Everyone should see at least one ballet performance before they die, and it might as well be from one of the best ballet companies in the world.

Ballet is a type of dance that originated in Italy during the 15th century, and later spread to France and Russia. It’s influence has gone global, and helped define many other dance genres.

Ballet dancers move as if they don’t weigh anything at all, but that’s a carefully crafted illusion. The discipline requires the combination of strength with a grace that comes from practising the same moves over and over until it appears weightless.

The ballet superpowers

The Paris Opera Ballet (Ballet de l’Opéra national de Paris), the Moscow Bolshoi Ballet and the London Royal Ballet are considered the superpowers of the ballet world, regarded as the three most preeminent ballet companies in existence today.

The Paris Opera Ballet is the oldest national ballet company – so they’ve had plenty of practise – and consists of 154 dancers, among them 17 Danseurs Étoiles.

Danseur Étoile literally means ‘star dancer’, and is the highest rank a dancer can reach at the Paris Opera Ballet.

It’s training ground, the Paris Opera Ballet School (École de danse de l’Opéra national de Paris) is considered the best dance school in the world. Its alumni include some of the most famous dancers of all time, such as Sylvie Guillem and Laurent Hilaire.

Watch the official trailer for the Paris Opera Ballet HERE: