Best Ballet Cities in North America

Ballet Capitals of US and Canadian cities: A Dancer’s Pilgrimage.
In the vast tapestry of North American culture, certain cities emerge as luminous beacons for the ballet lover. With their rich tapestry of history and dedication to the arts, these metropolises offer more than just performances; they are sanctuaries where the ballet’s soul thrives and evolves. With its dazzling array of star-studded performances at iconic venues, NYC is North America’s undisputed epicenter of ballet. Following closely are cities like Boston and San Francisco, each with a unique flair and contributions to the ballet world. Check out the best US and Canadian cities ranking by the number of ballet and dance performances.

Contents

Top 100 Cities

Rating of cities by number of ballet and dance performances
# City
Country
Performances
1 United States 318
2 United States 78
3 United States 63
4 United States 63
5 Canada 62
6 United States 57
7 United States 49
8 United States 45
9 United States 41
10 United States 41
11 United States 29
12 United States 29
13 Canada 28
14 United States 26
15 United States 21
16 Canada 21
17 Canada 21
18 United States 20
19 United States 19
20 United States 19
21 United States 19
22 United States 18
23 United States 16
24 United States 16
25 United States 14
26 United States 13
27 United States 12
28 United States 11
29 United States 11
30 United States 11
31 United States 11
32 United States 10
33 United States 10
34 United States 9
35 United States 9
36 United States 8
37 United States 8
38 United States 8
39 United States 8
40 United States 7
41 United States 7
42 United States 7
43 United States 7
44 United States 7
45 United States 7
46 Canada 7
47 United States 7
48 United States 7
49 United States 6
50 United States 6
51 United States 6
52 United States 6
53 United States 5
54 Canada 5
55 United States 5
56 United States 5
57 United States 5
58 United States 5
59 United States 5
60 United States 5
61 United States 5
62 United States 4
63 United States 4
64 United States 4
65 United States 4
66 United States 4
67 United States 4
68 United States 4
69 United States 4
70 United States 4
71 United States 4
72 United States 4
73 United States 4
74 United States 4
75 United States 4
76 United States 4
77 United States 4
78 United States 4
79 United States 3
80 United States 3
81 United States 3
82 United States 3
83 United States 3
84 United States 3
85 United States 3
86 Canada 3
87 United States 3
88 United States 3
89 United States 3
90 United States 3
91 United States 3
92 United States 3
93 United States 3
94 United States 3
95 United States 3
96 United States 3
97 United States 3
98 United States 3
99 United States 3
100 United States 3
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North America's Ballet Capitals

In North America’s vast and culturally diverse landscape, several cities stand out as beacons of ballet, each offering its unique flair and contribution to the world of dance. From New York City’s historic stages to Vancouver’s innovative platforms, ballet thrives, evolving and enchanting audiences with a blend of classical grace and contemporary boldness. Let’s tour these ballet capitals, exploring the essence that makes each city a pivotal point in the ballet cosmos.

Top Cities in the United States

New York City: The Pinnacle of Ballet Prestige.

For any ballet fan, a visit to New York City, the most important arts capital in the United States, is full of adventure. Home to both the New York City Ballet, the country’s foremost ballet company, and America’s very own ballet incarnation of The Paris Opera Ballet, the American Ballet Theatre (ABT), the city is a dynamic destination for ballet lovers around the world. The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, a national cultural shrine, presents both classics and avant-garde works performed by leading ballet companies and stars at the top of their game.

San Francisco: Where Tradition Meets Innovation.

On the West Coast, San Francisco’s ballet scene is driven by the pioneering San Francisco Ballet, the nation’s oldest professional company – a city that blends classicism and modernism by pairing phenomenal classics with breathtaking contemporary works. Performed in the opulent War Memorial Opera House, this company brings exquisite productions to life in one of the world’s premier stages.

Chicago: A Mosaic of Ballet Styles.

The very multiculturalism of Chicago comes through in its jazzy ballet culture, perhaps best exemplified in the ensemble of the Joffrey Ballet. The company boasts a repertoire ranging from classical to avant-garde; garish to sophisticated, a showcase not unlike the city itself. Such a commitment to broadening the scope of life in Chicago itself sets the stage for a ballet that is on the move.

Washington, D.C.: A Capital of Cultural Diplomacy.

Ballet serves as a form of cultural diplomacy in the capital, where The Washington Ballet performs at the Kennedy Center and the national arts temple that is the art-deco-adorned Ophelia ballet rehearsing at the Washington Ballet. Photo courtesy the company’s website. Located here has become fundamental to the company’s repertoire, a diverse fusion of classical and contemporary that speaks to its relationship to the past and to the future of the form.

Boston: A Hub of Ballet Innovation.

Boston ballet is cutting-edge: The Boston Ballet, which programs adventurously, blends classical ballet and new choreography, while the Boston Opera House is a historic rep theatre used by ballet companies.

Seattle, Houston, Philadelphia, and Beyond: Regional Powerhouses.

The field is deep enough that each offers something different: Seattle’s Pacific Northwest Ballet has gained a reputation for adventurous commissions; Houston Ballet offers the broadest repertory in America and a high-calibre academy; and Philadelphia’s ballet scene is anchored by the historic Pennsylvania Ballet.

