Skip to main content

How to Appreciate the Ballet

Got ballet tickets? Learn to appreciate and enjoy the performance with these steps.


  • Step 1: Prepare Prepare for the performance by learning about the ballet you will see. Visit the ballet company’s web site, or do an internet search. Some ballets tell a story, while others are abstract works where the dancing itself is the point.
  • TIP: Look for a book that covers the basics of classical ballet and can help you understand what you are watching.
  • Step 2: Arrive early Arrive at the theater early. Be seated 15 minutes before the performance begins so you can read the program notes. They usually include information about the ballet as well as dancer biographies.
  • TIP: If your seat is in the mezzanine or balcony, consider buying or renting small binoculars to help you see better.
  • Step 3: Observe technique Observe the technical capabilities of the dancers. Ballet dancers train intensively from childhood to attain flexibility, line, and strength for turns and jumps.
  • Step 4: Look at the choreography Watch the choreography, or the movements and patterns. Choreographers use elements of space, speed and rhythm, dynamics and energy, and structure to create ballets.
  • Step 5: Listen to the music Listen to the music. In a ballet performance, the dancers respond to the music, and the choreography enhances the way you hear the music.
  • TIP: Some contemporary choreographers create dances to unconventional music or even silence. Whatever the music or sound, it affects the tone and dynamics of the ballet.
  • Step 6: Pay attention to background Pay attention to the costumes, scenery, and lighting design. ¬Whether elaborate or simple, they should enhance the visual experience of ballet.
  • Step 7: Relax and enjoy Don't stress about understanding the ballet. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the experience in your own way.
  • FACT: The pavlova, a light meringue cake with a creamy center, was named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, famed interpreter of the "Dying Swan" solo.

You Will Need

  • A ticket to a ballet performance
  • Internet access
  • A book on ballet (optional)
  • Binoculars (optional)

Popular Categories