How Russian Style Ballet Influenced American Ballet
Although originating in 15th and 16th century Italian Renaissance courts, and taking shape and being codified in Paris under the reign of Louis XIV, it wasn’t until 1850, when Russia became the leading epicenter of ballet, that ballet started to become what it is today. Curious to learn more? Take a look behind the curtain and learn more about how Russian ballet has influenced American ballet.
Ballet was introduced into Russia in 1689 and has since become known for creating and developing some of the strongest and most flexible dancers in the world. When talking about Russian ballet, it is impossible not to talk about the Vaganova method. Devised by it’s namesake, Agrippina Vaganova, a ballerina and teacher at the Mariinsky Ballet, the Vaganova method put the teaching of classical ballet into a workable syllabus. Combining elements of French, Italian, and early Russian techniques, the Vaganova method focuses on the strength and flexibility that ballet requires. It also favors students mastering ballet’s basic steps and movements before moving on to learn moves that are more difficult. Because of this, Russian ballet is able to produce dancers that can leap high through the air, pirouette multiple times with grace and elegance, and move about the stage in such an effortless way.
American Style Ballet Makes It Their Own
American style ballet takes the best features of Russian Ballet and makes it their own. These dancers are extremely flexible and strong, just like the Russian Ballet, but there is one difference – American Ballet encourages dancers to be unique and diverse.
Focusing on uniqueness and diversity, American Ballet doesn’t place limitations on what performances can be performed. Dancers’ ability to adapt to a wide variety of dance styles allows dance companies all across the United States to perform different productions for the public. With the American style of ballet, a dance company can perform anything from a traditional ballet such as Swan Lake or The Nutcracker to more modern productions.
Come see both Russian and American ballet for yourself. Check out Ballet Arizona’s upcoming 2019 – 2020 season and see for yourself how Russian style of ballet has influenced American ballet. Whether you choose to see a classic ballet such as The Nutcracker or a more modern production like All Balanchine, there is something for everyone!