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The Geography of Ballet

by Kelsey Kipp & Shelby Haltom

Kelsey Kipp

on 9 December 2011

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Transcript of The Geography of Ballet

The Geography of Ballet Where it started The earliest precursors to ballets were lavish entertainments given in the courts of Renaissance Italy. These elaborate spectacles, which united painting, poetry, music, and dancing, took place in large halls that were used also for banquets and balls. A dance performance given in 1489 actually was performed between the courses of a banquet, and the action was closely related to the menu: For instance, the story of Jason and the Golden Fleece preceded the roast lamb. The dancers based their performance on the social dances of the day. Types of Ballet Classical Neoclassical Contemporary The oldest and most formal of all ballet styles, classical ballet utilizes the traditional ballet techniques of those early years in its studios all over the world today. This is the ballet of the Russians, Italians and French, and all variations found in classical style are rooted in the original French technique. Neoclassical ballet, much like its grandchild contemporary ballet, finds its roots in classical ballet but allows for a more free range series of movements. It was developed in the early 20th century, and sticks very closely to the Russian form of classical ballet, however it oftentimes adapts the classic terminology to allow for more impressive steps. Neoclassical ballet is also much less theatrical and "showy" than its originator, and while classical ballet can often be compared to a formal night out at the opera, neoclassical is presented best in a casual theatre with minimal costuming, lighting and sets. Contemporary ballet was influenced first by classical ballet, but then by modern dance. It holds onto the pointe work derived from the classic teachings, however it adopts a greater range of movement and relaxed steps not found in the strict discipline of old school ballet technique. George Balanchine is credited as the founder of contemporary ballet, and Mikhail Baryshnikov is a shining example of someone who carved an entire career out of this unique style. He briefly studied under Balanchine, and various modern dance geniuses such as Twyla Tharp also came alongside to further develop the style known as contemporary ballet today. By Kelsey Kipp & Shelby Haltom Modern Day Italy. Ballet comes to America Thanks to Balanchine, ballet came to America. However, very little of America realized this, the popular misconception was that ballet came from Russia. To counter this Lincoln Kirstein published an essay called "Blast at Ballet". Richard Pleasant, (1906-1961), a ballet company manager, teamed up with Lucia Chase, (1897-1986), to form the Ballet Theatre. This company is still running today as one of the most prestigious companies on the continent, the American Ballet Theatre. In 1946 Balanchine and Kirstein formed the Ballet Society. Because the costumes for the premier performance were very constricting, they were discarded and the dancers danced in what could be called rehearsal costumes. This look became common in Balanchine's ballets and allowed for the audience to see the full dance. The Ballet Society caught the attention of the director of New York City's City Centre Theatre who invited the Ballet Society to work alongside the New York City Opera in the Theatre. This was the beginning of the New York City Ballet. Diffusion Map. 1489 2011 1934 Lavish entertainments given in the courts of Renaissance Italy. These took place in large halls that were used also for banquets and balls. The dancers based their performance on the social dances of the day. 1581 The Italian court ballets were further developed in France. Le Ballet Comique de la Reine (The Queen's Ballet Comedy), the first ballet for which a complete score survived, was performed in Paris. Timeline 1661 Louis XIV established the Acadmie Royale de Danse, a professional organization for dancing masters. He himself stopped dancing in 1670, and his courtiers followed his example. By then the court ballet was already giving way to professional dancing. 1734 Eighteenth-century dancers were encumbered by masks, wigs or large headdresses, and heeled shoes. Women wore panniers, hoopskirts draped at the sides for fullness. Men often wore the tonnelet, a knee-length hoopskirt. The French dancer Marie Camargo, however, shortened her skirts and adopted heelless slippers to display her sparkling jumps and beats. Her rival, Marie Sall‚ also broke with custom when she discarded her corset and put on Greek robes to dance in her own ballet, Pygmalion Map of Italy in 1400s. The choreographer George Balanchine who was highly influenced by Russia, introduced this type of art,or Ballet, to America. During the 1960s, it was Balanchine who founded the New York City Ballet Company along with the wealthy Lincoln Kirstein. Before coming to America, Balanchine worked for another very big Ballet Company in Russia, Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. His specialty of dancing was to create ballets without plots, using only music and movements rather than a story. He choreographed his first ballet with this theme, Jewels in 1967. In addition to technical virtuosity he demanded drama, expression and historical authenticity. The choreographer must research the period and cultural context of the setting and reject the traditional tutu in favour of accurate period costuming. Beyond her talents as a ballerina, Pavlova had the theatrical gifts to fulfill Fokine's vision of ballet as drama. Legend has it that Pavlova identified so much with the swan role that she requested her swan costume from her deathbed. Ballet's Connection to the USA. Two great American ballet companies were founded in New York City in the 1940s, American Ballet Theatre and the New York City Ballet. The latter drew many of its dancers from the School of American Ballet established by Balanchine and Kirstein in 1934. Today's ballet repertoire offers great variety. New ballets and reconstructions and restagings of older ballets coexist with new works created by modern-dance choreographers for ballet companies. Choreographers experiment with both new and traditional forms and styles, and dancers constantly seek to extend their technical and dramatic range. The frequent tours of ballet companies allow audiences throughout the world to experience the full spectrum of today's ballet activity. 1600s, the mid, a few other European countries. St. Petersburg company, in Russia gave great dancers like Anna Pavlova, and Vaslav Nijinsky in 1909. "History of Ballet." Buzzle Web Portal: Intelligent Life on the Web. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Dec. 2011. <http://www.buzzle.com/articles/history-of-ballet.html>.

We learned about the history of Ballet. We also learned about the connection to France
Beales, John W.. "The History." The Ballet. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Dec. 2011. <www.the-ballet.com/america.php>.

We learned about ballet coming to America. We also learned about the American Ballet Theatre in NYC.
Lully, the Italian-French composer Jean Baptiste, and the French. "Dancing Online, History of Ballet." College of Computer and Information Science | College of Computer and Information Science. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Dec. 2011. <http://www.ccs.neu.edu/home/yiannis/dance/history.html>.

We learned about early professional ballet. We also learned about the different types of Ballet.
"The Geography of Dancing: Ballet." The Geography of Dancing. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Dec. 2011. <http://geogofdancing.blogspot.com/2009/11/ballet.html>.

We learned about how ballet has changed over the years. We learned about the French courts.
Warta, Tamara. "History of Ballet." Dance steps | Dance instruction | Dancers. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Dec. 2011. <http://dance.lovetoknow.com/History_of_Ballet>.

We learned about the early history of ballet and the different types of ballet. Annotated Bibliography N W S E N W S E N W S E
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