For Your Consideration: a March Madness Ballet Bracket


Dear Readers,

Every year, during the month of March, the internet goes mad for bracketology (if you’re unfamiliar with this meme, the so-called March Madness originated from the US Basketball Division I Championships).

We have been meaning to introduce a ballet-inspired bracket for a while, just for the fun of it. So here we go, before we officially reach the end of the month. We ask you to please join in this trial run, so that we can develop bigger and more complex balletic brackets in the future!

Before we play, we would like to stress that:

1) This list is non-exhaustive (so feel free to leave additional suggestions of dancers in the comments, and we will add them to further brackets)

2) All of the dancers featured here have proven themselves in each of these roles, they have also proven to be major influences for future ballerina generations, and we love them all.

3) The aim of this bracket is to find out which dancers you, dear readers, find particularly compelling in 2017 in each of these iconic ballet roles.


How to play:

We’re currently taking votes for Round 1

  1. In each bracket – Aurora, Kitri, Odette, Odile – you will find two sections with four ballerinas each (click on image above to zoom in)
  2. Which one is your favorite from each of these eight sections? Let us know in the comments below, or via any of our social media channels.
  3. Do share this post with your friends, ask them to vote too.
  4. The Auroras, Kitris, Odettes and Odiles with the most votes get through to the next round.

We will keep updating this post as we progress to the next rounds.

We started The Ballet Bag in April 2009 with the mission to prove that ballet is not stuffy, old fashioned and inaccessible; that it is quite the opposite: relevant, fresh and topical. With the aim to Give Ballet a New Spin we try to show it under a different light. When writing our capsule biographies, ballet fact cards, review roundups and commentary on social media, we cross it over with other art forms and cultural references (pop culture, cinema, rock music – ie. other things we love!).


  • March 30, 2017


    Lopatkin/Rojo, Nunez/Gilbert, Murphy/Stepanova, Cojucaru/Vishneva

  • March 29, 2017


    Odette: Lopatkina, Odile: Alexandrova, Aurora: Obraztsova, Kitri: Osipova. I would have preferred Tan and Salenko to have been in the opposite brackets as these ladies. The rest are too close for me to single one out.

  • March 28, 2017

    Kimberly Bigler

    Svetlana Zakharova Odette
    Marianela Nunez Kitri
    Diana Vishneva Aurora
    Gillian Murphy Odile

  • March 28, 2017


    My picks:

    Aurora: Cojocaru
    Kitri: Osipova
    Odette: Lopatkina
    Odile: Murphy

  • March 28, 2017


    Odette: Ulyana Lopatkina
    Kitri: Marianela Nunez
    Aurora: Lauren Cuthbertson
    Odile: Ekaterina Kondaurova

  • March 28, 2017


    Odette: Lupatkina and Rojo
    Kitri: Osipova and Tereshkina
    Aurora: Cojocaru and Boylston
    Odile: Murphy and Alexandrova

  • March 28, 2017


    Odette : Lopatkina & Zakharova
    Kitri : Nunez & Tereshkina
    Aurora : Cojocaru & Obraztsova
    Odile : Kondaurova & Stepanova

  • March 28, 2017


    I’m either missing a secret place where snippets of some these dancers exist in these roles, or everyone travels a lot more than me for ballet.

    Aurora: Cuthbertson/Vishneva
    Kitri: Osipova/Gilbert
    Odette: Mearns/Rojo
    Odile: Murphy/Ueno (probably would flip Mearns and Ueno here in all honesty)

  • March 27, 2017


    Odette: Smirnova and Somova

    Kitri: Krysanova and Tereshkina

    Aurora: Cojocaru and Obraztsova (but where’s Novikova?)

    Odile: Murphy and Alexandrova

  • March 27, 2017

    Barbara Zorzato

    For the Odette bracket: Yuan Yuan Tan and Tamara Rojo.
    For the Kitri bracket: Marianela Nunez (most glorious Kitri ever) and Maria Kochetkova.
    For the Aurora bracket: Lauren Cuthbertson and Evgenia Obraztsova.
    For the Odile bracket: Gillian Murphy and Sofiane Sylvie.

  • March 27, 2017

    Leena Hassan

    What fun!

    Odette: Lopatkina and Smirnova.
    Kitri: Osipova and Tereshkina.
    Aurora: Cojocaru and Obraztsova.
    Odile: Murphy and Alexandrova.

  • March 27, 2017


    For the Odette Bracket: Olga Smirnova and Helene Bouchet. For the Aurora Bracket: Lauren Cuthbertson and Evgenia Obraztsova. For the Odile Bracket: Gillian Murphy and Maria Alexandrova. For the Kitri Bracket: Natalia Osipova and Anna Tsygankova.

  • March 27, 2017


    I really resent some of these brackets, but here goes :
    Odette : Lopatkina, Bouchet
    Kitri : Nunez, Tereshkina
    Aurora : Ould-Braham, Obraztsova
    Odile : Kondaurova, Stepanova

  • March 27, 2017

    Matthew Wellborn

    My picks would definitely be… Odette: Ulyana Lopatkina, Aurora: Evgenia Obraztsova, Kitri: Natalia Osipova, Odile: Maria Alexandrova

  • March 27, 2017


    Odette: Olga Smirnova and Tamara Rojo
    Kitri: Ekaterina Krysanova and Dorothée Gilbert
    Aurore: Alina Cojocaru and Evgenia Obraztsova
    Odile: Gilian Murphy and Maria Alexandrova

  • March 27, 2017

    Nina ballerina

    My picks: Lopatkina/Rojo, Osipova/Dorothee, Alina/Diana V, Gillian/Maria Alexandrova for black swans!

  • March 27, 2017


    Difficult!! OK, Odette: Ulyana Lopatkina, Aurora: Alina Cojocaru, Kitri: Marianela Nunez, Odile: Gillian Murphy

  • March 27, 2017

    Lauren Darina

    A ballet bracket ;) ! My favourite Odettes are Olga S and Zakharova, fave Kitris are Marianela Nunez and Dorothee, fave Auroras are Alina and Obraztsova, plus the 2 “big red” Odiles (Koundaurova and Stepanova)