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.