Ballet Vocabulary • Plié – to bend Ballet words are in French • Tendu – stretched • Tombé - to fall, falling • Pas de bourrée – step back, side, front • Grand -big • Demi – half, small • Grand Jeté - big leap • Balancé- rocking step; waltz • Sauté – jumped • En Croix – on the cross • Passé – passed • Pique – pricked • Port de bras – carriage of the arms • Dégagé - Disengaged • échappé - escaping or slipping movement • Rond de jambe – round of the leg • Assemblé - To assemble • Changement – to change feet • Glisade – to glide • Echappé – escaping or slipping movement
Ballet Vocabulary • Enl’air- in the air • Développé - time deveopled, developing movement • Soutenu – sustained • Fondu- to melt • Coupé - to cut • Pas de chat – Cat Step • Penché- leaning step; inclining • piqué - pricked • pirouette- to whirl; turn • Sous-sus - under-over • Jeté - throwing step • Pas de basque- basque step • Sissonne – scissors • Fouette – whipped • Tour jeté- turning jump
Ballet • Classical ballet is generally structured on a narrative pretext. It is important that the audience has an understanding of the basic story line so as to fully understand the complex combination of movement, music and storytelling that makes up a performance. • Some ballets, like the Nutcracker or Sleeping Beauty, are based on traditional stories that are familiar even today; others are more obscure and require a greater effort on the part of the dancers and the audience to fully understand their meaning. • Pantomiming is used to help narrate the story for the audience.
The art of Ballet can trace its origins to the early seventeenth century, when dancers performed to entertain audiences between scenes of an opera.
These short dances grew in popularity and importance until they became a form of theater in their own right, accompanied by a standardization of movements and defining of other stylistic conventions.
King Louis XIV, The Sun King • In 1661, King Louis XIV of France founded the Académie Royale de Musique et de Danse, establishing Paris as the center of academic ballet. • Académie Royale de Musique et de Danse, is still operating today as the Paris Opera Ballet
Most French court ballets consisted of dance scenes linked by a minimum of plot. Because they were designed principally for the entertainment of the aristocracy, rich costumes, scenery, and elaborate stage effects were emphasized.
The proscenium stage was first adopted in France in the mid-1600s, and professional dancers made their first appearance, although they were not permitted to dance in the grand ballet that concluded the performance; this was still reserved for the king and courtiers.
The court ballet reached its peak during the reign (1643-1715) of Louis XIV, whose title the Sun King was derived from a role he danced in a ballet.
Many of the ballets presented at his court were created by the Italian-French composer Jean Baptiste Lully and the French choreographer Pierre Beauchamp, who is said to have defined the five positions of the feet. Also during this time, the playwright Moliere invented the comedie-ballet, in which danced interludes alternated with spoken scenes.
Louis XIV stopped dancing in 1670, and his courtiers followed his example. • By then the court ballet was already giving way to professional dancing. At first all the dancers were men, and men in masks danced women's roles. • The first female dancers to perform professionally in a theater production appeared (1681) in a ballet called Le Triomphe de l'Amour (The Triumph of Love).
Age of Reform • During the 1700s ballet reformed more and more to what we know it as today. • Choreographers wanted the ballets they created to contain more plot and expressiveness through the dance. • Ballet d' action--Dances in which the movements of the dancers are designed to express character and assist in the narrative instead of props and costumes • Dances that tell a story entirely through movement.
Women became stars to equal men. Marie Salle Marie Carmargo Jean Claude Balon
Romantic Era • The era began with the 1827 début in Paris of the ballerina Marie Taglioni in the ballet La Sylphide, • The era marked the rise of the ballerina as a central part of ballet. • She was one of the most celebrated ballerinas of the romantic ballet. • Considered to be the first dancer to dance en pointe. • Known for shortening her skirt in La Sylphide, which was considered highly scandalous at the time. • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hg0T8O80bM4 Marie Taglioni in La Sylphide
Point Shoes & Tutus • To enhance the image of the dancer’s weightlessness. • Ballerinas began wearing Pointe Shoes in the mid-1800 but shoes had no support. Pointe shoes were made famous by ballerina Anna Pavlova in the 1900s. • Tutu is a skirt made of a net fabric called Tule. It allowed the dancer to show their legs and feet on stage.
