The Opera House opened on Universitätsplatz in 1907 as the central theatre for vaudeville and operettas – and even then, a dance company was a firm feature of the venue. Over the decades, the ballet mainly performed for Musiktheater productions. Following German reunification, however, it developed into an independent division of Theater Magdeburg (since amalgamated) under Ballet Director Irene Schneider (1991-2006), who helped the ballet company attain great popularity, creating some memorable ballet evenings and numerous premières with her ensemble. Since 2006, Ballett Magdeburg has been shaped by the Cuban Gonzalo Galguera, who has guided his company’s 22 dancers to major – and sometimes internationally recognised – success.
The classical company displays an artistic versatility and a full spectrum of styles, from classical ballet and neoclassical influences to modern dance. Gonzalo Galguera is always on the lookout for fresh artistic challenges: in the past these have included premières of Credo in 2005, Requiem in 2006 and Heilig! in 2009 as well as symphonic ballet evenings and ballet d’action performances such as Die verlorenen Schritte in 2008, Manon Lescaut in 2009 and Stürmische Höhen in 2011. The popular Tanzbegegnungen series has enriched the performance schedule of Ballett Magdeburg, although the company impressively reaffirms its classical roots in well-known works that include La Sylphide, Romeo and Juliet, The Rite of Spring, The Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty. As well as choreographing routines for Ballett Magdeburg, Gonzalo Galguera is responsible for appointing international guest choreographers such as Can Arslan and Pablo Lastras Sanchez. Ballett Magdeburg has also appeared in Cuba, Columbia and elsewhere. Another striking feature of Ballett Magdeburg is its apprentice scheme, in which each season, two talented dancers from around the world are given the chance to lay the foundations for a career in dance by integrating into the company with special support.