Character Dance

(redirected from character dancer)
Also found in: Dictionary.

Character Dance


one of the expressive means of the ballet; a type of stage dance. Originally, the term “character dance” denoted a dance representative of a certain character, such as the dances performed in intermezzi or the dances inspired by artisans, peasants, or robbers. Later, the choreographer C. Blasis applied the term to all folk dances included in ballet performances, and it is this meaning that has survived to the present day. Choreographers and dancers of the classical school of dance created character dances in the classical style, using professional technique. Character-dance exercises for the bar and center were developed in the late 19th century and were later included as a pedagogical discipline in choreographic schools.

In contemporary ballet, the character dance may be an episode, or it may serve as a means of revealing a character in a ballet or creating a unified, integrated performance.


Lopukhov, A. V., A. V. Shiriaev, and A. I. Bocharov. Osnovy kharakternogo tantsa. Leningrad-Moscow, 1939.
Dobrovol’skaia, G. N. Tanets; Pantomima; Balet. Leningrad, 1975.


References in periodicals archive ?
Having trained at the Royal Ballet School, he went on to join the Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet (now Birmingham Royal Ballet) in the 1970s, where his reputation as a character dancer flourished through roles like the Widow Simone in La Fille mal gardee and Bottom in The Dream.
Although Danish dancers must retire at the age of 40, some dancers find a second career in the glow of accumulated kinetic wisdom and theatrical experience as character dancers, teachers, and ballet masters.
Mr Morse is an excellent character dancer matched here by Alain Dubreuil as Lord Capulet.
Grant, who remained with The Royal Ballet for 30 years, is often hailed as the greatest character dancer of his era, an accomplished classical dancer whose accompanying dramatic gifts made him a natural for character roles--and what roles
Caniparoli, who remains on the roster as principal character dancer, arrived at the SFB School in 1972 and a year later was yanked out of it by Christensen and moved into the company.
He stayed for 20 years, emerging as a gifted character dancer.
Her brother, Flemming Ryberg, after a distinguished dancing career starting in 1956, has been kept wonderfully employed as a character dancer with the company since 1989.
Barbee never had any formal training as a character dancer, but years of performing have taught him key elements of stagecraft that give his perfomances their impact.
The other two Odette/Odiles, Riolama Lorenzo and Arantxa Ochoa, showed promise, while their Siegfrieds, Zachary Hench--more of a character dancer than a classicist--and the efficient James Ady, hardly set the ballet on fire.
Kloborg has held a gamut of positions in the Danish ensemble, including principal performer, character dancer, ballet mistress, and teacher in the RDBS.
He looks, from this remove in time, like the ghostly character dancer in each one, like the ever-present Drosselmeyer of his own oeuvre.
Although, with the company's prima ballerina Margot Lander recently retired, in those days the women were not all that impressive internationally, and although dancers such as Margarethe Schanne, Mona Vangsaa, the young Kirsten Simone, and the great character dancer Gerda Karstens were fine enough, in all honesty it was the men who took the limelight.