Tutu • Tutu is a skirt made of a net fabric called Tule. It allowed the dancer to show the technique of the legs and feet on stage.
Bolshoi Ballet: Russia • The Bolshoi Ballet is an internationally renowned. Founded in 1776, the Bolshoi is among the world’s oldest ballet companies. • Based at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow Russia
La Scala Theatre Ballet: Italy • One of the oldest and most renowned ballet companies in the world • Founded at the inauguration of La Scala Theater in 1778
Ballet Russe • Founded in Paris in 1909 by Russian benefactor Serge Diaghilev, the company combined Russian and Western traditions with modernism. • He was able to identify and bring together the most creative artists of his day, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Marc Chagall for set design. Composers Igor Stravinsky, Sergie Prokofiev, Pyotr Tchaikovsky. Costume designers Erte and Coco Chanel.
Ballet Russe: Ballet in France had grown stagnant and predictable, with many patrons attending simply out of habit. Ballets Russes injected the ballet world with renewed vitality, presenting the form, not as a relic of the past, but a vibrant art happening in the present. After France had led the ballet for several centuries, Ballets Russes now presented work that was very Russian: Russian music, Russian subjects and themes, Russian visual designs, and of course, Russian Dancing. Sergei Diaghilev (1872-1929) Founder and director of Ballets Russes Mikhail Fokine First principal choreographer of Ballets Russes.
Anna Pavlova was regarded as one of the finest classical ballet dancers in history. • The first ballerina to tour around the world. Vaslav Nijinsky: Dancer and choreographer Often cited as the greatest male dancer of the 20th century.
Royal Ballet: Great Britain • Through the 19th century Britain patronized ballet, but did not have much of a powerful hand in creating it, preferring instead to import the best from across the channel. Early in the 20th century however, that began steadily to change. • Originally called the Sadler’s Wells Ballet established 1931. • Renamed Royal Ballet in 1949 by Frederick Ashton who had been the principal choreographer for Sadler’s Wells.
Margot Fonteyn • Widely regarded as one of the greatest classical ballet dancers of all time. • Prima Ballerina Assoluta of the Royal Ballet, appointed by HM Queen Elizabeth II.
Rudolf Nureyev • Considered one of the greatest male dancers of all time • Principal Dancer of The Royal Ballet • Director of the Paris Opera Ballet (1983-1989) • Defected from Russia in 1961 • in 1989 he returned to Russia to dance La Syphilde with the Kirov Ballet
New York City Ballet • George Balanchine: One of the greatest and most prolific choreographers in ballet history. Dismissed from Ballet Russe and then Marinsky Ballet as his choreography was too controversial he went to New York. • Founded The School of American Ballet in 1933 and the company in 1934. • Co-founder and balletmaster of the New York City Ballet. Choreographed more than 400 ballets, 100 of which are still performed today. • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvkhjzJ__6Y start @ 8:05 George Balanchine
Maria Tallchief • Ballerina of the New York City Ballet • First Native American Prima Ballerina
American Ballet Theater • American Ballet Theatre was launched in 1939, the aim was to develop a repertoire of the best ballets from the past and to encourage the creation of new works by gifted young choreographers, wherever they might be found. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbPUX8cWmeU Members of the Artistic Committee of Ballet Theatre in 1947: L-R: Jerome Robbins, Lucia Chase, Agnes de Mille, Oliver Smith and Aaron Copland.
Mikhail Baryshnikov • A Russian dancer, choreographer cited alongside Nijinsky and Nureyev as one of the greatest ballet dancers in history. • Started with Kirov ballet, he defected in 1974 • Joined NYCB the American Ballet Theater • Became the Artistic Director of ABT in 1980 • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wb4Ps7vqgU0
Ballet Arizona • Founded in 1986 as resident ballet company for Arizona • Directed by Jean-Paul Comelin formally a dancer from Stuttgart Ballet. • In 2000, Ib Anderson was named artistic director. • As a former dancer for New York City Ballet mounted many Balanchine dances on company.