Corps de ballet

In ballet, the corps de ballet ([kɔʁ də balɛ]; French for "body of the little dance") is the group of dancers who are not principal dancers or soloists. They are a permanent part of the ballet company and often work as a backdrop for the principal dancers.

In this scene from Swan Lake, the corps de ballet is forming a "V" at the front of the stage. They are directing attention to the principal dancer in the spotlight. The dancers behind her are also corps de ballet and form a backdrop.

A corps de ballet works as one, with synchronized movements and corresponding positioning on the stage. Specific roles are sometimes made for the corps de ballet, such as Swan Lake, the Snow Corps de Ballet and the Flower Corps in The Nutcracker.

See alsoEdit


  • Grant, Gail (1982) [1950]. Technical Manual and Dictionary of Classical Ballet (3rd ed.). New York: Dover Publications. ISBN 0-486-21843-0.