Ballet

by Stavroula M.

Ballet is a type of performance dance that originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th century and later developed into a concert dance form in France and Russia. It has since become a widespread, highly technical form of dance with its own vocabulary based on French terminology. It has been globally influential and has defined the foundational techniques used in many other dance genres. Ballet may also refer to a ballet dance work, which consists of the choreography and music for a ballet production. A well-known example of this is The Nutcracker, a two-act ballet that was originally choreographed by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov with a music score by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

Ballets are usually[vague] theatrical and use elaborate costumes and staging. There are exceptions however, mostly by Balanchine. Ballet is also closely related to opera with many ballet companies stationed in opera houses and many operas, especially French and early Italian operas, containing ballet scenes. There is even a genre called opera-ballet that uses both singers and dancers in the main roles.

Ballet requires years of training to learn and master, and much practice to retain proficiency. It has been taught in ballet schools around the world, which have historically used their own cultures to evolve the art.

Types of ballet

 Classical ballet

balletClassical ballet is based on traditional ballet technique and vocabulary. There are different styles of classical ballet that are related to their areas of origin, such as French ballet, Italian ballet and Russian ballet. Several of the classical ballet styles are associated with specific training methods, which are typically named after their creators. For example, the Cecchetti method is named after its creator, Italian dancer Enrico Cecchetti.

  • Neoclassical ballet

 ballet2Neoclassical ballet is a ballet style that conforms to classical ballet technique and vocabulary, but deviates from classical ballet through such differences as unusually fast dance tempos and its addition of non-traditional technical feats. Spacing in neoclassical ballet is usually more modern or complex[than in classical ballet. Although organization in neoclassical ballet is more varied, the focus on structureis a defining characteristic of neoclassical ballet.

Contemporary ballet

 ballet3Contemporary ballet is a form of dance influenced by both classical ballet and modern dance. It employs the fundamental technique and body control (using abdominal strength) principles of classical ballet but permits a greater range of movement than classical ballet and may not adhere to the strict body lines orturnout that permeate classical ballet technique. Many of its concepts come from the ideas and innovations of 20th century modern dance, including floor work and turn-in of the legs. This ballet style is often performed barefoot. Modern ballets may include mime and acting, and are usually set to music (typicallyorchestral but occasionally vocal).

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