Monday, March 2, 2009

Origin of Ballet continued

Origin of Ballet continued

The sun dance was executed in a circle because the sun is round. In Egypt, the sun dance was performed once a year. The Egyptians used large steps and gestures to surround the temple walls to insure the apparition of sun onto the land of Egypt. This and other Egyptian rituals took place in the time of Egyptian pharaohs and the god Toth.

In Iran, in Persepolis or Echatan, a dance was performed for the day of gods. Dancers stood with straight posture, looking straight ahead, arms were stretched upwards, and their stance was showing divinity. The sun was the origin of life and the moon was considered to be the protector of women.

The moon dance was done in a spiral formation that represented a snake. This dance even today is called “ Ko1o", The “Kolo” originated in the Paleolithic period but is regularly seen today in Slavic countries near the Adriatic sea.

In Crete and Southern Bavaria, spiral dances were used in 2000 B.C. The dancers wore masks and imitated swan, buck, or pigeon steps in a spiral formation.

The fire dance was executed in a line with the dancers turning around themselves if I the opposite direction of the sun's rotation. It was part of funeral rituals. Dancers wore animal masks and danced to flutes and drums while screaming to a rhythm more and more accelerated. Funeral dances can be seen today in Romania.

The sword dance was practiced between the 14th and 18th centuries in Europe.

In this lecture, we have seen that all dances had significance. People used dance to express emotions. In Hbj, Egypt dance meant happiness, in Greece dance and happiness was described with the word "chares".

Many years later in Egypt and Greece, dance began to take a more physical, rhythmical and mimic form. In Greece religious dances were developed where people danced for the god Dionysus.

From Homer's writing (8th century B.C.) we see that shipbuilding and the use of metals like bronze aided in commercial trade between Cypress, Crete, Egypt, Sicily, and the entire continent of Greece. Poets (7th century b,c) began to appear like: Arhiloh from Paros, Safo from Lesbos, or Mimnerm from Colofon, who put stories into verse. Art began to develop into more branches like dance, rhythm and poetry.

Dance masters began to have very rich programs, which takes us to modern times. One of the famous dances is called "Piric" which had a military character/style executed in honor of the goddess Athena. We can learn more about dance from the writings of Sophocles (496-406 B.C.). Greeks began to share the conception of dance, and pantomime with the Romans. Romans began to combine Greek elements into their own dances. The Romans loved pantomime, which led to the development of dance with pantomime.

Dance began to take on a more acrobatic style. Female dancers were models for the sculpture Policlet. Dancers also started wearing artistic costumes made from very expensive materials to show the beauty of female dancers.

In 300 A.D., the development of art and dance did not progress much due to the spread of Christianity. In the 5th century A.D., there were many spiritual and social changes that lasted for about 1000 years.
Church and Dance: Ballette and Balerie. In the 5th century A.D., with the spread of Christianity, the Greek-Roman culture started to decline. The art of jongleurs comedy and acrobatics "Spielmanner", which appeared in llth-14th century, aided in the development and interpretation of farce and mystery. During this time, simple pantomime and dance movements were demonstrated at local events.

In Paris, 1080 A.D., choreographic and pantomimic passages were added to drama liturgies. The term "ballette” appeared, which meant poetic dance that was treated with happiness and grace based on love stories. "Ballette" was composed from one refrain, three verses and one final refrain, sometimes songs were combined with a small mimic action, named "balerie", where one or more person appeared. The dance had a conductor followed by tambourine and flute.

"Sacre Rappresentazione" started with a dialog between prophets and apostles and finished with a ballet in which painters such as Leonardo da Vinci, Rafael Sanzio or Pontorno collaborated.

When Ludovic (Ludwig) XII entered Milan in 1507 A.D., machinery and trumpets were used to announce the artists who were to perform for the king. The artists wore masks and costumes that became popular in the king's court.

In 1486, "moresca" or "morisque" was performed in "Passion de Jean Michel". "Moresca" was a dance from Maura origin brought from Spain that expanded throughout Europe.

"Moresca" was a theatrical dance that did not enter into the performance category, but had specific scenic elements. Dancers wore black masks or were painted black. The costumes were decorated with golden thread and precious stones. "Moresca" or the moresca step was very free like a jumping march interrupted with beats from the heel.

In Milan, 1489, under the direction of Leonardo da Vinci, the ballet "Celebration of Orfeu" was performed for the wedding of Duke Galeazzo with Isabel a de Aragon. This ballet was arranged by Bergonzi di Botta di Tortone. He is the first recorded master choreographer in the history of ballet. In 1489 choreography became an art with masters.

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