Though I had no idea of how the dancers would be performed, but I was so excited since it was the first time I went to see a dance performance.
Dance masters would teach the steps to nobility and the court would participate in performances as a form of social entertainment.
This practice continued for several centuries. Lully sought to develop ballet into a more serious art. Under his influence, ballet was turned into a recognized art that was performed by professional dancers rather than courtiers.
During the La live dance concert essay century, ballet transitioned from a courtly dance of moving images as spectacle to a performance art in its own right.
Ballet performances developed around a central narrative and contained expressive movement that revealed the relationships between characters. This dramatic style of ballet became known as the ballet d' action. The ballet d' action strove to express, for the first time, human emotions drawn directly from the dancers themselves.
Masks previously worn by performers were removed so that emotional content could be derived from facial expressions. Although a more expressive use of the body was encouraged, dancers' movements were still restricted due to heavy materials and corseted dresses.
Costumes often covered a dancer's physique and made it difficult to see complex or intricate choreography. It was not until choreographer Jean Georges Noverre called for dance reforms in with his Letters on Dancing and Ballets that costumes became more conducive.
Noverre urged that costumes be crafted using lightweight fabrics that move fluidly with the body, complimenting a dancer's figure. In addition, dancers wore soft slippers that fit snuggly along the foot. This shoe design instilled confidence within the ballerina, daring her to dance on her toes.
Naturalistic costuming allowed dancers to push the boundaries of movement, eventually rising en pointe. The era of Romanticism produced ballets inspired by fantasy, mystique, and the unfamiliar cultures of exotic places.
Ballets that focused more on the emotions, the fantasy and the spiritual worlds, heralded the beginning of true pointe-work.
Now, on her toes, the deified ballerina embodied in this period by the legendary ballerina Marie Taglioni seemed to magically skim the surface of the stage, an ethereal being never quite touching the ground.
It was during this period that the ascending star of the ballerina quite eclipsed the presence of the poor male dancer, who was in many cases reduced to the status of a moving statue, present only in order to lift the ballerina.
This sad state was really only redressed by the rise of the male ballet star Vaslav Nijinskywith the Ballets Russesin the early 20th century. Ballet as we know it had well and truly evolved by this time, with all the familiar conventions of costume, choreographic form, plot, pomp, and circumstance firmly fixed in place.
Currently the artistic scope of ballet technique and its accompanying music, jumper, and multimedia is more all-encompassing than ever.
The boundaries that classify a work of classical ballet are constantly being stretched, muddied and blurred until perhaps all that remains today are traces of technique idioms such as turnout. It was during the explosion of new thinking and exploration in the early 20th century that dance artists began to appreciate the qualities of the individual, the necessities of ritual and religion, the primitive, the expressive and the emotional.
In this atmosphere modern dance began an explosion of growth. There was suddenly a new freedom in what was considered acceptable, what was considered art, and what people wanted to create. All kinds of other things were suddenly valued as much as, or beyond, the costumes and tricks of the ballet.
Most of the early 20th century modern choreographers and dancers saw ballet in the most negative light. Isadora Duncan thought it most ugly, nothing more than meaningless gymnastics. Martha Graham saw it as European and Imperialistic, having nothing to do with the modern American people. Merce Cunninghamwhile using some of the foundations of the ballet technique in his teaching, approached choreography and performance from a totally radical standpoint compared to the traditional balletic format.
The 20th century was indeed a period of breaking away from everything that ballet stood for. It was a time of unprecedented creative growth, for dancers and choreographers.Christmas shows: 's hottest theatre, dance, panto and comedy to dance and belt your way through the holidays.
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