Panov Ballet Theatre is a charitable non-profit organization which was founded in 1998 by the internationally renowned choreographer Valery Panov with the support of the City of Ashdod, the Ministry of Culture, Education and Sports and the Centre for the Absorption of Immigrant Artists. The Company’s creation responds to a need to provide Israel with a large scale touring Ballet Company of international standards and reputation.
The Panov Ballet Theatre is based in the newly built ‘Monart’ Centre For The Arts in Ashdod and from here tours throughout Israel and abroad. The Company performs works from the traditional classical ballet repertoire but is however open to new forms of dance, constantly searching to extend the boundaries and challenge the possibilities of the art. The repertoire currently includes some of Panov's existent ballets, as well as new works created by him for the company. The Company always plays to full houses and performances are invariably received with love and appreciation.
Following his career in ballet, as one of the world's most outstanding and renowned Russian dancers, and remarkable both for the virtuosity of his extraordinary technique as well as his unparalleled dramatic artistry, Valery Panov evolved into a choreographer of great mastery and rare poignancy. Since 1975 he has established himself as a choreographer of international fame creating works for large and medium scale theatres worldwide and during the past sixteen years Panov has been chief choreographer and Artistic Director of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Royal Ballet of Flanders in Antwerp and the Oper der Stadt Bonn.
In 1998 Valery fulfilled his lifelong dream to build a professional ballet company and school in Israel. He now envisions that within the next three years Panov Ballet Theatre will be recognized as a National Ballet Theatre. Significant milestones reached to date include Romeo and Juliet which transposes the well-known masterpiece into contemporary Israel’s Arab-Jewish conflict while carrying a clear anti-violence message. Cinderella has also been a unique and most successful production. Recently a new adaptation of this magical ballet has been created especially for children.
A Ballet Company founded and headed by an international star and choreographer of status such as Valery Panov can participate in, and strongly influence, new directions in art. Working with a strong technical and classically traditional base this company has already become a major player in the development of art and cultural life in the country. Panov Ballet Theatre acts as ambassador of Israel’s cultural life throughout the world. Panov’s reputation for excellence has already drawn stars to the Company (guest soloists, rehearsal assistants and teachers). His fame has helped forge numerous contacts within the cultural and political arena.
As a multi-cultural country Israel places a high priority on interaction and co-operation between the various ethnic groups. Furthering an appreciation and understanding of the arts brought to Israel with each wave of immigration encourages a spirit of tolerance and enriches Israel's own cultural stream. The international language of ballet helps bring together people from all the numerous and differing backgrounds and promotes an image for Israel of youth, vitality, beauty and unity to all.
The creation of Panov Ballet Theatre responds to a high demand for classical productions. The audience for classical work has increased significantly with the new wave of immigration. However, until recently arts centers and cultural organizations have spent considerable amounts of time, money and energy in bringing classical companies from abroad to satisfy the audience’s demand, instead of developing a national company of international significance. The creation of Panov Ballet Theatre is conducive to the development of Israel’s cultural life. Its productions, which include some works created and performed especially for children, help educate and develop an understanding and appreciation of dance at its very best. The Company’s vast repertoire is suitable for all types of audiences including children, youth as well as the adult ballet going public.