Ballet of the National Theatre Belgrade had been founded in 1919 even the first full length ballet was performed only in 1923. The beginning belongs to the Russian ballet artists from the Imperial Russian Theatres emigrated from Russia during and after The World War 1. Belgrade Ballet and the Belgrade public were brought up on the model of the purest classical ballet inheritance but also on choreographies of modern and contemporary repertoire at that time imported by the principal dancers of the immortal world know company Les Ballets Russes of Diaghilev. The places of honor belong to Elena Poliakova, prima ballerina of the Marijinski Theatre in St.Petersburg, Margherita Froman and Nina Kirsanova from Bolchoi Thatre.

At that time Anna Pavlova and Tamara Karsavina performed in Belgrade in various performances together with first Serbian prima ballerina Natalia Boskovich. It was at that time that very talented artists received their dance education and that the taste of the audience was determined on the highest tradition of Russian Imperial Theatres.

The ballets like Swan Lake, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty and Don Quixote have been constantly on the repertoire in Belgrade till today following the original choreographies of Marius Petipa as well as the modern pieces of Michal Fokine, Leonid Massine, David Lichine, Boris Knyazev and Boris Romanoff.


Dimitrije Parlić (1916-1986) world renowned choreographer achieved exceptional dance pieces as a choreographer highlighting several decades the company’s work and art policy, His ballets were unquestionable contribution to the affirmation of the Ballet of the National Theatre in the period 1950 – 1980 on home and foreign stages, and on many tours abroad.

Many foreign choreographers worked and shaped the profile of this company in Belgrade such as: Leonid Lavrovsky, Maurice Bejart, Janine Charrat, Doris Laine, Jiry Kylian, Paul Lightfoot, Marie-Claude Pietragalla, Vladimir Vassilev etc…


The ballet of the National Theatre had an exceptionally great number of presentations abroad, thus successfully representing its tradition worldwide: From Japan, Cairo, Teheran, all around Europe up both Americas in the most important cultural centers. The company has been awarded and received numerous recognitions both national and international.