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The History Of Ballet Essay Research Paper

The History Of Ballet Essay, Research Paper


When dance appeared as a popular, and common, form of entertainment in the late fifteenth and sixteenth centuries performances included mixtures of acrobatics, speech and song. The performances were created on a large scale for those of royalty and on a smaller scale for the more common people.

The entertainment in the court often held that of a political agenda. These dances were used to show off the court’ magnificent appearance and were written and conceived as subtle propaganda. For instance, dances may have been designed to flatter a visiting dignitary, implying the intentions of the host, or the dances could be created to threaten the dignitary with a feeling of power and strength.

A woman by the name of Catherine de Medici took this art with her from England to France and into her marriage to King Henry II. During this time she ordered the creation of the Ballet Conique de la Reine. It was an epic piece lasting five hours, meant to celebrate the marriage of a friend; this Ballet came to be known as the beginning of the HISTORY OF BALLET.

During this period many more epic and influential dances were created. By the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries a firm foundation for Ballet had been established. Women began to join in the dance; Ballet Masters began to attempt a form of notation for this dance. In addition, costumes became sleeker in order to adapt to the intricate movement of the foot and the body of the female dancer, who, at this time began to gain dominance in the dance. To this point Ballet had been, mainly, a very restricted dance. Free flowing movement and jumps/lifts were not yet socially acceptable. The only changes that could be made were variations in floor patterns and tempo. So, from here, Ballet continued its combination of dance singing and music, singing usually taking precedent over the other two. More skillful ballerinas, or female Ballet dancers, shortened their skirts to show off their more intricate footwork and style, unfortunately this was not accepted until fifty years later. By 1760 Dance Masters began to question the restrictions that had been placed on their art. This, in turn, triggered off a set of a reaction of bigger, better, and newer Ballets, this evolution created the Ballet we are now familiar with.

Women in short, fluffy skirts an elegant pastels, and men leaping higher than NBA professionals had to start somewhere, little did we know it began more than six centuries before many of us were born.

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