Balanchine method

Balanchine method is a misnomer for Balanchine technique, which incorporates principles of ballet training developed by George Balanchine (1904-1983) during his long career as a dancer, choreographer, and teacher. Balanchine had no set "method" of training his dancers, unlike Agrippina Vaganova,[1] Enrico Cecchetti,[2] August Bournonville,[3] and other famous ballet pedagogues. The principles of ballet technique that he formulated over the years were not codified into a standardized training system during his lifetime.[4]

The Balanchine Essays

Five months after his death, The George Balanchine Foundation was incorporated to utilize the Balanchine legacy to advance the development of dance throughout the world. It embarked almost immediately upon the first of its major projects, The Balanchine Essays. Toward the latter part of his life, Balanchine had talked about creating a "dictionary" of his technique, a visual reference for students of ballet. Under the stewardship of chairman Barbara Horgan, the foundation undertook to fulfill his wish by producing a series of video recordings demonstrating the principles of his training. The Balanchine Essays (2013), created by Merrill Ashley and Suki Schorer, "provide over nine hours of visual discussion of Balanchine's interpretations of classical ballet technique that are not only educational but also protect the high standards Balanchine himself set for his dancers."[5]


  1. Agrippina Vaganova, Basic Principles of Classical Ballet: Russian Ballet Technique (1934), translated by Anatole Chujoy and edited by Peggy van Praagh, 2nd ed. (London: A. & C. Black, 1953). Reissued by Dover Publications in 1969.
  2. Cyril W. Beaumont and Stanislas Idzikowski, A Manual of the Theory and Practice of Classical Theatrical Dancing (Cecchetti Method) (London: Beaumont, 1922). Reissued as The Cecchetti Method of Classical Ballet: Theory and Technique by Dover Publications in 2003.
  3. Kirstin Ravlov, The Bournonville School: The Daily Classes (Alton, Hampshire: Dance Books, Noverre Press, 2012).
  4. Gretchen Ward Warren, Classical Ballet Technique (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1989).
  5. The George Balanchine Foundation, website, Retrieved 7 December 2015.
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