There are many wonderful ballet companies throughout the world! I believe that most major cities have at least one ballet company. They probably have at least one major company and then a few smaller companies. Many professional schools have their own ballet company as well.
Ballet companies are a group of ballet dancers who basically perform ballets. Ballet dancers make up a ballet company. Each dancer has its own specific job that has a specific title. Some of the different types of dancers in a company are called the corps de ballet, soloists, and principal dancers.
The corps de ballet is similar to a chorus or ensemble in a musical, opera or play. They usually move together as a unit and provide scenery for the soloists. They are also usually permanent members of the ballet company. The term is French and means, body of the ballet.
The next level of performer is the soloist. The soloist does just what it sounds like and that it to perform solos. They may be a specific character in a ballet story however they are not the lead or principal dancer.
The principal dancer is what most professional ballet dancers strive to be. This is the highest rank in a ballet company. Sometimes they are promoted from soloists within the company or the company hires a dancer to perform a specific role for one ballet. Female principal dancers are also referred to as prima ballerinas.
There are other terms to describe the different dancers in a ballet company and each company may have their own terms.
There are other members of a dance company besides dancers. These people work behind the scenes. One example is the choreographer. Choreographers create the dance moves for a ballet and then they may also teach their choreography to the dancers.
Now days the Ballet Master or Mistress is the person in a ballet company who probably teaches the daily ballet classes to the company dancers. They may also teach the choreography and make sure the level of artistic quality of the ballet is maintained. In the early years of the ballet the ballet master or mistress was also the choreographer and artistic director of the company.
The artistic director is the person in a ballet company who oversees the direction of the company. They may decided what ballets are going to be performed. They may also hire the dancers and act as the producer.
Other parts of a ballet company consist of the music director and the orchestra. We can’t forget the other artistic staff including the costume designer, set designer and lighting designer and all of the people that work backstage to bring the ballet to life.
Here is a list of some of the major ballet companies. Please click on a company name to learn more! I will be adding more companies soon so please check back or subscribe to my blog or e-zine to learn when new information is available.