Top Cities in Canada

Navigating the Canadian Ballet Tapestry: An Eclectic Fusion of Tradition and Innovation.

It’s hard to visualize, but there exists a vast Canadian ballet ecosystem, made up of long-established threads of tradition, which are embroidered by the bright colors of modern innovation. Canada’s ballet world is an impressive mosaic of companies and institutions, hovering in perfect balance between the historical and the contemporary.

The Pillars of Tradition: Toronto and Montreal’s Ballet Bastions.

The National Ballet of Canada, in its downtown Toronto home, is a bastion of classical ballet. Its repertory includes many of ballet’s canonical works, which draw upon familiar narrative tropes and, not incidentally, the aesthetic vocabulary of the past two centuries of ballet. Tutus shimmer, crowns sparkle and fairy-tale plots come to life before delighted audiences in Soldier’s Tale, The Nutcracker, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. But the company does not simply gaze into its own history. It commissions new work, which often contrasts with the classical, encouraging works that might bridge generations and help shape a cultural conversation.

Its counterpart, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, is only slightly further back, in colorful Montreal. Programmatically as eclectic as that city, this rival company also pays homage to the classics, while exploring works and repertoires on the cutting edge of modern dance. By creating beautiful and frightening choreographies from the rigid structures of classical form, and venturing into synergies with new ideas in technology and other art forms, these companies and their peers offer audiences aesthetic spaces in which to explore and experiment, and in the process, reclaim new types of sensuality.

The Vanguard of Innovation: Ballet BC’s Progressive Leap.

Then there’s the plucky little company west in Vancouver, which, on its very edge of the country, is on the most reckless edge of the ballet conversation possible. Known for its adventurous focus on mixing the eros and fluidity of modern dance with the exactitude of ballet, Ballet BC’s repertoire changes the very rules of ballet – and has a very different kind of storytelling to offer an audience that has grown up with attitudes and manners far from the wildest caprice in the ballrooms of France in the 17th century.

A Confluence of Styles: Canada’s Ballet Mosaic.

The Canadian dance scene denies the easy binaries of classical fidelity and contemporary zeal. Instead, it offers a mosaic cultural landscape. Performing on important stages in Toronto and Montreal alongside emerging studios in Vancouver and Winnipeg, the tradition of ballet skips and swirls in a dance scene that is at once reverent to its classical roots and also boldly at the forefront of what the art form could become. These institutions and the companies they house are simultaneously upholding and reworking ballet’s past to keep the art explosive, fresh, and emblematic of a country as varied and vast as Canada. The Canadian ballet scene continues to bewitch, amaze and inspire.

Best Ballet Companies

Like Water for Chocolate
Like Water for Chocolate
Performances: 7
Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center
Jul 16, 2024 7:30 PM
American Ballet Theatre
American Ballet Theatre
Performances: 7
Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center
Jul 16, 2024 7:30 PM
San Francisco Ballet
San Francisco Ballet
Performances: 10
Frost Amphitheater
Jul 26, 2024 7:30 PM
Starry Nights
Starry Nights
Performances: 2
Frost Amphitheater
Jul 26, 2024 7:30 PM
Houston Ballet
Houston Ballet
Performances: 73
Brown Theater at Wortham Center
Sep 6, 2024 7:00 PM
The Little Mermaid - Ballet
The Little Mermaid - Ballet
Performances: 7
Brown Theater at Wortham Center
Sep 6, 2024 7:00 PM
Ballet BC
Ballet BC
Performances: 15
Newmont Stage at The BMO Theatre Centre
Sep 6, 2024 7:30 PM
Take Form
Take Form
Performances: 2
Newmont Stage at The BMO Theatre Centre
Sep 6, 2024 7:30 PM
Alberta Ballet
Alberta Ballet
Performances: 30
Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
Sep 12, 2024 7:30 PM
La Sylphide - Ballet
La Sylphide - Ballet
Performances: 10
Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
Sep 12, 2024 7:30 PM
Music of Ramsey Lewis and More
Music of Ramsey Lewis and More
Performances: 1
Ravinia Pavilion
Sep 13, 2024 7:30 PM
Joffrey Ballet
Joffrey Ballet
Performances: 17
Ravinia Pavilion
Sep 13, 2024 7:30 PM
Rita Finds Home
Rita Finds Home
Performances: 1
Ravinia Pavilion
Sep 14, 2024 11:00 AM
New York City Ballet
New York City Ballet
Performances: 118
David H. Koch Theater
Sep 17, 2024 7:30 PM
Masters At Work
Masters At Work
Performances: 5
David H. Koch Theater
Sep 17, 2024 7:30 PM
Velocity - Ballet
Velocity - Ballet
Performances: 6
Brown Theater at Wortham Center
Sep 19, 2024 7:30 PM
Balanchine - Tchaikovsky Spectacular
Balanchine - Tchaikovsky Spectacular
Performances: 6
David H. Koch Theater
Sep 25, 2024 7:30 PM
Coppelia
Coppelia
Performances: 14
David H. Koch Theater
Sep 27, 2024 7:30 PM
Bolero X & Chamber
Bolero X & Chamber
Performances: 4
Theatre Maisonneuve At Place des Arts
Oct 2, 2024 8:00 PM
Fall Gala
Fall Gala
Performances: 1
David H. Koch Theater
Oct 9, 2024 7:00 PM
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