Viral Videos

Five of Our Favorite Ballet Trailers

Bucharest National Ballet's 2013 trailer for "La Sylphide,' via YouTube

Few things are more powerful for promoting ballet performances than captivating trailers—especially in today's visually-focused, digitally-connected world.

We've rounded up some eye-catching ads from seasons past and present that not only make us wish we could have seen the show, but also stand alone as short films.

Bucharest National Opera's La Sylphide

Magnifying the scarf which—spoiler alert—brings about the ballet's tragic conclusion, this 2013 Bucharest National Opera's trailer turns that fateful fabric into a beautiful, deadly web. Its windswept movements form a dance of its own.


Nashville Ballet's Peter Pan

With few dance steps, this cinematic 2013 Nashville Ballet trailer captures the sense of wonder and adventure in J.M. Barrie's tale of a boy who never grows up. It likewise builds a kinesthetic anticipation of flight which audiences could witness during the production through stagecraft and, of course, the soaring, gravity-defying magic of ballet.


Australian Ballet's Giselle

In what you might think of as balletic "fan fiction," the Australian Ballet created a haunting dance for Giselle which includes some of her signature steps and set it to original music for this 2015 ad. While audiences wouldn't see this scene onstage, it's a creative take on a classic character and gives ballet fans something fresh to enjoy.


Boston Ballet's Chaconne

Sometimes simple is better. Using just Balanchine's dreamy choreography and a celestial haze of theatrical mist, this Boston Ballet preview of its current Classic Balanchine program casts a spell with its abstract, visual poetry and leaves you longing to see more.


New York City Ballet's A Midsummer Night's Dream

Dancers know that feeling of being lost in a fairytale world onstage—the audience, the wings and every other reminder of reality dissolves around you. This 2016 New York City Ballet teaser gives a sense of that irreplaceable enchantment as it draws viewers into a performer's fantasy realm that comes alive when the house lights go down.

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Ballet Stars
Tetsuya Kumakawa, via YouTube

Tetsuya Kumakawa, a former principal with The Royal Ballet and the founder and artistic director of K-Ballet in Tokyo, could make an audience gasp with his wildly powerful and inventive allegro. A boyish, dare-devil dancer, Kumakawa was a natural fit for roles like Franz in Coppélia. Watching him in this clip of Franz's Act I variation, it seems Kumakawa must have some sort of gravity-defying DNA.

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Ballet Stars
Maire-Agnès Gillot in The Sleeping Beauty, via YouTube.

Fairies crop up everywhere in classical ballet, from sylphs to dryads to, of course, the ranks of fairies who attend Aurora's christening in The Sleeping Beauty. These delicate and mystical creatures stretch the reaches of ballet technique, forcing dancers to embody an otherworldly ideal. In this 1999 clip from the Paris Opéra Ballet's The Sleeping Beauty, former étoile Marie-Agnès Gillot dances the luxurious Lilac Fairy variation. With her refined, gentle power, Gillot truly finds the sublime in her interpretation of this magical character.

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Natalia Osipova in rehearsal. Photo by Alastair Muir, Courtesy Sadler's Wells

You never quite know what's going to happen when Natalia Osipova steps onstage—you know you're in for something extraordinary, but the exact nature of what you'll get is a mystery until it's happening. It's only fitting, then, that we would learn of Force of Nature, a new documentary following a year of the ballet superstar's career, a day before its limited release in the UK.

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