Ballet/ˈbæleɪ/ (French:[balɛ]) is a type of performance dance that originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th century and later developed into a concert dance form in France and Russia. It has since become a widespread, highly technical form of dance with its own vocabulary based on French terminology. It has been globally influential and has defined the foundational techniques used in many other dance genres. Becoming a ballet dancer requires years of training. Ballet has been taught in various schools around the world, which have historically incorporated their own cultures to evolve the art.
Ballet may also refer to a ballet dance work, which consists of the choreography and music for a ballet production. A well-known example of this is The Nutcracker, a two-act ballet that was originally choreographed by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov with a music score by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Ballets are choreographed and performed by trained artists. Many classical ballets are performed with classical music accompaniment and use elaborate costumes and staging, though there are exceptions to this. Most notably, American choreographer George Balanchine is known for his plotless neoclassical ballets which are often performed in simple leotards and tights without scenery.