A syllabus encompassing a synthesis of French, English and Russian techniques is used as basis for the curriculum. A range of important international centers for the classical dance tradition that in addition to Russia include France, the United States and England, serve as orientation points for the study program. It strives to be open and to promote exchange; current trends demand that a classical dancer has enjoyed a broad training. An important inspiration source is the neo-classical repertoire, from Balanchine to Forsythe, with its pace and complex musicality. This is reflected in the lessons and the repertoire of the school performances.
The ever growing forward looking repertoire of Dutch National Ballet forms the starting point for inspiration for teachers and students alike and sets the bar for what is required of a classical dancer these days. Dutch National Ballet Academy aims to train dancers who have a clean technical base from which they can take on any style.
To prepare for their work with contemporary choreographers, students follow improvisation lessons and work with guest choreographers. During improvisation lessons, they learn to research movement material independently, decide on phrasing and work together with others in space. During modern technique and repertoire lessons they gain experience in working with contemporary movement vocabulary.
Next to technical mastery, mental development, developing power of expression and an individual (theatre) personality, are equally important aspects of dance artistry. With the choice of repertoire, the development of these qualities is taken into account. The goal for a dancer is to attain such a degree of technical skill and artistic insight that they can achieve freedom of expression and presentation on stage. Watching repertoire performed and experiencing how to dance it, is very important.
At the Academy of Theatre and Dans (ATD) 7 competences serve as a guide regarding the content of the education and also the assessment of it. They are:
- Creative Potential
- Investigative and reflective abilities
- Potential for Growth and Innovation
- Entrepreneurial and organisational ability
- Communicative ability
- Collaborative ability
Although of course all of these competences are important and will serve as a guideline through all subjects taught to BA students at the Dutch National Ballet Academy, the Dutch National Ballet Academy has decided that the main focus for students training to be highly skilled classical performing dancers lies with Creative Potential, Craftmanship and Collaborative ability.