Definition of prima ballerina in US English:

prima ballerina

noun

  • The chief female dancer in a ballet or ballet company.

    • ‘Because of her build, Mrs. Noah advised Megan to give up the idea of becoming a prima ballerina like Katie wanted to be.’
    • ‘In Act II, the prima ballerina plays Odette, a beautiful swan that can only return to her human form between midnight and dawn.’
    • ‘Apart from Swan Lake and Giselle, there is no other ballet that so unmercifully lays bare the academic technique of a company, from the prima ballerina down to the newest member of the corps de ballet.’
    • ‘The former prima ballerina of the National Ballet is markedly older than the other four dancers, all clustered in their early 20s.’
    • ‘The great prima ballerina Galina Ulanova described Swan Lake as ‘the most beautiful ballet you could imagine.’’
    • ‘Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre sacked a prima ballerina, saying she was too heavy and too tall for most of her dance partners to lift.’
    • ‘Karen Kain, Canada's prima ballerina and one of the most respected dancers in the world, gave over 10,000 performances in her career.’
    • ‘The young woman knew that all eyes were on her, well, all these that weren't still watching the prima ballerina of the Cleveland ballet.’
    • ‘The major key to success for productions of the time was that the principal character - to be played by the prima ballerina - had to be the most fragile female creature with the feeblest action.’
    • ‘‘Conditioning will not make you a prima ballerina unless you're meant to be one, but it will maximize your body's potential,’ she says.’
    • ‘Whenever disaster strikes the poor prima ballerina, she hangs up her dancing shoes in despair until some devastatingly handsome boy shows her that she was made to dance.’
    • ‘She received her initial training in Berlin from Alexandra Nicolaieva, a former prima ballerina of the Bolshoi Ballet.’
    • ‘Sulamith Messerer became a prima ballerina with the Bolshoi Ballet at the age of 20 when she volunteered, without rehearsal, to stand in for the injured Ekaterina Geltser as Kitri in Don Quixote.’
    • ‘The prima ballerina played her to perfection and it was wonderful.’
    • ‘Sassy dreams of becoming a prima ballerina but as her dance classmates tell her, her large feet and long legs stand in the way of her dreams.’
    • ‘In a company that avoids the star system, she has become something of an unofficial prima ballerina: not only a superb and effortless technician, but an actress of exceptional subtlety and range.’
    • ‘I was a prima ballerina for the classical bits - you should have seen my Sheherazade - but my heart belonged to the musicals.’
    • ‘The Fairy Godmother's solo was also splendidly graceful, and thus Cinderella did not appear to be the sole prima ballerina in this piece.’
    • ‘The prima ballerina's starting a ruckus about the way she's treated and there's a nervous male dancer, with what appears to be a kind of stage-dad figure in tow, badgering the company director to get him principal roles.’
    • ‘It is a very effective and dramatic work, originally written to be danced to by the prima ballerina of the Berlin opera.’
    leading actor, leading actress, leading performer, leading player, leading lady, leading man, lead, star
    View synonyms

Origin

Late 19th century: Italian, literally ‘first ballerina’.

Pronunciation

prima ballerina

/ˌprēmə ˌbaləˈrēnə//ˌprimə ˌbæləˈrinə/