Ballet and Modern Dance

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					Ballet and Modern
Italian Beginnings
 Gugliemo Ebreo (William the Jew),
  teacher of dance to the nobility, wrote a
  study of dance that includes first
  examples of choreography.
 Dance moved from court feasts to
  ballrooms to the theatres.
  Intermezzos: dances performed between
  acts of classical drama or operas
 Balletti: originally referred to dance in
  ballrooms, came to refer to dance in
Evening Ball for the Wedding of the
Duc de Joyeuse c.1581
Le Balet Comique De La Reine
Performance commissioned by Catherine de Medici at the Valois
                    Court of Henri III
Le Balet Comique De La Reine
 1581: First ballet -- Le Balet Comique de la Reine aka
  Circe composed by Balthazar Beaujoyeulx
 Court entertainment for wedding festivities at the
  French Valois Court
 Three geometrical dance entries carefully woven into
  the plot of the production
 First conscious effort to blend verse, music, dance,
  scenic elements and costume into a unified and
  coherent theatrical statement.
     Ballet de
    Cours: Court
           at Versailles

Louis XIV performing in a ballet
Ballet de Cours: Court Ballet
                    at Versailles
  Ballet as Western civilization knows it is an
   invention of artists associated with the French court
   of the Sun King, Louis XIV
  The king's own dancing master and perhaps the
   first great French dancer, Pierre Beauchamps, was
   head of the Dance Academy.
  Court composer Jean-Baptiste Lully oversaw all
  The ballet de cour dancers traced inventive patterns
   on the stage as one component of an elaborate stage
  The codification of technique helped to create the
   later dance vocabulary and the self-contained ballet.
      Romantic Ballet
 A trend toward a greater degree of self-
  expression began early in the 18th century.
 Marie Camargo introduced new steps to
  the vocabulary and raised her skirt several
  inches to show off her technique.
 Emphasis on en pointe dancing.
 19th century ballerinas, Marie Taglioni,
  Carlotta Grisi, Fanny Cerrito ,Lucile Grahn
  and Fanny Elssler symbolize the essence
  of Romantic ballet, a style that stresses
  above all else an ethereal and floating
 Title roles were created in such works as
  La Sylphide and Giselle that exploited their
  airiness and “other-worldliness”

'Pas de Quatre' by Jules Perrot
  "as danced at Her Majesty's
Theatre, London July 12th, 1845
 by the four eminent danseuses
 Carlotta Grisi, Marie Taglioni,
    Lucille Grahn and Fanny
 in command performance for
        Queen Victoria.
               Ballet d’Action:
                Story Ballet
 Ballet tells a self-contained story.
 French choreographers in the vanguard:
    Pierre Rameau codified the five absolute positions of
     the feet and encouraged a livelier, less earthbound
     style of dancing
    Jean-Georges Noverre, the father of the ballet
     d'action, urged a full range of facial and bodily
     gestures be used to express emotion.
 Milanese Carlo Blasis’ Code of Terpsichore, a manual
  of instruction became the standard ballet handbook
  throughout Europe
Ballet d’Action: Story Ballet
Russian Ballet
               Russian Ballet
 Marius Petipa came from Italy to St. Petersburg in 1847.
 As ballet master of the Imperial Maryinsky (now the
  Kirov) Ballet, Petipa created the core of the Russian
  repertoire with such works as Don Quixote, Swan Lake,
  The Nutcracker, and Sleeping Beauty.
 Important composers such as Tschiakovsky
  collaborated with Petipa.
 Rigorous training for dancers from a young age ensured
  brilliant technique.

                         Marius Petipa
Sleeping Beauty
    Diaghilev’s Ballets Russe
 Preeminent Ballet Company of first three decades of
  20th C.
 Led by Serge Diaghelev (1872-1927), the company
  toured Europe and the Americas.
 Choreographers included Fokine, Massine, Nijinsky
  and Balanchine.
 Dancers included Pavlova, Nijinsky and Karasavina.
 Scenic designers included Leon Bakst and Pablo
 Composers included Stravinsky, Debussy, and Satie
 When company disbanded after Diaghelev’s death in
  1929, many artists moved to America and England.
Diaghilev’s Ballets Russe

Anna Pavlova   Vaslav Nijinsky
1881-1931         1880-1950
       New York City Ballet
 After the Ballets Russes disbanded, Balanchine was
  asked by Lincoln Kirstein to form a ballet company in
 In 1933 the School of American Ballet accepted its first
 A succession of companies evolved to become the New
  York City Ballet in 1948.
 Balanchine created a body of works unequaled in
  stylistic range and emotional variety --
 Balanchine collaborated with Stravinsky and moved
  ballet to a purer, abstract expression
 NYCB stars include Suzanne Farrell, Jacques
  d'Amboise, Edward Villella, and Peter Martins.

