Ballet Training – The Elements of Ballet Dance

In this article you’ll learn about the elements of a dance for ballet.

The first element is Shape. The body is used in choreography to make shapes. The dancer can be symmetrical, asymmetrical, curved, twisted, angular, etc.. The choreographer should pay attention to the detail of the body shape. The choreographer should also be aware of group shapes that occur on stage. These are refereed to as formations.

The second element is space. Which is the parts of the body that can be used to create shapes of many different levels, usually divided into low, medium, and high. The levels are relative, through medium usually refers to the height of the body as we walk normally. The body can also move through space, creating directions, paths, and floor patterns. All of these aspects of space involve dimension: the movements may occur in a line, along a flat plane, or curve through space.

The third element is Time. All movement takes place in time, and has duration. Repetition of movement can create rhythms. The most essential repetition that underlies a rhythm is its pulse or beat. The speed of the beat determines the tempo. To stress a beat creates an accent. A single rhythmic pattern can be composed of many of these aspects of time.

The fourth element is Energy. Energy refers to the quality with which a movement is performed – the how of the movement. Energy can be looked at in a variety of ways: the emotional, the muscular, and the ionization. Examples of words used frequently to describe qualities of motion include wing, suspend, percussive, sustained, collapse, extend, contract, and rebound.

The fifth element is Improvisation. IN a dance improvisation, the dancer is faced with an almost infinite number of choices. Improvisation means choice. The dancer is not performing a fixed dance piece, but he is improvising his movements. The most ideal improvisation is the dancing body which is present in time and space.

The sixth and finally element is the Principle of Dance. This is repetition, variety, transition and sequence are the four principles of dance. Repetition is the recurring steps, patterns, or themes. Variety is what the choreographer puts in between the repetition. It also makes it interesting for the audience to watch. Transition is what connects the variety of movements. These are often the most important parts of the dance because it makes it look clean and can create suspense. Sequence is the logical placement of the steps within the dance. These are principles are essential in order to create a successful dance piece.

If you try all these elements in your ballet dance then your dance composition will be great.