Ballet Dancers - Creating a Role

Ballet Dancers - Creating a Role

What does it mean when people say that a ballerina or a danseur have created a role?


Reply by Odette

to Ballet Dancers - Creating a Role


Thank you for contacting me, it is great to hear from you.

You ask a good question, as often creating a role is a term that is mainly familiar with just dancers and choreographers. It is used a lot in ballet and it means to have a choregraphy created on you.

So, if you are a ballerina and a choreographer has chosen you to be the next Belle in the new production of Beauty and the Beast, than you have created the role of Belle.

It is a process of development so the choreographer will work with the ballerina to create the role and produce a ballet.

For example, Lauren Cuthbertson, who is a prinicpal ballerina with The Royal Ballet, has recently created the role of Alice in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

The choreographer, Christopher Wheeldon, placed a new full length ballet and chose Lauren Cuthbertson to be his first cast. This means Wheeldon worked together with Cuthbertson to bring together the dance movement and created the role on her.

Other ballerina's get a chance to perform the role, but it is the original ballerina the choreographer chose who has the title to have created the role.

It is a great achievement to have a role created on you. For a dancer's career, it is something everyone would want. Not to mention the fantastic experience that comes with creating the role with the choreographer.

It is a journey of discovery that is very special to any dancer.

Best wishes,


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