New York City Ballet and
  George Balanchine
Modern Dance
                  Isadora Duncan
Ted Shawn and Ruth St. Denis
 1891-1972        1879-1968
       Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn
 Denishawn School of Dancing and Related Arts, dance
  school and company founded in 1915 by Ruth St. Denis
  and her husband, Ted Shawn;
 Fostered such performers as Martha Graham, Doris
  Humphry, and Charles Weidman
 St. Denis turned to Oriental dances for ideas about
  dance as spiritual art; later cofounded of Authentic
  School of Oriental Dancing, called Natya, in New York
 Shawn pioneered the role of male dancer, training male
  dancers and creating dances based on Native American
  and Western folklore. Founder of Jacob’s Pillow
Martha Graham
              Martha Graham
 “Martha Graham was to modern dance what Pablo
  Picasso was to modern art.”
 In a career spanning 70 years, Martha Graham created 180
  dance works using a variety of motifs including:
    Fusion of abstract gestures to psychological symbols
     (Primitive Mysteries)
    American mythic heritage (Appalachian Spring)
    Classical tragedy (Medea, Clytemnestra)
 Technique includes: emphasis on the center of the body,
  not its extremities; angular stances; explosive, stylized
  gestures, spare and abstract stage settings
 Trained or influenced every important modern dancer--
  José Limón, Paul Taylor, Merce Cunningham, and Twyla
  Tharp --and made America the center of modern dance.

Music by Aaron Copeland
Choreography by Martha
Katherine Dunham
      b. 1909
          Katherine Dunham
 Anthropologist (PhD, U of Chicago), dancer,
  choreographer and educator
 Ethnic dance research in the Caribbean led her to found
  in 1940 the first all-black concert dance troupe, Les
  Ballets Negre, to perform 'Tropics and le Jazz Hot'
 Choreography combined black island dances with ballet
  and theatrical effects.
 1945 the Dunham School of Dance was opened in New
  York City.
 Choreographed opera (Aida, Treemonisha), Broadway
  (Cabin in the Sky), and film (Stormy Weather)
 1965-67 Senegal’s Cultural Minister
 Ran inner-city school in East St. Louis teaching
  performing arts to gang members
     American Ballet Theatre
 The Ballet Theatre presented its first performance on
  Jan. 11, 1940.
 Struck a balance between tradition and
 Led for 40 years by Lucia Chase and Oliver Smith, ABT
  commissioned works by such leading choreographers
  as Anthony Tudor, Agnes DeMille and Jerome
 Celebrated performers have included Alicia Alonso,
  Rudolph Nureyev, Natalia Makarova, Antony Tudor,
  and Mikhail Baryshnikov, its artistic director from 1980
  to 1989.

  Composed by
 Aaron Copland
Choreographed by
 Agnes de Mille
Dance Theatre of Harlem
    Dance Theatre of Harlem
 Arthur Mitchell, the first black dancer to perform with
  the New York City Ballet, founded the Dance Theatre
  of Harlem in 1971
 Began with 30 children in a church basement--two
  months later, 400 children were attending classes
 The interracial company won a new audience for ballet
  and opened opportunities for young black dancers
 Repertory expanded to encompass classical, modern,
  and ethnically oriented works
 "Dancing Through Barriers" is designed to make
  children worldwide aware of dance.
Alvin Ailey
                 Alvin Ailey
 Born in Texas in 1931, Ailey spent his formative years
  going to Sunday School --see Revelations
 Trained with Lester Horton, Katherine Dunham and
  Martha Grahman, Stella Adler among others
 1958, Ailey founded his own company, the Alvin Ailey
  American Dance Theater, company dedicated to
  enriching the American modern dance heritage and
  preserving black cultural expression.
 First American dance company invited to the Soviet
 1969, Ailey founded the Alvin Ailey American Dance
  Center now training 3500 students a year