especially for them once every season. They thus gather the stage experience necessary for a dance career.
Zurich Ballet’s performances are accompanied by a comprehensive supporting programme featuring matinees before ballet premières; introductions to works before the performances; regular ballet discussions; and a wide variety of special projects for children, young people and schools.