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The History of Ballet

N. R. Burger Middle School: Performance Art- Dance
by

Je'Nae Howard

on 20 September 2016

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Transcript of The History of Ballet

Ancient Dance
The Beginning
...

Dance has been in existence for as long as people have been in existence.
Fast forward thousands of years and we have
Ballet

Ballet was "born" around the 1400s during the time of the Renaissance in Italy. In fact, there was an explosion of the arts during this time.
Italian dukes
would have others in their court dance as
entertainment and celebration
Movements were different
from what you see now. It included
small hops, slides, and gentle turns.
Dancers wore l
ayers of clothing
,
masks
,
headdresses
, and shoes with
heels.
Only
royalty
were allowed to dance.
Catherine de Medici
, a member of the ruling family of Florence, married King Henry II became the
queen of France
in
1547.
Catherine introduced into the French court the same kind of entertainment that she had known in Italy.
Ballet made a spectacular debut in 1581: La Ballet Comique de la Reine, a six hour extravaganza for 10,000 guests , featuring dance, vocal performance, plot, and lavish scenery — a dazzling display designed to impress the nobility of Europe.
Fast forward many years later and we have...
King Louis XIV.
King Louis XIV( Sun King)
who ruled France during the late 1600's and early 1700's.
Greatly enjoyed dancing. He took part in all the ballets given at his court until he became middle-aged.
In 1661, Louis founded the Royal Academy of Dancing to train professional dancers to perform.
A ballet dance and master, Pierre Beauchamp, created the 5 positions of the feet in the Baroque period of ballet.
With serious training, the French professionals developed skills that had been impossible for the amateurs.
Similar companies developed in other European countries. One of the greatest was the Russian Imperial Ballet of St. Petersburg, whose school was founded in 1738.
The Italian dukes competed with one
another in giving costly, fancy entertainments that included dance performances. The dancers
were not professionals. They were noblemen and noblewomen of a duke's court who danced to
please their ruler and to stir the admiration and envy of his rivals.
Paris remained the capital of the ballet world during the early 1800's. But many dancers and
choreographers who trained and worked there took their technique to cities in other countries.
The growth of ballet in the United States was largely a result of Russian influence.
The Ballet Russes included Russian dancers and choreographers that traveled the U.S. in the 1930s. Many stayed behind and continued to perform.

The greatest influence of ballet was George Balanchine of the New York City Ballet. He introduce plot-less ballet. This is where the ballet choreography is not in narrative form.

Today, many choreographers prefer to display dancing without a story--either as an expression of the music or as a study in a particular style of movement.
1800s The
romantic period
began
Ballet technique expanded, especially for women, to express the new ideas and they were able to perform.
For example,women dancers learned to dance
en pointe
.This achievement helped them look like heavenly beings visiting the earth but barely touching it.
Romantic ballet presented women as ideal and, for the first time, gave them greater importance than men.
Male dancers took a
supporting
role, whose purpose was to lift the ballerinas (leading female dancers) and show how light they were.
People became interested in stories of escape from the real world to

dreamlike worlds
, supernatural, magic
, or foreign lands
Can you name any ceremonies or rituals that include dance?
The Romantic period of Ballet:
Pointe work became important
Harder, more complex choreography
The classic tutu to show off legs
Russian ballet influencedthese skills and changes
Full transcript