The Escola de Dança do Conservatório Nacional was founded in 1835. The only officially-recognized institution of its kind in Portugal, the Escola incorporates academic coursework within its eight-year, classical ballet training programme. Students with demonstrated potential for a career in ballet are selected through an audition process.
The school adopted the Vaganova curriculum in 1987. The curriculum emphasizes classical technique and variations, pas de deux, character dance, contemporary dance technique, composition, Pilates, and elements of production. Workshops given by guest choreographers provide an opportunity for students to put into practice knowledge and skills acquired in class. Students are also encouraged to take part in study visits, take in exhibitions, and show off their skills in a series of performances put on annually by the Escola.
Quebra-Nozes_14012012-Henrique-Morais-Photographer-341Students trained by the Escola de Dança do Conservatório Nacional have performed with numerous dance groups and ballet companies, both in Portugal and abroad: the Companhia Nacional de Bailado (Portugal), the Ballet Gulbenkian (Portugal), the Companhia Portuguesa de Bailado Contemporâneo (Portugal), the Zürcher Ballett (Switzerland), the Compañía Nacional de Danza (Spain), the Koninklijk Ballet van Vlaanderen (Belgium), the Ballets de Monte-Carlo (Monaco), the Norwegian National Ballet, and the Martha Graham Dance Company (USA).
Annual enrolment: 190 students
Annual performances: approximately 15
Facilities: 7 studios, 12 classrooms, two libraries, a cafeteria and a computer room
Staff: 32 dance teachers, 29 academic teachers, and 17 accompanying musicians
Prix de Lausanne participants: 11