The ballet history is such a long tale to tell. Numerous stories have it that the ballet history can be traced back to renaissance Italy when people started to practice the dance in the courts to entertain the Italian royalty. The dance flourished during that time, about 15th century, as the renaissance people started to develop a strong interest in art and learning.
Let’s take a closer look at the ballet history.
The Dance at the Court
As mentioned earlier, the ballet history can be traced back to 15th century when the renaissance people started to practice the dance in the courts of Italy. The dance in the court was performed by the members of the court themselves and it took place in large halls that were also used for court banquets and balls. It reached its peak during the reign of Louis XIV, who was also the one who established the first professional ballet in the world.
The Rise of Formal Ballets
The early formal ballets owe their existence to Louis XIV when he established the Royal Academy of Dance to train dancers for the court’s ballets. Louis XIV was the one who taught the dance, but he stopped dancing in 1670 for some personal reasons. His courtiers followed his example, but then the professional ballet he has started remained as the favorite. The court ballet then gave way to professional dancing, and that period marks the rise of more ballet companies in Italy.
According to numerous resources that talk about ballet history, the first dancers of ballet were mostly men who wear masks and perform women’s roles. It was later 16th century that the first female ballerina came out to perform professionally in theatre productions.
Throughout 16th century onwards, the art of ballet developed with the use of a number of fresh toe movements. The early dancers like Marie Camargo and Marie Sall were famed for their sparkling jumps and leaps. It was in the 18th century that the most famous choreographer of dramatic ballet was known, the Frenchman Jean Georges Noverre. He notably influenced many choreographers both during and after his lifetime. It was alos him who advised choreographers to employ movements that could be naturally and easily understood by the dancers. The movements, as what he said, should work in harmony in order to express what the dance is trying to portray. Noverre was actually one of the most important personalities in ballet history.
The Romantic Ballet
The romantic ballet history can be traced back to the year 1832 when ballet La Sylphide was performed in Paris. It was this dance repertoire that inspired a number of changes of the time, in theme, techniques, costume and style. Perhaps what’s interesting to know about the romantic ballet is that, according to ballet history resources, it was not a kind that is restricted; however, the subjects it presents are of out-of-this-world beings. And, it’s worth noting that the women dominated the romantic ballet.
20th Century Ballet
Several forms of the dance emerged in the 20th century. The idea of pure dance also grew in popularity. It started to catch the attention of the younger audiences, so it’s no wonder that today, ballets are often taught to children. Also, more demanding movements came to emerge, as well as new styles, techniques and forms. Perhaps, the most well-known ballet form of today is the Swan Lake ballet, which was first choreographed and performed by mostly Russian dancers.