What Was Ballet Like in the 19th Century?


Ballet in the 19th century was a source of great entertainment and delight for audiences. It was the era when ballet first gained popularity and recognition as an art form, with ballets being staged in theatres all over Europe.

The 19th century saw the emergence of some of the greatest ballet dancers and choreographers of all time. Marie Taglioni, Fanny Elssler, and Carlotta Grisi were some of the most prominent figures in ballet during this period.

They brought about revolutionary changes to the classical ballet style by introducing more daring leaps, turns, and movements that had never been seen before. They also introduced new music to the ballet repertoire which added to its charm and beauty.

The Romantic era of ballet began in the mid-19th century with ballets such as La Sylphide and Giselle creating a sensation among audiences. These ballets featured female protagonists who often portrayed fragile fairy-like characters that had magical powers. The focus on emotion and expression was also a big part of these performances, with dancers conveying their feelings through their movements instead of relying solely on facial expressions.

The latter half of the 19th century saw the emergence of another trend known as ‘academic’ or ‘classical’ ballet which focused more on technique than emotion or expression. This style was defined by its stringent rules, precise body positions, and rigorous training regimes for dancers. In this style, choreographers began to create larger-scale works that featured intricate group formations rather than relying on solo performers like in Romantic ballets.

The 19th century also saw emerging trends such as pointe work becoming more prominent in performances as well as experiments with different genres such as comical ballets or story ballets based on popular fairytales like Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty.

Overall, the 19th century was an important period for the development of ballet into what it is today – a beautiful art form that combines technical excellence with emotional expression to create a unique experience for audiences everywhere.

Conclusion: The 19th century was an incredibly important period for ballet which saw it transition from its more classical roots into something far more complex and involving. Innovative choreographers such as Marie Taglioni brought about revolutionary changes to classical styles while new genres such as comical ballets or story ballets were also emerging during this time period. Pointe work also became increasingly popular during this time while larger-scale works featuring intricate group formations were common too.