Why I adore Ballet | Sunday Observer

Why I adore Ballet

1 August, 2021

Ballet is a dance performed in an artistic way. It is said to have originated in Italy. The word Ballet is a French word.

The dance has different types namely Classical Ballet, Romantic Ballet, Neoclassical  and Contemporary Ballet. There are five ballet positions known as first position, second position, third position, fourth position and fifth position.

The countries in which ballet is most popular are France, Russia and England. Ballet was first started by Catherine de' Medici in Italy.

It was invented in the fifteenth century and is popular as it requires strict discipline not found in other forms of dance. Neoclassical ballet was created by George Balanchine. He is also known as the ‘Father of Neoclassical Ballet’.

It is a style opposite to classical ballet and has abstract elements, as there is no strict scenery, plot or costumes and minimal set design.

It eliminates the formalities and opens upto modern techniques and ideas. Neoclassical ballets are often described as sleek, modern, and clean because of the stripped down focus on dance itself.

Contemporary Ballet is a type of dance that incorporates elements of both Classical Ballet and Modern dance. Serge Diaghilev was the creator of Contemporary Ballet.

Classical Ballet is a mixture of the French style and the traditional, formal styles of ballet that exclusively employ classical ballet technique.

It is known for its aesthetics and rigorous techniques (such as pointe work, turnout of the legs, and high extensions), its flowing and precise movements.

Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty are classical dances. Classical Ballet was invented by Marius Petipa also known as the ‘Father of Classical Ballet’.

The dress of a ballerina is often ballet/pointe shoes, a leotard (or a tutu), tights. But most importantly you need to have very neatly brushed hair placed into a bun.

The ballet technique is resolved around the movement of the body which instills the gracefulness. When you are dancing the easiest method to be graceful is to flow with the music. It is very vital to remember never to have an arched back and to always have attitude. It is also very important to have your pointer slightly pointed out and your thumb facing inwards which is the technique for your hands.

The rules for ballet are pay attention at all times, stand like a dancer always, be courteous and respectful, try your best and always arrive on time.

I like ballet because it helps me clear my mind, it is also indeed fun.

Ballet also supports me with appearance and posture. I dance Classical ballet and follow the French syllabus which enables me to learn a different language too.

Ballet is my favourite dance which I have enjoyed since I was a little girl. I remember my mom telling me how I would run on my toes and enjoy dance music with my Barney since I was three years old. As the years passed I have only managed to shine and adore this dance.

Starting at such a young age it has built my confidence in many ways. With my ability in being very flexible it’s quite effortless to perform any ballet pose which enabled me to win the flexibility challenge from my grade this year.

I am currently enrolled at a ballet school which was also where my mom learnt ballet too. It is affiliated to the Royal Academy of Dance in the UK.

Ballet goes a long way in my family. I am a second generation student. My mom was also a ballet dancer; it was her dream to make me a ballerina.

This brings back many memories and becomes a blessing, which I believe is where I get my moves from. With her help and guidance, she improves my mistakes and helps me to progress especially during the dates closer to my exam and concert performances.

My first ballet was Peter and the Wolf in which I danced as one of the squirrels. Our last performance was Aladdin which was so much fun and I was given the opportunity to dance as a Lead Dancer as well as a Garland dancer. My mom and I enjoy our time together when we dance and she constantly tells me that she feels like a student again.

Enjoying many parts in this dance, like the movement, flexibility, new names and words, meeting new friends and dancing with them and the music, nonetheless, I mostly enjoy the syllabus work and the posture and character I am able to gain.

The variety of costumes too fascinate me. The pointe shoes which I am impatiently waiting to wear soon as I grow older is an added thing to look forward to.

Last of all, holding onto my mom’s dream I hope to walk in her pathway and be a lovely graceful ballerina someday.

Mckaella Karunaratne
Grade 6
Ladies’ College
Colombo 7.