Ballet is a dance-drama performed by one or more dancers accompanied by music. Dancing, music, scenery, and costumes are combined with colorful artistry to express a mood, theme, or story. The dancers perform steps and pantomime carefully worked out by a dance arranger called a choreographer. Professional ballet dancing is a highly disciplined art that can be learned only through years of training. Dancers practice daily and masters the basic movements and steps so thoroughly that they are applied automatically when performing.
Lessons for amateurs, including children, teach good posture and bodily grace and increase appreciation for professional performances. The purpose of this study is to know the in-depth history and of development of ballet. II. Discussion A. Development of ballet Ballet grew out of Renaissance court entertainments that were a mixture of dancing, singing, and acting. It became a serious art form in France during the reign of Louis XIV when it moved out of the court ballroom and onto the theatrical stage.
Jean Baptiste Lully, a French-Italian composer and dancer, included ballet interludes in his operas and in 1681 introduced women dancers to the public stage. About 1700 Pierre Beauchamp, A French dancing master who often collaborated with Lully, established the five positions of the feet on which all ballet steps are now based (Anderson, 2001). Ballet spread throughout Europe in the 18th century and the dancers became more skilled. Ballet costume, especially the women’s long, heavy dresses and high-heeled shoes, greatly restricted movement and made jumping steps difficult to perform.
Marie Camargo and Marie Salle were among the ballerinas who advocated freer movement. Camargo wore ankle-length skirts and heelless shoes, and is credited with introducing the entrechat-quatre. Salle often danced in a simple draped gown, stressing expressive, natural movement. About the middle of the 18th century Jean Georges Noverre, a French dancer and choreographer, led the movement that established the ballet d’action (dramatic ballet). The spoken interludes that furthered the plot were replaced by pantomime and the corps de ballet became more important (Pasevska, 2000).
Gaetan Vestris and his son Auguste were the unrivaled male dancers of the period. In the Nineteenth Century there were many changes in ballet. The ballerina added the technique of dancing sur les pointes (on her toes) and reduced the male dancer to the role of an unimportant partner. The Romantic Movement in literature, music, and painting also affected ballet. Mythological subjects were discarded in favor of themes based on the supernatural and on folk legends. Maria Taglioni, Fanny Elssler, and Carlotta Grissi were among the great ballerinas of the Romantic era.
Taglioni introduced the tutu while dancing in La Sylphide (1832); Elssler introduced the character dance, a stylized folk dance. Grissi created the title role of Giselle (1841), the classic ballet of the Romantic age (Clarke & Crisp, 2000). Carlo Blasis, an Italian dancer and teacher, established a system of dance training in The Code of Terpsichore (1830) and is credited with originating the attitude pose. Blasis’s theories were carried to Russia, which became the ballet center in the second half of the century. Marius Petipa, a French dancer and ballet master working in St.
Petersburg, created the full-length (three- or four-act) classic ballet. Classic ballets, such as The Sleeping Beauty (1890) and Swan Lake (1895), emphasized dancing for the sake of dancing. Costume, scenery, story, and music played a minor role so as not to distract from the dancing. Twentieth-century Reforms. Many Russian dancers rejected the spectacular entertainment style of the classic ballet. As early as 1904 Michel Fokine, a dancer and choreographer, submitted his plan for ballet reform to the Imperial Theater.
He believed the dancing should express the feelings of the characters portrayed and that the music, decor, and theme should be in harmony, complementing each other. After seeing the American dancer Isadora Duncan performed in 1905, Fokine incorporated her ideas of freedom of movement and rhythmic expression into the discipline of ballet (Koegler, 2002). When the Russian impresario Serge Diaghilev presented the Ballets Russes in Paris in 1909, Fokine was the choreographer. His Les Sylphides marked the beginning of the modern era of ballet.
