To the untrained eye, all ballet dancers appear to be doing the same type of steps and movements, but they really aren’t all doing the same thing. While all ballet may look the same, there are actually different styles of ballet. Each style has specific characteristics that make it unique.
Curious to learn more about the different styles of ballet? Take a closer look at some of the more popular styles of ballet that are being performed all over the world.
The Earlier Styles of Ballet
Styles of ballet were largely based on the country it originated from. Countries like Russia, Italy, and France all have distinct movements that differ slightly from the other. However, the basic five positions of ballet remain consistent no matter what style is taught.
Most of the earlier styles of ballet are basically classified as classical ballet. Some specific characteristics of classical ballet include:
Strict rules on movements, positions of the feet and hands, and stylistic elements such as scenery or ways the arms are held
Intense emotion is shown by dancers as they perform on stage
Pointe work is the preferred method of dance for classical ballet
Roles in classical ballet are very traditional – men often are portrayed as strong and heroic while women are mystical, feminine and elegant
Modern Dance Styles Transform Traditional Classical Ballet
Classical ballet was performed for centuries without any changes. It wasn’t until more recent times that dance styles of dance, such as jazz, contemporary, or lyrical, started to combine with classical ballet.
Combining classical ballet with modern styles of dance created a very unique, yet artistically pleasing dance style. Some of the characteristics of this dance style include:
Freedom with costume choices, scenery, and movements that are being performed
Less restriction is placed on how moves are performed
Dancers are often encouraged to perform tasks that are more athletic and less ‘elegant and graceful’ – for example, dancers are encouraged to leap higher or lift their legs higher
Freedom with the type of dance that is performed – dancers may perform barefoot, in soft ballet shoes, or pointe shoes
Come See the Different Types of Ballet Styles in Action
Ballet Arizona is the best way to see different styles of ballet in action. Every year, the company performs a diverse selection of performances that include everything from traditional classical ballet performances to more modern productions.
Ballet Arizona’s 2019-2020 season was just announced and has a diverse selection of shows that will be performed throughout the year. Purchase season tickets to see a variety of dance styles live and in action. Single tickets for each production are also available.