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Created by Jessica Metzger

Popular Entertainment

Ballet has been featured in many forms of entertainment, from ballet companies and their theatres, to musicals and mainstream movies. Ballet is also considered the basic steps to learn before advancing to many other dance styles, like tap, jazz, etc. Therefore, many other musicals or movies that feature any type of dance will show some hints of ballet. Here are a few well-known examples.

American Ballet Theatre | Center Stage| The Phantom of the Opera

American Ballet Theatre

Located at 890 Broadway in New York City, ABT began in 1940. They are considered one of the most respected ballet companies in the world, which prides itself on its “size, scope and outreach.” ABT annually tours for more than 600,000 people and performs from an large and renowned repertoire.

ABT’s repertoire, possibly unrivaled in the history of ballet, includes all of the great full-length ballets of the nineteenth century, such as Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and Giselle, the "finest works" from the early part of this century, such as Apollo, Les Sylphides, Jardin aux Lilas and Rodeo, and acclaimed contemporary masterpieces such as Airs, Push Comes to Shove and Duets. To acquire such an impressive repertoire, ABT has commissioned works by all of the great choreographers of the 20th century, like George Balanchine, Antony Tudor, Jerome Robbins, Agnes de Mille and Twyla Tharp. (Cite:ABT's Web site.)

Center Stage

Center Stage is a popular fictional teen movie with a plot revolving around new students at the American Ballet Academy, which feeds right into ABT’s prized company of ballet dancers. These teens’ goal is to become an ABT dancer, and the film shows how strenuous and competitive the ballet is as a career.

The movie features a few of ABT’s ballets, like Romeo and Juliette and Balanchine’s Stars and Stripes. Center Stage also has its own choreographed routines, the student workshops, which combine beautiful or snazzy music with skilled and complicated ballet moves. (cite: Center Stage on DVD, 2000. Closing credits.)

The Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom of the Opera, based on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s successful musical, takes place in Paris Opera House, and follows the mystery surrounding the “Opera Ghost” and his connection to the house’s rising star, Christine.

The film showcases ballet on the big screen in its rehearsal and performance scenes. Operas always have dances to accompany the singing, and the chorus girls are often dancing some ballet directed by the choreographer Madame Giry. Christine and her friend Meg Giry began as chorus girls and dancers. (Cite: The Phantom of the Opera on DVD, 2004. And the movie's site.)