The National Ballet Sofia is on the threshold of its eight decade. The first professional Bulgarian ballet performance “Copellia” by Anastas Petrov appeared on 22 February 1928. From then on the era of the National Ballet troupe, incorporated to the National Opera from its very foundation began. Over the past years the National Ballet achieved a lot. Recognition for the professional mastery of the troupe is the high appreciation of experts and the audience in Bulgaria as well as abroad.
Since its very formation Bulgarian ballet synthesizes in its searching the Russian classical school and the German free dance expression. And while Anastas Petrov offers his editions of the classical ballets “Copellia”, “Chopiniana”, “Raymonda”, “The Doll's Fairy”, “Giselle”, “Swan lake”, “Esmeralda”, as well as the first work on national theme “Serpent and Yana” by Hristo Manolov /1937/, during that period in this country works the pronounced representative of the German free dance expression Maria Dimova who found a new perusal of the Bulgarian folklore in her staging of “Fire dance” by Marin Goleminov /1942/, “German” by Filip Kutev.
After 1945 the influence of the Russian classical school became stronger. Even the ballets, which are founded on folklore motives, were created by foreign, mainly Russian choreographers. Therefore appeared “Hajdushka pesen” by Alexander Raychev in the choreography of Nina Anisimova, “The Rider of Madara” by Dimiter Sagaev and choreography Vitold Borkovski. At the same time the Bulgarian choreographers, mastering the experience of the ballet decades, take their well- deserved place in the repertoire of our national troupe- Nina Kirajieva with “Nestinarka”, “Bahchisarayski Fountain” and “Laurencia”, Bogdan Kovachev with “Petrushka”, “Daphnis and Chloe”, “Haidouk Song” and “The Spring of White- legged Girl”, Galina and Stefan Yordanov with “Romeo and Juliet”, Asen Gavrilov with “The Miraculous Mandarin”, “Spartacus” and “Copellia”, Petar Lukanov with “Kaloyan's daughter”, “The Goat Horn”, “Legend of Love” and “Notre- Dame de Paris”, Margarita Arnaudova with her stagings “The Creation of the World”, “The Shadow” and “Fire- dance”.
The two tendencies for preservation and development of the classical repertoire and creation of new modern works are kept until today. Along with “Gisel”, ”The Sleeping Beauty”, “Swan Lake”, “Chopiniana”, “Paquita”, “La Sylphide”, “Don Quixote” in the playbill of the National Ballet are present the titles of master- pieces like “Romeo and Juliet” choreography Irzi Nemechek, “Spring Story” and “Sketches” choreography Anastas Petrov, “Boomerang” choreography Boris Eifmann, “The Badly- kept Girl” choreography Albert Alonzo, “Unfinished Symphony” choreography George Skibine, “The Lady With the Camellias” choreography Pierre Lacote, "Zorba il Greco” choreography Lorca Massine, appear the experimental staging of Boryana Sechanova, Donvena Pandurski, Hikmed Mehmedov, Anna Pampulova, Mariana Kruncheva, Jordan Krustev.
The creators of the National Ballet – choreographers and performers, play a leading part in the creation of the national performing school. The pioneers Anastas Petrov, Nina Kirajieva, Penka Encheva, Zhivko Biserov, Asen Gavrilov, Krum Yankov educate pupils of theirs, who successfully replace them on the stage- Vera Kirova, Krasimira Koldamova, Kalina Bogoeva, Margarita Dimitrova, Tzveta Djumalieva, Itchko Lazarov, Anton Stoynov, Emilia Kirova, Anastas Samev. They themselves train the future ballet generations- Baser Deyanov, Evgenia Krusteva, Boyko Nedelchev, Mariana Deneva, Ivan Tzanov, Yasen Valchanov, Alexander Alexandrov, Roumen Rashev, Maria Ilieva, Georgi Syarov and young Dilyana Nikiforova, Vesa Tonova- Krastanova, Darina Bedeva, Mariana Krancheva, Rosen Kanev, Trifon Mitev, Kaloyan Boyadjiev etc. The dancers of the National troupe are alumni of the National School of Dance Arts in Sofia and also the Moscow Academic Ballet School and the State Academic School of Choreography “A.Y.Vaganova” in St. Petersburg.
Over the past years directors of the troupe have been the eminent artists Petar Lukanov, Hikmed Mehmedov, Yasen Valchanov, Maria Ilieva, Silvia Tomova.
The National Ballet Sofia has performed with great success abroad with whole performances and concert programmes. Highly appreciated is its participation in a succession of the international music festivals.