Études is one of the most technically difficult and challenging ballets choreographed, and it is a showpiece for any world class ballet corps.
It is classical ballet, as a style, in its most pure and refined form. Études means "studies" or "exercises" and the ballet shows the dancers' training and practice sessions: The bare bones, or naked flesh, beneath the skin and surface of the dance.
Scene by scene the ballet covers the curriculum of a ballet dancer, from the relatively basic exercises at the barre through the leaps and grand pirouettes, and it allows the audience to concentrate on the purely aesthetic and athletic qualities of the different techniques. However, since that is basically it, the ballet stands or falls by the virtuosity of its corps. It is extremely demanding on the dancers, as most scenes becomes pointless if the choreography is not executed in perfect unison, or if the soloists have less than masterful condition and strength.
The ballet was created by master Harald Lander—though he insisted on not being credited—and had its world premiere in 1948 at the Royal Danish Ballet in Copenhagen. It is said to be inspired by the eponymic music by Carl Czerny, orchestrated for the ballet by Knud-Aage Riisager.