Definition of coryphée in English:


See synonyms for coryphée on


  • A leading dancer in a corps de ballet.

    ‘Petipa was her champion: he cast her as Nikiya in his La Bayadère when she was still a coryphée in 1902.’
    • ‘Degas did so with all the rigor, intensity and constancy of the young coryphées rehearsing new steps.’
    • ‘All are at the lowest level, that of quadrilles, or one step up, that of coryphées in the company's hierarchy, but many of them could certainly be soloists in almost any other smaller company.’
    • ‘Round each set of dancers the people formed a ring, in which the figurantes and coryphées went through their operations.’
    • ‘The three companies are also unique in not being based on a hierarchy: there are no entities such as corps de ballet, coryphées, soloists and principals; all the dancers are of equal status.’
    • ‘They have succeeded at the Paris Opera Ballet inner competition 3 times: to become successively coryphées, sujets and then premiers danseurs.’
    • ‘It differs from the website where there is no distinction made between coryphées and corps de ballet.’
    • ‘She is very happy to be part of Danse Etoile as a coryphée.’
    • ‘In the original production six girls appeared as the coryphées, the largest number who could happily appear on the Mercury Theatre's stage, but this number was sometimes increased to eight or ten when the ballet was presented in larger theatres.’
    • ‘After all, the corps and coryphées do posé arabesque by stepping onto pointe,, jerking their backs into hyperextension so that their hips jut out, thus snapping, rather than floating their extensions.’
    • ‘Before we begin, a few lines from Carlo Ritorni's Comments on the life and choreodramatic works of Salvatore Vigano, and on choreography and coryphées held in the Library of the Paris Opera, are worth pondering.’



/ˌkôrəˈfā/ /ˌkɔrəˈfeɪ/


French, via Latin from Greek koruphaios ‘leader of a chorus’, from koruphē ‘head’.