Ballet blanc is the artistic concept which set the scene for the Romantic ballet in 1830s and eventually even helped to form its shape.
Ballet blanc, which means “white ballet” in French, stands for a group of female dancers in ballet performance wearing white dresses or tutus. It is a symbol of ethereal world, free from routine and imperfection. Dream, fantasy, magic and the beyond are the key plotline motives for ballet blanc, and its essence is expressed through pure and weightless dance.
It is believed that ballet blanc was first introduced in Giacomo Meyerbeer's “Robert le Diable” in 1831. This 5-act play featured an episode at the cemetery in which the spirits of the nuns were trying to distract the protagonist. Those emotionless and faceless ghosts were portrayed by classic dancers clothed in white garments.
Famous ballet blanc examples include Willis dancing in “Giselle”, shadows in “La Bayadère” and later, swans in “Swan Lake”.