Coryphée

Ballet Term Definition

How to say & pronounce Coryphée:

co-ree-FAY

What does Coryphée translate to?

leader

Coryphée is a classical ballet term that means “leader.”  It is only applied to a leader of the corps de ballet, not to a soloist or prinicpal, and is sometimes a rank within very large ballet companies, such as Paris Opera Ballet.  The term isn’t widely used nor is a dancer ever signified as “the leader of the corps” unless it is made officially into the rank.  A coryphée isn’t necessarily determined by ability, but usually it is the dancer who is often in front of a line, which is usually determined by height, that the dancers behind must follow for small changes in timing and spacing.


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