The Jellicle Ball has earned Cats the reputation of being one of the hardest shows to perform in Musical Theatre.  The number is a full 9:30 minutes of unbroken dance, demanding the highest calibre of dancing from performers who are also singers, actors, and playing Cats.


The Jellicle Ball is an annual celebration which has gathered all the characters of the Jellicle Tribe together on this night.  As the Cats dance to celebrate, Grizabella creeps into the shadows to watch. Victoria, the white cat, is symbolically mated with one of the male characters of similar age (exactly who varies between productions), after which everyone snuggles down to nap.  However the magical cats - Mistoffelees, Coricopat and Tantomile, sense Grizabella's presence, and in retaliation the cats begin to dance again, even more spectacularly than before.


The music for the Jellicle Ball combines many of the melodies we have previously heard in the show, in the overture, Invitation to the Jellicle Ball, Jellicle Songs, etc. The only character's melody we hear however, is Old Deuteronomy.

In 2003, Andrew Lloyd Webber cut out some bars of the music, when he rearranged the show for the UK Tour. This change was transferred into most European productions since 2003.


The Jellicle Ball is made up of many sections, each of which are named by Gillian Lynne. Some sections have alternate names, used by different productions and replicators. Additionally, some sections, mostly in the beginning half of the ball, differ between productions and years. This video gives an overview of all the sections:

The choreographic sections of the Jellicle Ball-0

The choreographic sections of the Jellicle Ball-0

Sections of the Ball labelled on German Tour performance

  • Hip Wrench
  • Attitude
  • Padding Feet
  • Pushing Walls
  • Fling
  • Pop-ups
  • Step Look Look
  • Bums
  • Minuet
  • Pirouettes
  • British Airways
  • Fugue
  • Girls
  • Mungo Entrance
  • Boys Jump
  • Tours
  • Bombalurina Section/Honky Tonk
  • Girls Join
  • Boys Join In
  • Slithers
  • Boys Ballet
  • Spikey
  • Sways
  • Whirlygigs (old Deut returns to the stage)
  • Ricochet
  • Sensuals (Mating dance)
  • White Cat Lift
  • Pop Ups (Grizabella appearance)
  • Judders
  • Copland (1st Step)
  • Prowl (2nd Step)
  • Headrolls
  • Jeté
  • Cartwheels
  • Boys Step/Big Boys
  • Girls Upstage
  • Girls Relevée/Ladies Latin
  • Build Up 1
  • Tugger Step/Tugger Boys
  • Hovers (tight pants)
  • Princess Louise
  • Punches
  • Paws
  • Attitude
  • Slow Paws
  • Arabesque
  • Warsaw (Ecstasy) (slower last movement)
  • Drags
  • Pass Behind
  • Roll Backs
  • Hip Wrench
  • Sixes


The Jellicle Ball dance

The Jellicle Ball dance

Edited Jellicle Ball, Cats video 1998

CATS Berlin 2004 - Jellicle Ball

CATS Berlin 2004 - Jellicle Ball

Full Jellicle Ball, Berlin 2004