Ballet AZ Blog

Most Famous Classical Ballet Performances

Sleeping Beauty, Lilac Fairy, Ballet Arizona
Natalia Magnicaballi as the Lilac Fairy. Choreography by Ib Andersen. Photo by Rosalie O’Connor.

Discover some of the most famous classical ballets that people of all ages love to see performed.

Swan Lake

Ballet Arizona’s Swan Lake, choreography by Ib Andersen. Photo by Alexander Iziliaev.

Swan Lake is probably the most well-known classical ballet. It tells the tale of a beautiful young girl who is cursed to be a swan by day and human by night. The only way to break the curse is to find someone who will pledge their love to her.

While out hunting, a young prince comes across the swan maiden and falls in love with her. Just before the prince is able to make his vows to the maiden, the vow ceremony is interrupted. A short time later, an evil sorcerer brings his daughter – who looks just like the young girl and swan maiden – to a ball. The prince mistakes the daughter for his lover and ends up vowing his love and loyalty to her.


Ballet Arizoan, Giselle, Gift Cards
Ballet Arizona dancers in “Giselle.” Choreography by Ib Andersen. Photo by Rosalie O’Connor.

Giselle is another tragic love story. Giselle unknowingly falls in love with a handsome young man, known as Albrecht, from her village. She is unaware that Albrecht is already engaged to be married. When she finds out, she goes mad and dies from a broken heart.

Hilarion, a young man from the village who has loved Giselle from afar, goes to visit her grave. While visiting the grave, the Wilis – ghosts of maidens who were jilted right before their wedding – capture Hilarion and force him to dance to his death.

Shortly after Hilarion dies, Albrecht comes to visit Giselle’s grave. The Wilis plan on forcing him to dance to his death, but Giselle intervenes. Her intervention saves his life.

Don Quixote

Ginger Smith as Kitri and Ross Clarke as Basilio in “Don Quixote.” Choreography by Ib Andersen. Photo by Rosalie O’Connor

Don Quixote is a wild, adventurous ballet that features lively music and bold, eye-catching costumes. It tells the story of a young man who dreams he found the love of his life. When he awakens he vows to find the love of his life and sets off on a quest to find her.

Sleeping Beauty

Alison Remmers as the Fairy of the Crystal Fountain in “The Sleeping Beauty.” Choreography by Ib Andersen. Photo by Alexander Iziliaev.

The classic fairytale of a young girl who is cursed to prick her finger and fall into an endless sleep comes to life in this ballet.

When Princess Aurora was born, the evil fairy placed a curse on her. The curse vowed that on Aurora’s sixteenth birthday she would prick her finger and die. Several good fairies were able to change the curse so instead of dying, the young princess would prick her finger and fall asleep. She would sleep until a prince found her and kissed her.

La Sylphide

Nayon Iovino as “James”and Jillian Barrell as “The Sylph” in “La Sylphide.” Photo by Tim Fuller.

La Sylphide is thought to be one of the very first romantic classical ballets ever performed. It features fairies, evil witches, and a tragic love story.

The story begins with a young man who starts having visions of a beautiful fairy of the forest. The young man is supposed to be married, but he appears to be falling in love with the fairy. Days before the wedding ceremony, an old witch tells the soon-to-be-wed couple their fortune. The fortune she tells involves the bride-to-be getting married not to her fiancé, but to his best friend.

On the day of the wedding, the beautiful fairy appears. Enchanted by the fairy, the young man runs off and leaves his bride-to-be. The ballet continues to tell the story as the young man tries to find the beautiful fairy and capture her so they could be together.

Come See a Famous Classical Ballet Performance

Ballet Arizona and the students at the School of Ballet Arizona put on full-length productions of classical ballets every year. In the past, we have performed all of the ballets listed above and even some classical ballets that weren’t listed such as The Nutcracker, Coppelia, and a Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Visit our website to see a list of upcoming performances and purchase your tickets today. We also offer season tickets, which are still available for this season. 


Share it:

Recent Articles

La Valse

In preparation for the production of All Balanchine, we are delving…

La Valse

La Valse

In preparation for the production of All Balanchine, we are delving into the history of George Balanchine’s La Valse! La…

Learn About Jean-Georges Noverre

Learn About Jean-Georges Noverre

In honor of International Dance Day on April 29th, we will discover the life of Jean-Georges Noverre. Noverre is noted…

Learn About Paul Taylor

Learn About Paul Taylor

In preparation for Ballet Arizona’s upcoming production, Contemporary Moves, we will be diving into the life of the admired contemporary…

Make an Impact

Donors are the heart of our organization. Each instance of support, from donations to volunteering, supports a company of dedicated dancers, dance education and community initiatives all year long. Ready to make a donation?

Welcome to Ballet Arizona's new, official website!