Ballet dancer  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

A ballet dancer is a person who practices the art of ballet.


Gendered titles

Traditions within ballet gender the titles given to men and women performing as ballet dancers. In French, a male dancer is referred to as a danseur, a female as a danseuse. In Italian, a ballerina is a title used to describe a woman who is a professional ballet dancer, usually holding a principal title within a ballet company; the masculine equivalent to this title is ballerino.

Hierarchic titles

Although the term ballerina is now commonly used to describe any female ballet dancer, it was once a rank given only to the most exceptional female soloists. The opera singer informal equivalent is diva.


Ballet companies continue to rank their dancers in hierarchical fashion, although most have adopted a sex neutral classification system, and very few recognise a single leading dancer. In most large companies, there are usually several leading dancers of each sex, titled Principal Dancer or Étoile to reflect their seniority within the company. Other common rankings include those of Corps de Ballet and Soloist. The title of Template:Lang is rarely used, and it is usually reserved as a mark of respect for an internationally renowned dancer who has had a highly notable career. Dancers who are identified as a Guest Artist, are usually those who have achieved a high rank with their company, and have subsequently been engaged to dance with other ballet companies around the world, normally performing the lead role.

Prima ballerina assoluta

The title or rank of Template:Lang was originally inspired by the Italian ballet masters of the early Romantic Ballet and was bestowed on a ballerina who was considered to be exceptionally talented, above the standard of other leading ballerinas. The title is very rarely used today and recent uses have typically been symbolic, in recognition of a notable career and as a result, it is commonly viewed as an honour rather than an active rank.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Ballet dancer" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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