Your training might be based mostly in classic ballet. Why not, if you have the ability to travel or check out dance companies online, take the time to explore the realm of contemporary ballet? Contemporary ballet combines classic ballet with elements of modern dance, even infusing the traditional form with jazz or hip hop at times. Here’s BalletBox’s list of contemporary ballet companies to start following:


Ballet X

According to Ballet X’s website, they’ve staged 65 world premieres since opening in 2005. Based in Philadelphia, the company emphasizes thorough experimentation, technique and exploration. If you can’t make it to Philadelphia to see one of their premieres, experience the behind the scenes world of Ballet X on their Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube channel.


Lemon Sponge Cake

Lemon Sponge Cake Contemporary Ballet is a company as enjoyable as their sweet namesake. The contemporary group likes to take risk in all aspects of its performance, while relying on well-practiced ballet technique. Although the company is based in Boulder, Colorado, they’ve toured both classes and performances around the world. You can also find view performance and class clips online on YouTube or Instagram.


Indianapolis Ballet

Though not as contemporary as other companies listed, the Indianapolis Ballet opened in 2018, making it one of the newest companies to take the stage recently. They perform many classic works, along with hosting a company and ballet school. They’ve worked with so they can hold events in various locations. Looking to see more of their modern work, however? The company participates in IndyFringe, an accessible, affordable event in Indianapolis that allows performing artists to experiment and push the boundaries of their work. The Indianapolis Ballet’s 20-member ensemble will perform in IndyFringe this year as the start of their first ever full season, making it a perfect opportunity to show off their versatile, contemporary skills.


Aspen Santa Fe Ballet

This ballet company has two homes–snowy Aspen and sunny Santa Fe. The two landscapes of the company are as varied as their technical work. Since its founding in 1996, the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet grew its reach from seven dancers to industry-pushing work and its two home bases throughout western America. Beyond its two hometowns, the company also tours around the country, performing at places like Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and collaborating with companies like India’s Nrityagram Dance Ensemble this summer. Find more information on Instagram and Facebook.


Alonzo King LINES Ballet

This contemporary dance company was founded in 1982 by Alonzo King, a well-known experimental choreographer who transformed the dance scene in San Francisco, California, where the company is now based. LINES Ballet draws on global influences and traditional techniques to reveal new possibilities in the world of American dance. You can find the company in San Francisco and touring in New York and Canada over the next year, and you can also find them on YouTube and Facebook.  


Nederlands Dance Theater

Look across the world for some contemporary ballet inspiration–you’ll find inspiration from companies like the Nederlands Dance Theater, based in The Hague, Netherlands. Consistently recognized as one of the top dance companies in Europe, if not the world, this contemporary dance company attracts visitors from all over the world. The company is built on two different groups, allowing Nederlands Dance Theater to incorporate dancers of a variety of ages. You can find clips on their YouTube, updates on Facebook, and stunning images on their Instagram.


Ballet of Difference

The Munich-based company Ballet of Difference emphasizes diversity and questions norms. Beyond just pushing the boundaries of and improvising with classical ballet, Ballet of Difference actually intends to question the form of classical ballet itself. Watch their work, and you’ll leave not just thinking about dance, but about identity, society, and standards. Find them on Facebook, if you’re interesting in learning more about their mission and work.



Complexions Contemporary Ballet, which is based in New York City, was founded in 1994 with the intention of rejuvenating the ballet form. It’s been named America’s original multicultural ballet company, which speaks to its ability to push the boundaries of the ballet world with a wide reach. For example, its founding coartistic director, Dwight Rhoden, has created over 80 works, choreographing for Complexions and dance companies across the world. His work has even been seen in collaborations with Prince and Kelly Clarkson and on shows like So You Think You Can Dance. Find them on Facebook, where they have over 100,00 followers, or Instagram.

Are we missing any schools that you think should be added to the list? Let us know in the comments below!

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