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History of Ballet Dancing – Interesting Information

Updated on August 10, 2010

History of Ballet Dancing – Interesting Information

 Ballet is a performance dance style that originated in Italy developed in the 15th century and moved across Russia and France, and very recently to the United States.  Ballet developed in renaissance court in Italy, where aristocratic weddings are celebrated very lavishly, also dancers and court musicians entertain the gathered people.  Advancement in the ballet was done by the French ballet de cour, which also contained other kind of entertainment as verse, music, pageant, speech, song, costume, and décor.  On those days, choreography was also done on formal dance steps and dancers dressed according to their fashion with respect to their countries culture.


 One of the old ballet dance master during that period was Domenico da Piacenza, and he also began teaching to other people with the help of his students Guglielmo Ebreo and Antonio Cornazzano.   Later in the 17th century, ballet developed more of performance based dance style during the reign of Louis XIV which had more of improved dance standards.  The five fundamental positions of ballet first appeared in the writings of Pierre Beauchamp, who was then a ballet dancer and choreographer.  Jean-Baptiste Lully was the first person who brought French and Italian ballet together and formed a legacy of future ballet.  In France, first ballet school was started and Juliette Blanche taught this dance to the students.


 In 18th century, ballet moves improved a lot and became more of serious dramatic performance.  Only in this period, ballet movement advanced with more character based and women role in ballet was only secondary.  The dancers dress was hoops, wigs, corsets, and big heels and dance composers like Christoph Gluck made a lot of changes in dance moves.  In this period, ballet moves was separated into three methods namely demi-caractère, sérieux, and comique.  During 19th century, many social change happened, which also reflected in the ballet and dance movement took more of romantic form.


 Ballet dance became more popular in Russia and Denmark during 19th century and short skirt or tutu became more famous in this period.  The perfection and precision were brought in the ballet dance by Agrippina Vaganova, who led the Vaganova Ballet Academy.  In US, ballet created stronger influence and a new technique called state-of-the-art was started by George Balanchine who also opened a ballet school in New York.  Also, Balanchine modified the traditional narrative kind of dance movements and changed the narrative tradition of ballet and developed more of plot kind of style.  Barbara Karinska developed bias cut in the short skirt or tutus along with embroidery, appliqué, beadwork, and crochet.

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