Story: Ballet

Classical ballet and contemporary dance

Mary-Jane O'Reilly's dance career has spanned both classical and contemporary dance. In this 1996 Television New Zealand documentary, she talks about being a choreographer and combining the two forms. Comparing the two, she said, 'Ballet’s about sustained movement and very concerned with shape, very concerned with legs and wonderful articularity of the legs … contemporary is more the torso, and can often be more weighty and breath-oriented ...  ballet can be lots of quick change direction, pirouettes, [it's] quite virtuosic like that, whereas contemporary goes to the ground, we love the floor.’ 

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TVNZ Television New Zealand

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How to cite this page:

Jennifer Shennan, 'Ballet - Expansion and security, 1980s to 2000s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/node/224331 (accessed 13 July 2020)

Story by Jennifer Shennan, published 22 Oct 2014