What Is the Oldest Ballet Company in the World Still Running Today?


The oldest ballet company in the world still running today is the Royal Ballet of London. Founded in 1931 by Dame Ninette de Valois and Cyril Beaumont, it has become one of the most respected ballet companies in the world. It has been home to some of the greatest dancers, choreographers and composers of all time, and continues to be a major force in classical ballet today.

The Royal Ballet is based at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London, and is one of the largest classical ballet companies in Europe. It boasts an extensive repertoire that spans from classic ballets such as Swan Lake and Giselle to modern works like Christopher Wheeldon’s The Winter’s Tale. The Royal Ballet also regularly performs contemporary ballets such as Christopher Bruce’s Rooster and Kenneth Macmillan’s Romeo & Juliet.

The Royal Ballet has performed in some of the most prestigious venues throughout Europe and beyond, including The Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, The Paris Opera House, Sydney Opera House and New York City Center. It also tours internationally on a regular basis, bringing its unique blend of classical ballet to audiences around the world.

The company has had many notable alumni over its long history including Margot Fonteyn, Rudolf Nureyev, Darcey Bussell and Carlos Acosta. The current artistic director is Kevin O’Hare who took over from Monica Mason in 2012. Under his leadership The Royal Ballet has continued to push boundaries with new works such as Woolf Works by Wayne McGregor.


The Royal Ballet of London is not only one of the most respected ballet companies in the world but it is also the oldest still running today. Founded over 80 years ago it continues to deliver classical ballet performances that delight audiences across Europe and beyond. With its impressive alumni list and cutting edge performances it shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon.