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ballerinaTaking a clue from very word's origin's - balletto, a diminutive of ballo (dance) - ballet as we know it today began as a courtly entertainment during the Italian Renaissance and was closely tied to opera as somewhat of an afterthought.

From there, ballet quickly spread to the royal courts of France and throughout Europe, where by the next century on both Danish and Russian stages ballet was flourishing as an art form.

By the 20th century, ballet was spreading around the world with the emergence of new and growing ballet companies, including London's Royal Ballet (1931) the American Ballet Theatre (1937), the New York City Ballet (1948), the National Ballet of Canada (1951), and the Delhi Ballet (2002).

Although Europe was for centuries thought of as ballet's main pervue, it was Russian-born America choreographer George Ballanchine who pioneered neo-classical ballet in America in the 20th century. Balanchine also worked with modern dance choreographer Martha Graham, expanding his exposure to modern techniques and ideas.

Today, even with revolutionary advances in the dance form, the classical ballet tradition remains a treasured entertainment, with avid ballet fans worldwide regularly lining up for tickets to such famous romantic ballet classics as Swan Lake, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, and the all-time holiday favorite The Nutcracker — the latter probably responsible than any other for introducing young fans to ballet with each successive generation.

Around the Web, learn more at top sites offering more information on ballet history as well as current schedules of performances, lists of ballet schools, reviews, pictures, and biographies of major ballet stars worldwide ....

More about ballet around the Web:
- These 1900+ pages cover ballet around the world. From history and interviews to current performances and reviews you'll find it here. And check out that ballet screensaver...

The - Don't let the first glance fool you. The top menu leads to some very informative articles, a ballet encyclopedia and biographies of notable dancers. The resources include a list of off-line references and the latest ballet headlines from around the world.

American Ballet Theatre - Ballet Dictionary - Learn more about classical dance terms in this illustrated ballet dictionary at ABT.

Ballet in Art Timeline - From the Metropolitan Museum of Art, with a detailed overview of ballet history and interactive gallery with background information on famous works of art with the ballet as their theme from the 16th to the 20th centuries.

Elaine Mayson Gallery
- Elaine Mayson's ballet roots stand out in these images which are part of a site focusing on dance for teens. Beautiful pictures backed by a site with good advice for the budding ballet dancer.

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