Watch CBS News

Best Places To See Ballet In The Detroit Area

Le Ballet Comique, the first ballet de court, was performed in 1581 in the palace of King Henry II of France, for a royal wedding. For ages to follow, ballet was a dance performed by and for royalty. King Louis XIV of France brought ballet to the public when he opened the Opéra de Paris in 1669. What we now know as classic ballet is the dance steps performed for Louis XIV. The most famous ballerina in Detroit, Mary Celeste Geiger, was the prima ballerina of the Royal Ballet of Flanders, where she performed before - and met - countless heads of state, including Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Geiger began to share her talent and love for ballet with Detroit-area youths by founding the Geiger Classic Ballet Academy. One of her students, Farmington Hills' Kirsten Haglund, became an instant celebrity when she won the crown for Miss America, 2008.

These are the best places to see ballet in the Detroit area.

Michigan Classic Ballet

Michigan Classic Ballet Company
782 Denison Court
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302
(248) 334-6964

Notable ballerinas Olga Pavlova and Yevgeni Anfinogenov performed at the Michigan Classic Ballet Company as the "Swan Lake" Princess Odette and Prince Siegfried. Mary Celeste Geiger performed the principle role of Giselle as originated in the Ballet du Théâtre de l'Académie Royale de Musique at the Salle Le Peletier in Paris. While there are different types of ballet performed, such as Russian, Italian and French, since Detroit is a former French territory, most ballets keep with tradition and follow the French style. The Michigan Classic Ballet Company performs high-caliber ballet such as the full-length "Cinderella" and Arthur Saint-Léon's "Coppélia," and is the regional favorite for performing Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker" on television and for Christmas symphonies.

Related: Michigan Classic Ballet Prepares For Nutcracker Performance

Ballet Dancers on Stage
(credit: Thinkstock)

The River Raisin Ballet
114 S Monroe St
Monroe, MI 48161
(734) 242-RRCA

The River Raisin Ballet is a premier dance company based in Monroe, and performs throughout southeast Michigan. Past performances include "The Wizard of Oz", "Peter Pan" and "Alice in Wonderland." Artistic director Gail Choate-Pettit is a Diploma Fellow of the Cecchetti Council of America which trains, examines and offers certification in classical ballet; therefore the quality of River Raisin Ballet is of a highly sophisticated level. The organization presents a ballet every spring, and a lavish production of "The Nutcracker" during the holidays.

Ballet Dancers
(credit: Thinkstock)

Michigan Opera Theatre
Maggie Allesee Dance Series
1526 Broadway St
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 237-7464

The Maggie Allesee Dance Series include a variety of performances such as Corella Ballet's "Swan Lake," Balletmet's "The Nutcracker," Rasta Thomas' "Bad Boys of Dance," American Dance Theatre's Alvin Ailey and special presentations by The Bolshoi Ballet, The Kirov Ballet and Joffrey Ballet. Ballets have been presented in opera houses since The Sun King (Louis XIV of France) built the first one in Paris. The Michigan Opera Theatre is the premiere opera house in Detroit, where famous stars like Luciano Pavarotti, Dame Joan Sutherland, The Three Tenors and Andrea Bocelli have been notable performing artists.

Classical Ballet Dancers in Motion
(credit: Thinkstock)

Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts
350 Madison St
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 887-8500

Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts was built by Matilda Dodge Wilson in 1928 to rival the opulence and grandeur of any European legitimate stage. Just entering the magnificent building is a show in itself. At the most recent ballet, Ballerino Sergei Radchenko of The Bolshoi presented a lavish, elegant production of ballet highlights from numerous masterworks. Some of those highlighted include "The Sleeping Beauty" Act III Pas de Deux, "The Ocean and the Pearls" from "The Little Humpbacked Horse," "Don Quixote" Act III Grand Pas and selections from "Paquita."

(credit: Thinkstock)

Fathom Events

Fathom Events places digital cameras at the most spectacular cultural events and transmits them, via satellite, live to HD cinema screens in the Detroit area. HD technology means you see dazzling colors that no 35-mm film projection can produce. Broadcasted live from Moscow's renowned Bolshoi Ballet, "The Sleeping Beauty" was brought to greater Detroit to the awe of ballet enthusiasts. That performance marked the debut of David Hallberg on the Bolshoi stage – the first American dancer in history to join the Bolshoi as a principal dancer. A ticket in the stalls at the Bolshoi costs 11,000 rubles (almost $400), but seeing the show live, with the benefit of up-close camera shots costs under $20 at Fathom Events.

Related: Moscow Ballet's "Great Russian Nutcracker" Returning To Fox Theatre

Romero Anton Montalban-Anderssen is the winner of the 2009 first prize in journalism from the Detroit Working Writers Organization. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from Wayne State University School of Law. He has seasonal residency in Detroit Michigan, The Italian Riviera, and Honolulu Hawaii. His work can be found at

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.