The World of Ballet Sophie Elementary French II – Spring 2012
Ballet’s Beginnings The word “ballet” is French with a Latin background Origins in the Italian Renaissance courts Provided entertainment at lavish weddings Early ballets were participatory “Ballet de cour” was introduced in the 16th century. First ballet de cour, Ballet Comique de la Reine, lastedfor over five hours.
Louis XIV King Louis XIV loved dancing – used it to glorify himself and the throne * Late 17th century – founded the Academie R Royale de Musique (The Paris Opera). * First professional ballet company emerged. (The Paris Opera Ballet) * Dance eventually became an independent form form of art
Women in Ballet Women were not allowed to dance until 1681 Ankle-length, formal gowns were worn while dancing The first standard ballet shoe for women was a heel Mid-18th century – non-heeled shoes were first worn Marie Camargo is credited with the innovations of: ballet slippers, the calf-length ballet skirt and ballet tights.
Evolution of Dance Jazz often borrows from ballet techniques Lyrical combines technical elements from classical ballet with the freedom and expressiveness of jazz Acro fuses classical technique with acrobatic elements
En Pointe Marie Taglioni is rumored to be the first to dance en pointe Pointe training should not happen until after age 11 Rigorous training is required to go en pointe Extreme strength in the tendons is necessary The modern pointe shoe design is often attributed to Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova
Modern Dance 20th century – Invented by Isadora Duncan An expression of rebellion against classical ballet Free-flowing clothes, loose hair, bare feet Natural movements Extremely passionate: jumps, leaps, stretches.
Giselle Heartbreaking, poetic tale of the love between a peasant girl named Giselle and Count named Albrecht First presented at the Paris Opéra’s Salle Le Peletier in 1841 Oldest ballet in the active repertoire with a continuous performance history Giselle is one of the most sought-after roles in ballet
Coppélia The fable of a boy who falls in love with a beautiful doll named Coppélia and the chaos that ensues Premiered in 1871; full of humor and ballet mime Represents the halfway point between the misty poetry of Giselle and the classic splendor of Swan Lake Introduced automatons, dolls, and marionettes to ballet
Swan Lake Classic love story of a princess bewitched into swan form and a prince who attempts to break the spell Tchaikovsky composed the piece as amusement for his niece and nephew Performed in 1877; huge failure when previewed Re-produced in 1895 after Tchaikovsky’s death and became a huge success.
MorebyTchaikovsky The Sleeping Beauty (1889) The Nutcracker (1892) 1812 Overture
Famous French Companies The Paris Opera Ballet (Paris) Ballet National de Marseille (Marseille) Ballet Biarritz (Biarritz) Opéra National de Lyon (Lyon) Centre Chorégraphique National de Nantes (Nantes)
Renowned Conservatories The Royal Ballet School (London, England) French Academie of Ballet (New York) The School of American Ballet (New York) Joffrey Ballet School (New York)
“Ballet is not technique but a way of expression that comes more closely to the inner language of man than any other.” - George Borodin
References Homans, Jennifer. Apollo's Angels A History of Ballet. New York: Random House, 2010. Print. Terry, Walter. The Ballet Companion A Popular Guide For the Ballet-Goer. Apollo ed. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1968. Print. Robert, Grace. The Borzoi Book of Ballets. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1946. Print. Guillot, Genevieve. The Book of Ballet. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1976. Print. Volynsky, Akim. Ballet's Magic Kingdom. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008. Print.