In the google's definition of the word 'sensual', there is such a sentence as follows.

The production of the ballet is sensual and passionate.

What does the 'production' here mean? My immediate reaction is 'performance', but how can a performance itself be passionate? Only the dancers can be passionate, isn't it? So, I doubt my understanding of the word.

What does 'production' mean here?

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    This is the definition from Oxford Languages. The quotation seems to use production in the sense of a particular staging of a play or ballet. One of Oxford's definitions is 'a film, record, play, etc., viewed in terms of its making or staging.' Commented Oct 27, 2022 at 11:03

3 Answers 3


The production of any stage show is the overall design and implementation. Decisions about costumes, sets, staging, lights, sound, and so on. You might ask, "How will this idea be brought to the stage, practically speaking?" and the answer would be a production choice. (By contrast, the content, ordering, pacing, choreography, and acting of the show are direction rather than production.)

So the sentence is a bit of a stretch. Maybe the costumes can be sensual, but the stage layout can't really be passionate... I would understand the author as saying that all the production choices contributed to a sensual and passionate experience or performance.


Think of "production" here as roughly meaning "version", and it will make sense.

If Swan Lake is put on in 1975 and then again in 2003, we can talk about those two different productions of Swan lake. They'll have different directors, choreographers, set designers and so on. It's easy to imagine that one of those productions of Swan Lake might be more sensual than the other one.

So the meaning of "production" here is the resulting show itself, not the act of producing the show.


In the context that you have given, 'production' means 'every relevant aspect of the ballet'. Effectively it means the performed ballet itself, and is a perfectly correct and sensible (and normal) use.

This context is (I believe) unique to show business, and is characterised by the use of 'production' as a noun.

You would not speak of, for example, a cake, a business plan, or a manifesto, as 'a production'.

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