What is Ballet?

Today’s ballet unites strict dance technique which has evolved over the past five centuries, with music, staging and costume to create great theatrical works of dramatic, lyric or pure dance interest.  Ballet can tell a story, express a thought or emotion, and can be magical, exciting, thought provoking, disturbing, and beautiful.  Audiences today can enjoy a huge range of ballet from the great classical ballets such as Sleeping Beauty and the Nutcracker; neo-classical works by choreographers such as George Balanchine, to new contemporary works by exciting choreographers such as Akram Khan and Liam Scarlet.

An art form created by the movement of the human body, ballet has its roots in the spectacles of Renaissance Italy, which combined music, singing, poetry and dancing. These spectacles gained popularity in the French royal courts, especially under Louis XIV and thus the technique and art gradually developed.  In the early 19th Century Carlo Blasis codified the technique and by the Romantic era ballet had arrived in much the form we now know.  Later, it flowered in Russia and was then revitalised in the West.  By the middle of the 20th Century, ballet, initially a diversion for nobility, had become popular worldwide.

Why learn ballet?

The disciplinary training of Classical Ballet provides the student with improved posture and a control of mind and body which is greatly beneficial to their health, physique and artistic appreciation.

Ballet training at any age promotes physical strength, flexibility and agility; develops concentration, and an understanding of music and rhythm; and generates a love of movement.  Ballet is also the foundation for all dance technique.

Penzance Ballet School teaches the Cecchetti Method of Classical Ballet, which follows a clearly defined structure of safe dance practice to provide sound classical training.

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