Dance as entertainment started around 6000 B.C. in India, but really picked up during the Renaissance era.
In older civilizations, dances were mostly for spiritual purposes. Danced at cultural ceremonies which still influence present-day dance
The Renaissance marked the shift towards entertainment for the aristocracy
Male and female partner dance became ideal in this time period
Ethnic dances distinguished among different cultures
Greece- Vocabulary for the theater laid the foundation for the proscenium stage, which ballet first took form
Rome- high society became the first audience for dance
Ballet started around 1400s out of the Renaissance
Ballet is one of the oldest established types of dance
Characterized by orderly, symmetrical movement, and is one of the most widely recognized techniques
Ballet originated in the courts of Italy during the Renaissance, but has its roots in the dancing of the Middle Ages. This was characterized by religious themes, folk dancing, open-air dancing, and mock battles
Creation of ballet is credited to Domenico da Piacenza, history’s first choreographer. He really just took entertainment of the time and made it into something orderly
Early ballet is a name given to almost all forms of public entertainment, commonly performed on top of carriages and during interludes inserted into all forms of entertainment (weddings, plays, etc) of the time
At this point, there is a single, Italian school of ballet
Classical ballet is the only type, consisting of dance that has a plot and tells a story through movement and music. The storyline is the focus.
In the 16 th century, ballet moves to France courtesy of Cesare Negri.
At first, the French merely mimic the Italian style, until the famous Ballet comique de la Reine is produced and choreographed by Balthasar. This 10 ½ hour performance successfully blends Italian and French ideals and approaches into one performance and is the first truly French Court Ballet.
Court ballet, which is only really popular in France, restricts ballet to the Courts and models it to appeal to an upper-class audience. Court ballets tended to be extravagant and occasionally disorderly.
Court ballet goes through its own phases. Melodramatic court ballets become popular, and were dramatic performances to singing with a clear Italian influence. These give way to Ballets `a entrée, which are much simpler.
Louis XIV, an avid dancer, establishes the Academie Royale de Danse in 1661. Dancing becomes the exclusive work of professionals. We also see women beginning to enter the field.
Reform and Romantic Ballet
The 18 th century gives a new definition to ballerina, giving the position a scandalous connotation.
Ballet is rapidly spreading across Europe, aided by the reform efforts of Jean-Georges Noverre. He is rejected in France initially but is accepted by Berlin. He reincorporates other art forms, particularly mime, into his work.
Notable dancers of the time include Marie Salle and Marie-Madeleine Guimard. Ballet is changing rapidly. New costumes and techniques are catching on.
In 1830 we see the rise of the 10-year movement of Romantic Ballet, the introducing of the satin slipper, and subsequently point.
Romantic Ballet is characterized by dramatic gesture, noiseless style, point work, and emotion-centered performances. The dancing becomes more expressive and the plots more extreme.
Notables of this movement are Marie Tanglioni and her performance in La Sylphide , Carlotta Grisi, Fanny Elssler, and the ballet Giselle . Creation of the romantic style is credited to Jean-Francois Coulon.
The Ballet Russes and Modern Ballet
In the late 1800’s, after a return to classical ballet, the art in both France and Italy is waning. The center for ballet is now Russia.
1885 marks the introduction of the famous tutu.
The end of the 19 th century and beginning of the 20 th century mark major changes in ballet. 1909 is the beginning of modern ballet, eclipsing classical. The only remaining classicalist school is the Ballet Russes, led by Diaghilev. A few rather key players in the introduction of modern ballet are Anna Pavlova and Vaslow Nijinsky.
Ballet is now developing simultaneously in France, Germany, England, the Soviet Union, and the United States. The English stick to a more classical style, while in the United States ballet gives way to contemporary with Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham, and Ruth St. Denis.
Soviet ballets develop rapidly and are very different from western ballets due to a different set of principles and values. They are used as political tools.
German ballet feels the influence of German Expressionism and incorporates its ideas into the style. This is pioneered by von Labon.
Ballet continues to develop today worldwide.
Generally referred to as a mixture of European and African dance styles
1) from the 1920s to the 1960s.
2) 1960s to present
Originally danced to jazz music typical of the 1920s
Phase one- Prohibition era. Popular jazz steps like the Charleston evolved
Phase two- jazz music became harder to dance to, so they blended traditional jazz with ballet and modern techniques
Jack Cole-father of jazz. Credited with developing ballet-based movements
Founded the Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Company in Chicago
Organized the first Jazz Dance World Congress
Authored the Anthology of American Jazz Dance, the first book on jazz
His company toured Russia in1955
Couldn’t conform to the rigidity of ballet
Style included turned-in knees, sideways shuffles, and hunched shoulders
Used characteristics props—bowler hats, canes, chairs
Had a successful career on Broadway as both a performer and a director
No real history; widely believe to have started in the 70’s or 80’s
Not a well defined movement yet
Not started by a single person or group—no central figure
Fusion of ballet and jazz techniques
Uses lyrical interpretation to express emotions
Movements attempt to show the meaning of the music through a different medium
Characterized by fluidity and grace
Reaction to ballet—almost everything ballet isn’t
Emotional and personal rather than structured and formal
First gen. 1920’s in America. Rose out of a passion for interpretive dance. Laid the groundwork for modern. The most serious gen.
Second gen. WWII reform. New ideas and less serious. Became more theatrical.
Modern gen. 1960’s to 70’s. Social upheaval. Completely different from first gen. More sophisticated but lacks the seriousness found in the first gen.
Focuses more on conveying emotions than technique, and the movements are more loose and flowing
Still organized but adds variations and personal stylizations on the dance movements
Credited with being the founder of modern dance
Moved to Europe in her teenage years where her talents were more widely recognized
Dance style characterized by free movements
Free-flowing costumes, bare feet, and loose hair
Enrolled in the Denishawn dance studio, started by Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn
Became a teacher at the Eastman School of music and theater in 1925
Developed dramatic situations or characters to express a feeling
Founded the Martha Graham Dance Repertory Theater in 1930
True hip hop started in New York in the 1970s with the rising popularity of block parties
Started when DJs started to isolate percussion beats of popular songs, because they were the easiest to dance to
One of the most important contributors to the start of hip-hop: inexpensive and easy to get equipment and DJs
Hip hop music was learned between people, rather than in expensive classes
Decline of disco, funk, and rock in the mid-to-late 70s also contributed
Hip hop actually got some early influences from disco beats
Stemmed mostly from break dance—became popular with the block parties
Other forms of hip hop, like popping and locking became popular in the west
Earliest break dancing movement was known as top-rocking
Hip hop is characterized with the almost unlimited ability to freestyle and to add personality to dance moves
LAURIE ANN GIBSON
Trained at Alvin Ailey Dance Company
One of the major hip hop choreographers
Choreographs for current movies
Choreographed and starred in the movie Honey with Jessica Alba
Worked with stars like Michael Jackson, Alicia Keys, and Beyonce
Joined the family band at the age of five
Amazing dancing/stage presence
Music videos helped him break the color barrier in media at the time
Became the most popular performer in America by 1983
Trademark dance move was the moonwalk
Was one of the Jackson 5’s best singers, but he cared more about dancing