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Fantasia Ballet: Celebration of Dance

Fantasia Ballet: Celebration of Dance

Fantasia Ballet, the first ballet school in Abu Dhabi, celebrates 25 years since its establishment in 1997. It was founded at the heart of the community — the Cultural Foundation, Abu Dhabi — under the direction of Svetlana Al Neyadi. The history of Fantasia Ballet began when the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE, established the community centre at the Cultural Foundation offering music, ballet and visual arts classes, where Al Neyadi was the first to head the ballet class. Al Neyadi has since trained thousands of students, with several continuing their dance education and joining prominent dance companies all over the world. This concert is a celebration of the art form being part of the history and the future of the UAE, as well as an appreciation of those who started the journey, contributed and paved the way for future generations.
For this performance, the students will present various excerpts from well-known ballets such as Le Corsaire, Don Quixote, Esmeralda and more, as well as pieces choreographed by the Artistic Director, which have won the school numerous awards in prestigious youth competitions.

Entry is free. To reserve your seat, please email

Date: 4 March 2023
Time: 7pm
Venue: Cultural Foundation Auditorium, Al Hosn


About Fantasia Ballet

Fantasia Ballet was founded in 1998 by Svetlana Al Neyadi, Artistic Director and Ballet Master, as the United Arab Emirates’ first youth ballet school.
At the age of nine, Svetlana was chosen at audition, out of few hundred girls, to undertake professional ballet education at Donetsk School of Choreography, which followed the renowned Vaganova method of classical ballet.
Between 1989 and 1991 Svetlana was invited to work with many prestigious ballet companies in Moscow and Ukraine, including performing on tours of Russia, Ukraine, Latvia, Estonia, Moldova, Armenia, Poland, Bulgaria, Germany and other countries.In 1996, Svetlana was invited to teach the first ballet classes at the Cultural Foundation, Abu Dhabi. Within three months, the first group of five ballet students at the Children’s Centre within the Cultural Foundation had turned into two steady groups of 30 students each.

In 1998, with ballet becoming more popular, Svetlana opened her private ballet school, Fantasia Ballet, while still continuing her work at the Cultural Foundation, until it closed its doors for renovation.
Since 1998, Svetlana has trained more 500 students through to professional ballet training level and has created teams (of six to eight girls) who have represented the school overseas.
Fantasia Ballet is the only school in the United Arab Emirates that follows the Vaganova training method.
In 2008–09, Fantasia Ballet represented the United Arab Emirates at the International Festival of Arts in ARTEK, Crimea, where they received several awards.
In 2010–11, Fantasia Ballet represented the United Arab Emirates at the 7th and 8th International Festival of Youth Ballet in Ukraine. Svetlana led her ballet students to achieve the title of Laureate 7th and 8th International Festival of Ballet, bringing home the 1st degree and special prize of the festival, the Chrystal Rose, “for high ballet standard”.
In 2012, Svetlana Al Neyadi won the GR8 Middle East Women Award, for Best Talent in Ballet.
In 2017, Fantasia Ballet won “best character performance” in Bulgaria.
In 2020, Fantasia Ballet competed in the Jewels Festival in Prattsville, New York, winning one gold and two silver prizes.


About Eman Al Hashmi  

Eman Al Hashimi is the first female Emirati composer for orchestra and music soundtracks. She is also a pianist, painter, poet, scenarist, writer, and an international certified life coach, who has a bachelor's degree in Human Resources Management and a master's degree in arts of communications and strategic public relations. Eman regularly performs in different venues in the UAE and is a contributor to the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi Music Programme.