The Classical Girl’s very casual “Top 10 classical ballets” list

Google “Top 10 classical ballets” or something similar, and you’ll find a whole slew of lists that, in truth, really don’t vary a whole lot. Some feature more contemporary ballets and include the works of Frederick Ashton, Kenneth MacMillan, George Balanchine. Others opt for the whimsical and light, like Coppélia and La Fille Mal Gardée. … Read more

La Sylphide: the most important classical ballet you’ve probably never seen

   All right, a show of hands: who’s seen the 1832 ballet, La Sylphide?  {{Looks around}} Yup. I’m not surprised. And for the record, I didn’t raise my hand either. But its importance came to mind last week, as I was researching for a Top 10 Classical Ballets list and found myself indecisive about the … Read more

10 odd facts about pointe shoes

Back in the late 18th century, the ballet world decided that female dancers should look ethereal, sylph-like, as if they could fly. A theater man named Charles Didelot came up with a flying mechanism, via harness and pulleys, that allowed dancers to rise to their toes before becoming wholly airborne, wafting across the stage like a spirit. … Read more