Ballerinas: Performance Styles of Ballet
Performance style refers to how the work is presented on the stage. A genre or style can help to give a dancer a framework to shape the devised work. For a ballerina’s performance style, she may vary the way she moves (for example: her pas de chat may be light and quick or her glissade may be small and sharp). She may also change her head and body positions with different steps or dance exactly with the music and change the mood of her steps as the music changes.
There are three main styles of ballet: classical (based on traditional ballet techniques with an emphasis on mime to tell the story to the audience and which requires tutus and pointe shoes), neoclassical (usually abstract with sometimes no clear plot, costumes or scenery and has an emphasis on pure dance) and contemporary (this genre of dance incorporates elements of classical ballet and modern dance and has classical ballet techniques but allows greater range of movement of the upper body). These three ballet styles have many similarities, but the way they are performed and the technical aspect of each are quite different. Beverly