In 2014, Opera Vlaanderen merged with the Royal Ballet of Flanders, which was founded in 1969 by Jeanne Brabants. Her successors as artistic director have been respectively Valery Panov, Robert Denvers, Kathryn Bennetts, Assis Carreiro and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. Each of them brought their own artistic interpretation of what ballet can mean, but all have been united by a desire for diverse programming. That also typifies the leadership of Jan Vandenhouwe, the current artistic director of Opera Ballet Vlaanderen. Key elements in his ballet programming are a stylistic flexibility ranging from classical ballet to contemporary dance, passing on the legacy of contemporary Flemish dance to a new generation and creating hybrid productions in which opera and ballet are combined. In the coming years, he is collaborating with three associate artists: Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Jan Martens and Jermaine Spivey.