Monday, March 2, 2009

The Birth and Fundamentals of Ballet

The Birth and Fundamentals of Ballet:
The Evolution of Ballet

Italian art in the French court Altheas di Beaujoyeulx
La Pieiade and the Academy of poetry, music, and dance
"Ballet Comique de la Reine"
King Louis XIV (14th)
Academy of Dance
Lully, Moliere, and Charles Beauchamps
Appearance of Professional Ballerinas-Mile La Fontaine
Students of Beauchamps
Expansion of French and Italian Ballet in Europe

1533- Carol VIII (8) who introduced Italian art into France set new trends and fashion that had been stagnant for more than 100 years. Italian artists began to travel and perform throughout Europe. King Louis XII with Guillaumi Bude and Jean Lassacris worked with writers and poets to form educational institutions. The king began to imitate the Italian princes and called on the expertise of Leonardo da Vinci, Benvenuto Cellini nad Tizian the create projects.

1534- After the wedding of Henry II (son of the French King) with Catherine de Medici, all Italian art forms were brought to France. Henry II also took dance lessons with Master Virgilio Brascio, who later became the teacher for Henry II's son-the future king of France, Francisc II.

1554- The marshal form Brissac brought the ballet master and choreographer Pomio Diabone from Negri as a student who was to write the famous work "Gratie d' Amore (1602). Diabone became the dance teacher for King Carol IX (9th) and remained in the court until Henry IV (4th) came into power.

Henry IV brought a new fashion into the court, which included dance figurations. The dances were formed each after a particular painting. Dance figuration had an Italian origin with characteristics called "Brando and Balletto".

Brando and Balletto were dances no longer based on paintings but rather created from the imagination of masters. Brando was carefully studied movements used only in performances. By the end of the 15th century the French people could no longer distinguish between Balletto, brando and Ballo.

With the presence of Balthasar di Beaujoyeulx in Paris, great changes were made in the French court. He worked with poets like Jodelli, Donrat, Pierre Ronsard and Jean Antonie Baif.

Beaujoyeulx was very familiar with Italian choreographic culture and Greek lyrics and he began to use this in his work in France.

Baif, on the other hand, used the antic chorus and figuration dances, with this he invented coordination dance. The dance began to use a structure similar to music and poetry. Example: The performance "Galiarda" was made in 6 equal notes (dddd-d) executed with 4 equal steps, a jump on the pause, and a pose on the last note. Baif thought that such dances could be performed in "modern dance" of the time. He, together with poets began to create works uniting poetry and music to make symmetric verse, in 1567, Baif made an academy project where he unified poetry with music and dance in one complex art. Carol ix accepted this project in November, 1570 and in February 1571 the Academy opened, but only for a short time.

Ballet began to develop quickly.
On August 19, 1573, Catherine de Medici gave a performance/ballet for polish ambassadors, in this ballet, 16 ladies who represented the 16 provinces of France performed. This was the first realization of figuration dance, in the 2nd ballet "Comique de la Reine" created by Beaujoyeulx, one can see more clearly figuration dance. This ballet had mixed geometric forms and more dancers who performed homogenously. Ballet "talked" without a word. He used the word comique" because the action led to a happy conclusion. This ballet 'was an inspiration for future military parades because the various geometrical and horizontal forms could be seen from above (balconies).

After the "Comique de la Reine", ballet remained in the hands of professional dancers. More emphasis was given to the carriage of arms, legs, and jumps. Battement and Les elevees appeared which could no longer be seen from above only from the front (enface) but geometric forms in dance remained and are still used today.

1637- San Cassino, the first opera studio, was opened in Venice where the general public was allowed to attend upon ticket purchase.

Ballets created by Beaujoyeulx included: 1606, "Birds": "The Three Ages", and 1608 "The Queens Ballet" in which Queen Anne from Denmark appeared as a dancer, in 1610 he created the ballet "Alcinea". A geometric system was used in all of his ballets, but he used new form of aesthetics.

1626 the ballet "widow from Billebahaut" (La Douairiere de Billebahaut) by Beaujoyeulx was created with leisure movements. Ballet steps like: chasses, coupes, and glissade appeared for the first time.

Masters began to combine dance steps to melody. Music was then written for specific dance movements. Later the combination of dance and music can be see through the works Noverre and Gluck.

Adagio and Allegro appeared in music, which enhanced the development of dance in relation to music. Dramatic ballet began to disappear. Writers began to document events from their century.

On Feb. 23 1653, "La Nuit" (The Night) premiered in the palace Petit Bourbon. This ballet was written by Jean de Cambefort and staged by Charles Beauchamps. "La Nuit" had an intoduction (entrees) and the machinery used in performance was made by Torelli.

The evolution of ballet had many stages during this period with the use of materials from diverse places, much mystery, court stories, and tragedy.

Moliere and Lully changed the course of ballet and directed it into the form of comedy-ballet.

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