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Vienna State Ballet

The ballet seasons of the Vienna State Ballet, which run from September to June each year, are full of excitement. The bandwidth ranges from large narrative ballets to American neo-classical performances and contemporary dance. Each season brings a Who's Who of dance art to the stages: Several premieres and works from the extensive repertoire reflect a fascinating cosmos of different forms, aesthetics, working methods, and casts.

The ballet director is Martin Schläpferfrom Switzerland, himself a gifted choreographer. His works are as intense as they are virtuoso.

The best thing is to take a look right now at the current program of the Vienna State Ballet!

One company – two stages

Two of Vienna's most beautiful and largest stages are the regular performance venues of the Vienna State Ballet: The Vienna State Opera – otherwise reserved for opera performances – and the Vienna Volksoper, where the genres of opera, operetta, and musical are also at home.

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Vienna State Ballet - Tabula rasa, Goldberg Variations, 2023

400 years of history

At the beginning of this development of ballet in Vienna stood an empress: Eleonore Gonzaga, the wife of Emperor Ferdinand II, performed a ballet in Vienna for the first time in 1622. This was followed by the first flowering of the new art form, which at the time was practiced solely by members of the nobility. This "noble" ensemble was led by the respective emperor himself. Only gradually were professional dancers accepted. The formation of a purely professional troupe only took place in the early 18th century.

Wiener Staatsballett: Promethean Fire
© Promethean Fire © Ashley Taylor

Legends of the Viennese ballet scene

Among the dancers and choreographers of international origin working in Vienna are personalities whose names are now legendary:

  • from Italy: Santo and Domenico Ventura, Gasparo Angiolini, Gaetano Vestris, Salvatore Viganò, Jean Coralli, Filippo, Marie and Paul Taglioni, Carlotta Grisi, Fanny Cerrito
  • from France: Jean Georges Noverre, Louis Duport, Jean Aumer, Jules Perrot
  • from Denmark: August Bournonville, Lucile Grahn
  • from Germany: Heinrich Kröller
  • Among the Austrians who have written ballet history: Franz Hilverding, Fanny Elssler, Josef Hassreiter, Grete Wiesenthal, and Erika Hanka.

The formation of a national ensemble began in the second half of the 19th century with Josef Hassreiter, the creator of the global hit Die Puppenfee (The Fairy Doll). Local artists have dominated ballet happenings in Vienna ever since, although a string of singular personalities from abroad set highlights in Vienna time and time again – among them the great Rudolf Nureyev.

Vienna State Opera (Wiener Staatsoper)

Opernring 2
1010 Vienna
  • Accessibility

    • Side entrance
      • 2 Steps (Swinging doors 87 cm wide)
    • Car parks Main entrance
      • Parking spaces for people with disabilities
        Operngasse, Opernring intersection
    • Elevator available
      • Door 80 cm wide
    • Further information
      • Seeing eye dogs allowed
      • 22 Wheelchair spaces available (4 in the stalls/orchestra, 18 seats in the gallery as needed)
      • Wheelchair accessible restroom available.
    • Special offers for people with disabilities

      Tours in ten languages, prior notification for wheelchair users necessary (Tel. +43 1 514 44–2606). Language display.

    • Comments

      Portable ramps available for steps inside building.
      To reserve wheelchair and companion seats for performances, tel. +43 1 514 44-2653 (Mo-Fri, 9.00 am – 4.00 pm)

Vienna Volksoper

Währinger Straße 78
1090 Vienna
  • Accessibility

    • Elevator available
      • Door 80 cm wide
    • Further information
      • Seeing eye dogs allowed
      • 2 Wheelchair spaces available (in stalls, 13 additional wheelchair seats possible, prior notification via phone required 10 days before performance)
      • Wheelchair accessible restroom available.
    • Comments

      Elevator not suitable for wheelchairs.

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