Catherine de Medici 15 th Century – Catherine de Medici, an Italian noblewoman who married the French King, Hendry II. She loved the arts and spent extravagant amounts of money to produce elaborate parties with music, dance, costumes and poetry.
King Louis XIV of France 16 th Century – King Louis XIV of France. HE loved the Ballet and was an accomplished dancer.
King Louis XIV cont. He opened the first ballet school in France in 1661, The Royal Academy of Dance, and moved Ballet from the courts to the stage in 1681. Pierre Beauchamps was the director of the Royal Academy of Dance and codified the steps for ballet.
Ballet in the 1600’s Women did not appear on stage until 1681 and the ballet shoes at the time were heeled. After the French Revolution the ballet shoe lost the heel. Marie Taglioni was the first Ballerina to perform en Pointe, in La Sylphide, a romantic ballet. The Romanic ballets focused on the magical, supernatural stories and featured women dancers as fragile. The long romantic tutu was also introduced at this time.
Russia and Ballet During the 19 th century Russian choreographers like Marius Petipa began creating the classical ballets we know today. These ballets focused on the technique of ballet, while telling a story. The shorter, stiffer classical tutu was introduced at this time. With the shorter tutu, the women were no longer shown as fragile, but could show off more difficult movement and foot work. Petipa, is famous for The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, and Swan Lake, as well as a former Ballet Master for the Imperial Ballet School of Russia. The Imperial Ballet School, produced some of the world’s most famous Ballet dancers., Vaslav Nijinsky, who is known for his powerful, high, light jumps and leaps. Anna Pavlova, known for her portrayal of a dying swan in The Dying Swan, by Michel Fokine, also a student of the Imperial School of Ballet. George Balanchine and Mikhail Baryshnikov.
Ballet comes to America George Balanchine came to America and established the School of American Ballet in 1983 with Lincoln Kirstein. In October 1948 he formed the New York City Ballet, where he was the Ballet Master and principal choreographer for 35 years until his death. While with the New York City Ballet he choreographed over 400 Ballets. His most famous works include; The Nutcracker, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Firebird and Stars and Stripes. Mikhail Baryshnikov, also a former member of the Imperial Ballet School of Russia, came to America to dance with the American Ballet Theatre. He also danced with the New York City Ballet to learn and work with Balanchine and Robbins. He later returned to the American Ballet Theatre and became the Artistic Director.
Ballet and Musical Theater Jerome Robbins, a Broadway director, producer and choreographer, was named co-director for the New York City Ballet following Balanchine’s death. There are too many accomplishments to name them all. Agnes de Mille brings ballet to the Musical Theater stage in Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! de Mille studied Ballet in London. She received her big break when the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo invited her to choreograph a piece for their repitoir, Rodeo.
Agnes de Mille – Dream Ballet http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2D1 loAVwiMc http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2D1 loAVwiMc