Leading composers, artists, and writers created music, stories, and decor (scenery and costumes) for ballets Russes performances. Fokine created The Firebird (1910) and Petrouchka (1911), both with music by Igor Stravinsky. Ballets Russes dancers included Anna Pavlova, Ida Rubinstein, Adolphe Bolm, and Vaslav Nijinsky and his sister Bronislava. Nijinsky choreographed three famous ballets—Afternoon of a Faun (1812) and Jeaux (1913), both with music by Debussy, and The Rite of Spring (1913), with music by Stravinsky.
After 1914, Leonide Massine became the leading choreographer of the Ballets Russes. He created Parade (1917), music by Eric Satie, story by Jean Cocteau, decor by Picasso; and The Three-Cornered Hat (1919), music by Manuel de falla and decor by Picasso (Dufort, 2004). Throughout the 1920’s the Ballets Russes was the outstanding company, performing throughout Europe and the Americas. Ballet after Diaghilev. In the 1920’s and after Diaghilev’s death in 1929, many dancers and choreographers formed their own schools and companies. Massine became choreographer of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo.
In England, Ninette de Valois founded a dance school and company that became the Sadler’s Wells Ballet (now Royal Ballet) and featured such dancers as Alicia Markova, Frederick Ashton, and Margot Fonteyn. Serge Lifar revitalized the Paris Opera Ballet. George Balanchine came to the United States in 1933 and with Lincoln Kirstein formed the School of American Ballet and the American Ballet (later New York City Ballet). Ballet Theatre (now American Ballet Theatre), formed in 1939 by Lucia Chase, presented ballets by American choreographers and composers as well as classic and contemporary European ballets.
The repertoire included Eugene Loring’s Billy the Kid (1938) and Agnes de Mille’s Rodeo (1942), both with music by Aaron Copland; Pillar of Fire (1942) by the Emglish choreographer Anthony Tudor; and Jerome Robbins’ and Leonard Bernstein’s Fancy Free (1944). Nora Kaye, Alicia Alonso, and David Lichine were among the leading dancers (Kuklin, 2000). Ballet Theatre played a major role in the development of American theatrical dance in the 1940’s. International Growth. After World War II ballet became increasingly popular, and numerous, diverse ballet companies flourished.
The Royal Danish Ballet became noted for the agility of its male dancers and for its performances of August Bournonville’s 19th-century Danish ballets, such as Konservatoriet. Of the more than 30 ballet companies in the Soviet Union, Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet and Leningrad’s Kirov Ballet gained international fame. Among the outstanding companies are Netherlands Dance Theater and Maurice Bejart’s Brussels-based ballet of the 20th Century. Both companies present many experimental ballets (Koegler, 2002).
The National Ballet of Canada and Germany’s Stuttgart Ballet became known for their performances of both narrative and abstract ballets. In the United States there has been a spectacular growth of interest in ballet. More than 100 amateur regional ballet companies have been formed along with numerous professional groups. American Ballet Theatre and the New York City Ballet became the major companies, winning international acclaim. The Joffrey Ballet became nationally known for presenting 20th-century standard works, such as Parade, as well as new avant-garde ballets, such as The Relativity of Icarus (1974).
By the 1980 ballet’s dancing and choreographer styles varied widely. The distinction between ballet and modern dance grew narrower as many companies fused the technical discipline of ballet with the freedom of modern dance (Clarke & Crisp, 2000). III. Conclusion In conclusion, ballet has contributed a lot in the dance industry. Ballet groups appear in full-length ballets (divided into acts and scenes) and in programs made up of two or more shorter ballets. Ballets are sometimes included in operas, musical comedies, and other stage, television, and screen productions.
The music may be written originally for ballet or adapted from other music. Reference: 1. Anderson, Jack (2001). Choreography Observed (University of Iowa). 2. Clarke, Mary & Clement Crisp (2000). The Ballet Goer’s Guide (Knopf). 3. Dufort, Anthony (2004). Ballet Steps: Practice to performance (Crown). 4. Koegler, Horst (2002). The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Ballet, 5th edition (Oxford University). 5. Kuklin, Susan (2000). Reaching for Dreams: a Ballet from Rehearsal to Opening Night (Lothrop, Lee & Shephard). 6. Pasevska, Anna (2000). Ballet from the First Plie to Mastery (Princeton Book).