7 Most Popular Ballet Dancers of All Time 7 Most Popular Ballet Dancers of All Time

7 Most Popular Ballet Dancers of All Time

story by Danceus Staff for DanceUs.org

It was the famous male danseur, George Balanchine, who once said, "without pointe shoes, there would be no ballet." Male danseurs are popular for many reasons:

  • Technical dance skills
  • Innovative approach to classical choreography
  • Ability to capture audience attention 
  • Performance charisma

The Most Popular Baller Danseurs of All Time

Utilizing basic reasons for the popularity baller danseurs possess, the most popular include:


Filippo Taglioni

The career of Filippo Taglioni began in the early 1700s. He received his training at the Paris Opera. Later, he became a soloist with the Royal Swedish Ballet in the early 1800s. He is well known for his performance of La Sylphide and his training of his daughter, Marie, who became the first female ballet dancer to dance en pointe. He also trained his son, Paul, as a dancer. There are no videos of Taglioni's ballet performances.


Theodore Kosloff

As a danseur, Theodore Kosloff, born in Moscow, was trained at the Moscow Imperial Theater in the late 1800s. He is well known for his execution of fouette tours, one of the most difficult ballet steps to master executed in precise time to music. He also toured with the Diaghilev Ballet. 


Maurice Bejart

The French danseur Maurice Bejart took the ballet world by storm with his performance of "Bolero" in 1941. Bejart was strongly in favor of the stricter classical ballet technique. He spent 14 years at the Opera de Marseille in 1948.



Anthony Dowell

The danseur, Anthony Dowell, achieved popularity with his stunning solo performance in the ballet, "Swan Lake." Anthony Dowell is one of the English dancers who achieved greatness with the Royal Ballet in 1966. Prior to this he was one of the Sadler Wells Ballet dancers in 1956.


Jerome Robbins

As a ballet dancer, Jerome Robbins began his dance career in the late 1930s with the Irma Duncan and Senya Gluck Sandor Dance Center. He studied ballet with Ella Daganova. He is most remembered for his choreography of movies like "West Side Story" and "Fiddler on the Roof." He first choreographed the ballet, "Fancy Free" in 1944.



Ivan Nagy

When it comes to popularity, Ivan Nagy, ranks high among his peers. This Hungarian ballet dancer was one of American Ballet Theater's most sought after by leading ballerinas of the 1970s, such as Natalia Makarova.


Eliot Feld

Eliot Feld attended the High School of Performing Arts and studied ballet at the prestigious School of American Ballet. He began his dance career in the mid 1940s, appearing in "Nutcracker Suite" as a child. He later appeared in the movie version of "West Side Story" and choreographed over 150 ballets.

The popularity of male dancers down through history shows that most had a signature technique and flair in their ballet style which captured the interest of ballet lovers and non-ballet audiences.

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