Classical and Contemporary Ballet

Topics: Ballet, Dance, Classical ballet Pages: 4 (1268 words) Published: June 20, 2011
Assignment #2
Classical and Contemporary Ballet
After seeing examples of both classical ballet and contemporary ballet, I enjoy watching classical ballet more because I take pleasure in watching fairytales come to life. Classical ballet does just that and much more. Classical ballet is generally structured on a narrative pretext. It is important that the audience has an understanding of the basic storyline so as to fully understand the complex combination of movement, music and storytelling that makes up a performance. Some ballets, like the Nutcracker or Sleeping Beauty, are based on traditional stories that are familiar even today; others are more obscure and require a greater effort on the part of the dancers and the audience to fully understand their meaning. Characters in classical ballet always perform on a proscenium stage, which very often has spectacular scenery on the sides of the stage. Elaborate costumes are typical to help the audience understand who is who and there is always a storyline. Pantomime is also used in order to have an even more specific portrayal of the characters. The choreography of classical ballets follows the rhythm of the music very closely. When watching classical ballets, I feel intrigued and fascinated by the elaborate costumes, scenery, and storyline. I also enjoy the large orchestral pieces of music that classical ballets are choreographed to. Additionally, I like that the ballerina has a heightened status and emphasis compared to the male dancer. Also, Ballerinas must always wear point shoes and tutus. In contemporary ballet, however, ballerinas do not always have to wear point shoes and the status of the male dancer is heightened. Contemporary ballet can be choreographed to any style of music whether it is abstract, jazz, classical music, etc. Furthermore, contemporary ballet generally has a lack of storyline or plot. This is why I enjoy watching classical ballet more than contemporary ballet. As an audience member, I...
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