What is ballet?
Ballet (from the French language and based on the Italian word balletto, meaning ‘little dance’). It is a type of dance or dance theatre with fixed rules for the position of the body and how it should move. Ballet is conceived by a choreographer and often conveys a story without words set to specially composed music. The limits of ballet are fluid and border on other forms of theatre.
Ballet originated as a court dance at the royal courts of Italy and France in the 15th and 16th centuries, where the nobility would dance on festive occasions under the leadership of a ballet master. The Ballet Comique de la Reine is considered the first real full-length ballet – it lasted 5 hours! - and was arranged by the French Queen in Paris in 1581.