Facts about Ballet

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1. Ballet started in Italy

Ballet is a dance that emerged in Italy during the late 15th Century. It served as an interpretation dance for fencing during the Renaissance court culture. Ballet dance developed further to the French court between the 16th and 17th century during Louis XIV’s time, an element that is reflected in the broad use of French vocabulary in ballets.

 2. Ballet declined in France

In the 18th century, Noverre introduced major reforms to save ballets in France. However, the dance declined after 1830 irrespective of the reforms. Ballet dancing continued in Italy, Denmark and Russia. Ballet dancing was introduced for the second time to Western Europe by a Russian company called the ‘Ballets Russes of Sergei Diaghilev’ on the eve of World War 1. These ballet dancers became influential globally later on.

 3. A Dance with Strong Influence

During the 20th century, the ballet dance continued to evolve as a result of influence from wider concert dances. In the U.S, for instance, George Balanchine, a choreographer, developed the neoclassical ballet. Other forms of ballet that followed this development include the post-structural and contemporary ballets reflected in the works of William Forsythe of Germany.

4. Ballet was further developed into a Concert form of Dance

Ballet is a formal kind of performance dance whose origin is the Italian and French Courts. The dance was further developed in England and Russia to become a concert dance. Ballet has become a dance form that is highly technical and has its own vocabulary where performances are accompanied by classical music.

 5. Taught in Schools

As a dance, ballet is taught in numerous ballet schools across the world using different societies and cultures to inform it as a performing art. Ballet dance works are often choreographed; they include acting, miming and a set of music such as orchestral or vocal music. Modern additions include expression ballet.

 6. Classical ballet, the most formal Ballet

Compared to other forms of ballet dance, classical ballet is much formal. This ballet dance observes the traditional ballet dance techniques though there are variations based on the area of origin. The most well mastered ballet dance styles are the Italian, Russian, Danish and the New York City or Balanchine method. Other mastered dance styles are the Royal Ballet School and the Royal Academy of Dance methods that were created in England.

 7. Ballet Dance Pointe Shoes

The very first pointe shoes won by ballet dancers were actually normal ballet slippers with a heavily darned tip. Their design allowed female ballet dancers to stand on their toes briefly causing them to appear weightless. The pointe shoes were converted later to a bard box that is commonly used today.

 8. Neoclassical Ballet Dance is less Rigid

Though the neoclassical form of ballet dance makes use of traditional vocabulary, it is less rigid compared to classical ballet. For instance, dancers of neoclassical ballet dance to much extreme tempos and perform feats that are more technical. Spacing in this form of ballet dance is also much complex and modern than it is in classical ballets.

 9. Visual Spectacles are more important than the story in Ballets

Though ballets can contain stories, the visual spectacle is the most essential element as opposed to the story. The dancers and choreographers have to always strive to reach their audience via the eye while the audience has to watch and follow the staged performance because it is the illusion that is created on stage that gets the audience convinced.

 10. The Greatest Classical Ballet is Swan Lake

Swan Lake, a production of Tchaikovsky is the greatest classical ballet ever performed with its beauty and romance mesmerizing audiences for over 100 years. Its initial Moscow production was not received well. The initial American production of Swan Lake was staged by the San Francisco Ballet.

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