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Stylish Soundtracks: Balletcore

Colleen Phelps

This is part of a series of essays and playlists related to various trendy aesthetics that we’re calling Stylish Soundtracks. From mermaids to Barbie, we’ve got the latest fashions covered - musically, that is.

Get ready to dance to the Miu-Miu-sic.

As much as we’ve all loved athleisure ever since 2020, and with the return of early-2000s fashion, it’s no surprise that balletcore has returned to the fashion forefront this season. And 2023’s version of the trend really does combine these two ideas. Where previous ballet fashion cycles have been fairly glamorous, this iteration is all about comfort.

Short bolero-style jackets and tulle skirts are flowing everywhere. Ballet flats are also quite popular - looking more like actual satin ballet slippers than previous seasons’ prints. The look is less “taking the stage” and more “heading to class.” So, wraparound sweaters and leg warmers are beginning to show up as the season’s change is anticipated. Color-wise it’s all in the usual black and gray, but also ballerina pink - much more soft and muted than Barbie’s Valentino pop.

The playlist also reflects this more cozy side of ballet. Some favorite ballet themes appear, but the music is meant to feel more like a warm up than a performance. There’s lots of piano (the main instrument of ballet class), but also some of the earliest ballet music ever written courtesy of Jean Baptiste Lully. However Juliet, Giselle, Princess Aurora, and some baby swans make their requisite appearances as well.

So wrap that bun, or better yet French Twist, and head to the barre with this balletcore playlist.

Let us know what we missed on any of our social media platforms. And if there’s an aesthetic you love, ask us to build a playlist.

Colleen is the Music Director and host for LPM Classical. Email Colleen at colleen@lpm.org.