2 3 Throwback Thursday Prima Ballerina | Ballet Webb

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Throwback Thursday Prima Ballerina

Throwback Thursday Prima Ballerina

The term “Prima Ballerina” is sometimes used to describe any notable ballet dancer. But the term is actually an awarded title, along with “Prima Ballerina Assoluta”, a higher and rarer award. The term began during the Romantic era, in Italy and was reserved for the best of the best.

Strangely, for such a prestigious award, there is no universally accepted procedure for determining who should receive the title. Usually, it is done within the dancer’s own ballet company, but sometimes it is done by the government.

The first documented use of the term as a form of company rank was in 1894. Marius Petipa bestowed it upon Italian ballerina Pierina Legnani. Other dancers that hold this title are Galina Ulanova, Alicia Alonso and Yvette Chauvirè, among others.

The United States has no formal procedure for bestowing the title of Prima Ballerina.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
Dance History Factoid #183:
“The term “prima ballerina” is an awarded title.”

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Quote of the Day:
“Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself; but talent instantly recognizes genius.”
Arthur Conan Doyle, The Valley of Fear

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