Origins of Ballet
Ballet originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th century. It was a dance interpretation of fencing, transitioning into French and Russian courts with evolving styles.
Court Ballet Era
The 16th-century court ballet, 'Ballet Comique de la Reine,' lasted over five hours, symbolizing the power of the French monarchy and laying groundwork for narrative ballet.
Ballet's Technical Codification
King Louis XIV founded the Académie Royale de Danse in 1661, where ballet technique began to be standardized, forming the basis of classical ballet vocabulary we recognize today.
Romantic Ballet Emergence
The early 19th century saw Romantic Ballet’s rise, focusing on themes of fantasy and supernatural with female dancers dominating the stage using pointe shoes for ethereal effects.
Russian Influence Peaks
In the late 19th century, Russian patronage led to masterpieces by choreographers like Marius Petipa. Ballets like 'The Sleeping Beauty' showcased technical prowess and complex narrative.
Revolutionary Ballet Russes
Sergei Diaghilev's Ballet Russes (1909-1929) revolutionized ballet with groundbreaking collaborations in music, art, and dance, influencing modern ballet and contemporary choreography.
Balanchine's Neoclassical Impact
George Balanchine transformed ballet by stripping it to its purest form in the 20th century, emphasizing strong technique, speed, and agility, and creating the neoclassical ballet style.