The National Conservatory of Lisbon is located in a 19th century building in the historical centre of Lisbon functioning as such since 1839. Though the discipline of dance was part of the educational program, integrated and related to other artistic disciplines, the current structure of the dance school was implemented in 1987. The school is fully state-funded and integrates the dance training program with academic middle and secondary school education.
Portugal does not have a strong cultural and historical background in classical dance in comparison with countries like France or Russia. Even so throughout the second half of the 20th century the importance of Dance in our cultural scene developed immensely culminating with the appearance of the Gulbenkian Ballet and the National Ballet Company. Many of the dancers and choreographers involved in this movement also took part in the development of this school.
Since then Portuguese dancers and choreographers have achieved an important reputation in many international Ballet and Contemporary dance companies and this of course has repercussions in the success of our school and its students. We are proud to have dancers who have left our school to dance in companies or work with choreographers of renowned reputation both in Portugal and abroad.
In accordance with this perspective, the school has a dance training program which is based strongly on classical ballet technique, along with the modern dance training based on Graham technique and more recently, we have started to introduce other Contemporary techniques related to the American Post-Modern movement.