Ballet is one of the world’s most popular dance genres.
Ballet dancers are renowned for their grace, flexibility and athleticism.
Ballet began as a court dance, which looked drastically different from the art form we know and love today. It originated in Italy during the Renaissance and was introduced to the French court by Catherine de Medici, wife of King Henry II. However, the popularity of ballet didn’t really flourish until a century later, when King Louis XIV standardized the art form.
Nowadays, many companies are trending towards a more modern ballet, which mixes modern and contemporary dance with ballet technique. However, classical ballet techniques are still practiced: Cecchetti in Italy, Vaganova in Russia, Bournonville in France, Royal Academy of Dance (or RAD) in England and Balanchine in the USA. All of these styles rely on the same basic ballet technique, but the aesthetic and approach differs from one school to the next.
Popular Ballet Articles
Click here for more ballet articles.
Today, modern and contemporary dance draw from many other dance genres. However, modern dance was created as a new form of physical expression – as distinct from ballet.
Modern dance founders include Isadora Duncan and Ruth St. Denis. However, Martha Graham is consistently seen as the mother of modern dance. Graham’s contemporaries include Merce Cunningham, Lester Horton and José Limón.
Post-modern dance followed these leaders, and is often referred to as ‘contemporary dance’ or ‘lyrical dance’ in the commercial dance industry.
Popular Modern & Contemporary Dance Articles
Click here for more modern and contemporary articles.
More articles about folk dance and other traditional dances coming soon…
Dance can be blended with many other physical art forms to create unique performances. For instance, dance can play a large role in musical theatre shows and operas. Dance can also be found paired with circus or in dynamic physical theatre shows.