Day of Croatian Ballet – November 4, 2023

Day of Croatian Ballet – November 4, 2023Ballet — 04. November 2023.

On November 4, just like every year until now, the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb marks the Day of Croatian Ballet. On November 4, 1876, 147 years ago the Zagreb Opera had the world opening night of opera Nikola Šubić Zrinjski by Ivan noble Zajc and on that occasion for the first time in history the names of dancers and the choreographer of ballet numbers were mentioned in the theatre booklet.

It is interesting that the first appearance of ballet numbers in another performance was not well accepted by the critics and the choreography done by Ivona Freisinger was sharply criticised by writer August Šenoa who wrote that it was „senseless jumping“ emphasising how the ballet must „definitely be eliminated“ from opera Zrinski. Luckily, Šenoa's suggestion was discarded and after not a very promising beginning Croatian ballet was slowly developing. According to Maja Đurinović „ballet from its very first appearances on the Zagreb stage had been shut down several times, but the enthusiasm and artistic vision of individuals contributed that it was imported and initiated again and again“. Almost 50 years were necessary from that humble beginning for Ballet to achieve its autonomy within the theatre and to set the fundamentals of professionalism on which it lies and bases its existence and artistic work today.

The CNT in Zagreb has been marking the Day of Croatian Ballet for many years with open ballet class together with the School for Classical Ballet in Zagreb.

The entrance is free, and the program commences at 10 a.m. Tickets can be picked up at the Box office. All those interested will have the opportunity to get a glimpse of a working day of a ballet dancer, i.e. that part that is usually hidden for the spectators. Besides the usual class, this year the ballet ensemble will perform a ballet number that was especially choreographed for 15 new dancers who have joined the company this season after a large international audition, opening a new chapter in Croatian Ballet.


Pupils of the School for Classical Ballet in Zagreb led by ballet pedagogue Emilija Sorić and with piano accompaniment of Stanko Wolf.

Open class of the Ballet of the CNT in Zagreb led by ballet mistress Pavla Pećušak and with piano accompaniment of music leader Ljudmila Šumarova

Pointé (performance of new members of the Ballet of the CNT in Zagreb) danced by: Elizabeth Anderson, Estrella Cebrino Torres, Makeely Foster, Ana Letizia Joly, Diana Montes Mota, Hinako Shinzaki, Marta Sironić, Agnese Stancanelli, Mattia Baccon, Seth Clark, Giovanni Messeri, Andrea Podda, Justin Popa, Takahiro Tamagawa and Raphael Trioli.

Choreographer: Massimiliano Volpini

Music: Tomaso Albinoni: Trattenimenti armonici per camera for baroque violin and cello

I. Opera sexta, Sonata in A-minor, no. 6, IV. movement – Allegro

II. Opera sexta, Sonata in A-minor, no. 6, II. movement – Allegro

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