Bavarian Junior Ballet Munich
Over the past ten years, the Bavarian Junior Ballet Munich has offered young dancers the opportunity to develop into professional artists beyond the completion of their formal dance training in a nurturing environment. As the first junior company in Germany, the ensemble was established in 2010 through the efforts of Konstanze Vernon, Bettina Wagner-Bergelt, Jan Broeckx and Ivan Liška as an innovative partnership between Munich’s largest dance institutions. The Heinz Bosl Foundation leads this cooperation together with the Bavarian State Ballet and the Ballet Academy of the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich.
The young ensemble consists of sixteen dancers: seven scholarship holders enrolled as master-class students at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Munich and nine volunteers from the Bavarian State Ballet. Over the course of a two-year period, on a daily basis, ensemble members are intensively prepared for their professional career by artistic director Ivan Liška and training and rehearsal director Olivier Vercoutère. This provides the dancers with a supportive environment where they can experiment, learn from their mistakes, grow through their exposure to a vast and challenging repertoire and develop through their experiences onstage.
Thanks to the generous support of the company’s ambassador, Dr. Irène Lejeune, the company has amassed an extensive repertoire of classical, neo-classical and contemporary ballets from the international canon. The demanding works of renowned choreographers such as George Balanchine, August Bournonville, Nacho Duato, Jiři Kylián, Hans van Manen and Marius Petipa allow the young artists access to a wide and stylistically varied forms of dance art. Working together with curated choreographers, such as Aszure Barton, Caroline Finn, Eric Gauthier, Jörg Mannes or Richard Siegal, the future paths of the young artists crystallize through their very participation in the creative process. As part of the company’s cooperation, the ensemble appear regularly onstage at Munich’s National Theatre together with the Bavarian State Ballet enabling them to gain the professional development they are striving for.
Since its inception, the junior company has managed to dance its way into the hearts of audiences far beyond the borders of Bavaria too: as a cultural ambassador of the Free State of Bavaria and the City of Munich, the ensemble have performed to great acclaim across Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Czech Republic, Israel and Hong Kong. The youthful verve with which the young dancers burst from the stage has become a recognisable calling card for audiences and critics alike. Through their rigorous schedule of touring performances abroad, the ensemble members benefit through the development of self-confidence and artistic development which they take with them when joining large ensembles beyond their time with the company. Former members of the Bavarian Junior Ballet Munich currently dance in companies and cities the likes of the Bavarian State Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Hamburg Ballet, Ballet of Difference in Cologne, Helsinki, Oslo, Prague, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Seoul in South Korea, Pilsen, Graz, Wiesbaden, Antwerp, Berlin, Warsaw, Ostrava, Vienna, Saarbrucken, Magdeburg, Brno, Flensburg, Innsbruck, Essen, Leipzig, San Francisco and Paris.