Ballet in Print


When it comes to ballet marketing, nothing more cliché and tired than the figure of a pink tutu-ed ballerina. True, many ballet fans enjoy the odd amount of tulle and glitter and there is nothing wrong with that. But these are images that propagate ballet as an art stuck in its own fluffy and pink bubble, while our recent experience at the Move It Show proves there’s potential in cross-pollinating the field. Companies like NYCB, in their association with Henry Leutwyler, and Hamburg Ballet, with Moving Movements, have recently explored this, creating unexpected images of dancers. The Black Swan trend inspired great quality fan art, with many examples of Swan Lake themed posters that were miles away from these ones.

In the same way mobile application developers are looking into digital culture for promoting popular apps, we think the ballet industry should be thinking outside the box; perhaps looking at the web output of amateur and professional illustrators and/or graphic artists not immediately linked to the field of dance for new concepts and inspiration. In this post we have selected our favorite examples of recent materials that mix different aesthetics with ballet.

Do you think any of these would look good as t-shirts or bags? Also, do you know other examples of creative ballet marketing? Do share with us via comment.

Fan Art: A new take on Paris Opera Ballet’s Swan Lake. We think this would look amazing as a print

Via The Ballet Blog

Promo Poster: Dance for Japan – London charity event for The Red Cross/Japan relief efforts

Via Designed by Alice

Company Poster: a Constructivist Nutcracker by Nederlands Dans Theater

Via Ludologist

Bout Poster: Brawlarinas vs. Bruisers. The context is a Roller Derby but we love the way the drawing mixes fight posters and ballet.

Via Roller Gal Val

Fan Art: A Manga style take on ABT’s Born to be Wild (Carreño, Malakhov, Stiefel, Corella)

Via Defying Gravity

Gig Poster: The Red Shoes are given the Saul Bass treatment for a concert in Preston, WV.

Via Stu Heart Box

Likes ballets that taste like 85% cocoa: pure, extra bitter, dark or intense. Her favorites are La Sylphide, Manon, Mayerling, Ondine, Symphonic Variations and McGregor's Chroma. Her favorite Ratmansky ballets are: The Little Humpbacked Horse, Russian Seasons, Cinderella and The Shostakovich Trilogy. She is always ready to chase new Ratmanskys around the globe. Non ballet: literature, theatre, opera, rock, art, food, travel, fashion, translating and interpreting.


  • [...] The Ballet Bag, one of my favorite ballet website blogged, “We think the ballet industry should be thinking outside the box; perhaps looking at the web output of amateur and professional illustrators and/or graphic artists not immediately linked to the field of dance for new concepts and inspiration.” [...]

  • April 14, 2011


    Scholz & Friends (German Advertising Agency) did an Image-campaign for Neumeier‘s Hamburg Ballet called „Emotions“

    Also check out the Wall Photos on their facebookpage where you can find the posters and what they look like hanging around in Hamburg.

  • April 8, 2011

    Ballet Blossom

    Totally love this post. I saw some posters before and was surprised to see more from your blog. I quoted some part of your words on my blog, too. Pretty sure when my friends read my blog, they gonna click the link to your page to find out more unexpected images.

    Thank you for always sharing those good stuffs. You’re my favorite!

  • March 29, 2011


    I produced a series of in-studio dancer-choreography events for my local ballet company, and designed a set of posters for the events:

    The designs deliberately veered away from the traditional ballet look, and I tried to give a harder-edged look to them, as well as experimenting with layouts and different photography styles.

  • March 25, 2011


    Emilia – I have already drawn one of my favorite ballet photos ever of Bridgett Zehr. So, I believe that I can draw a ballet poster. I will send you what I drew of her and then draw up a new one. It will be fun to see what I can come up with.

  • March 25, 2011


    @David – the Princess tutu as “raven” looks ferosh – going to try and see on YT! Do you think you’d be able to draw a ballet poster? We’d love to see it!

    @Jessika – thanks for the links – we love the Smuin posters, they are such a cool, “ballet myth-busting” company. DNB’s are fab too

  • March 25, 2011


  • March 25, 2011


    Now you have me wanting to create ballet advertizement posters. You should make a contest.

  • March 25, 2011


    I like the idea of the new graphics media. These all look good. Especially the Brawlarinas poster. :D I would love to see ballerina roller derby girls.

    Anyways, I never read any mention to the Princess Tutu anime series. I have only seen tiny parts of it on the web and even though I am not a fan of anime, I loved the art and thought that did honor to ballet. Look up Princess Tutu and see what you think.

    Did you know that there is a ballet Wii video game called My Ballet Studio? I have seen it in stores.