I have a question for everyone reading this article. If ballet and dance is considering by American standards to be girly, then why are all of the great ballets written by men and performed mostly by men? It may seem like a trick question but it isnt. The answer is simple. The answer is because ballet isnt girly.
Ballet is actually a beautifully, artistic way of telling a story. It is a dance form taught in ballet schools according to specific methods and best known for its unique features and techniques, such as pointe work, turn-out of the legs, and high extensions. Ballet is identified for its combination of ethereal qualities along with graceful, flowing, and precise movements.
In case your interest in ballets may be peaked due to reading this story about exciting and complex ballet can be, here is a list of seven of the most famous and popular modern ballets performed across the United States:
The Nutcracker Originally composed by Tchaikovsky in 1891, this timeless classic is the most performed ballet of the modern era. The first production of The Nutcracker was performed in America by the San Francisco Ballet in 1944 and became an instant Christmas classic, a ritual performed during the holiday season. This great ballet not only has some of the most recognizable music in modern or classical times, but its story brings smiles to the faces of both children and adults.
Swan Lake – Swan Lake is a technically and emotionally challenging classical ballet for even the most adept dancer. At the time of its creation, the music far exceeded its time. Many early performers complained it was too difficult and complex to dance to. There isnt much information about its original production, but the revised version is the base of the many adaptations we see today. It is considered to be the standard of classical ballets which all the rest are compared to.
A Midsummer’s Night Dream Originally written by William Shakespeare as a play, A Midsummers Night Dream has been adapted to many styles of art. It wasnt until 1962, that it appeared as the full length ballet we know now. A Midsummers Night Dream is a popular and delightful ballet that almost anybody will love, even those who do not enjoy ballet or dance.
Copplia – Copplia is a light-hearted story telling of a mans conflict between idealism and realism, art and life. This comic ballet features a mixture of bright music and lively dancing. Its world premier was a successful in 1871 and continues to be so today.
Peter Pan – The dancing, scenery and costumes are as colorful as the story itself making it a great ballet fit for the entire family even though it is relatively new to the world of ballet. Since there is no one way to perform the piece, it is usually interpreted differently by each producer, choreographer and music director basically making it a new and different show every time its performed. Even though each production is different, the story itself remains without much variation.
The Sleeping Beauty Critics call The Sleeping Beauty Tchaikovskys first famous ballet. While The Nutcracker may be his most famous, this is often referred to as his best. The music in this ballet is just as important as the dancing. The story is a perfect match for ballet with its royal celebrations held in a magnificent castle, the battle of good and evil and the glorious victory of everlasting love. For as long as ballet exists and is performed, this classic ballet will live on.
Cinderella – Many versions of the Cinderella ballet exist, but the most famous are the ones that use Sergei Prokofievs score. The famous score was combined with a full-length production turning out to be a huge commercial success. Although known to millions as a movie, its a ballet too, and it deserves equal amounts of attention.