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A brief history of ballet shoes (part one)

From theatrical dance to Pre Romantic Period

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A brief history of ballet shoes (part one)

  1. 1. A brief history of ballet shoes Part One (Theatrical dance to Pre Romantic Period ) Cameron Kippen
  2. 2. Dance is the oldest of the Arts and consists of structured movement which is the basis of all existence.
  3. 3. Domenico di Piacenza Ballet originated when Domenico di Piacenza (1400 – 1470) wrote "On the Art of Dancing and Conducting Dances" He named four types of dance in accelerating tempi: Basse danse; the Quadrilena; the Saltarello; and the Piva (bagpipes).
  4. 4. Ballet • Domenico di Piacenza used the Italian word 'ballo' to describe the choreography. His dances subsequently became known as baletti or balli, (singular: balletto). • Ballet was used initially to describe theatrical dance. The language of ballet was originally Italian.
  5. 5. Intermezzos ‘De pratica seu arte tripudii’ (On the Practice or Art of Dancing) is also called ‘Trattato dell‘ Arte del Ballare.’ It was written for professionals and amateurs to perform balletti at festive balls. The intermezzos were performed between the acts of classical comedies, tragedies, or operas. One of the earliest books was written by dance master, Guglielmo Ebreo da Pesaro (1420 – 1484 )
  6. 6. Renaissance Pageants At first performers wore "contemporary“ court fashions. Full wigs and bloomers for men, with hard shoes, and heavy, long skirted gowns for the women.
  7. 7. The Entrée In 1489 at a banquet in Italy directed by Bergonzio di Botta. Each course of the meal was heralded with a dance called an "entrée".
  8. 8. Extravaganza In 1490, da Vinci designed an extravaganza to entertain the Duke of Milan. The dance presentation was based on astronomy. The motions of the dancers were understood to mirror the harmony and order to the celestial bodies.Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519).
  9. 9. Ballet de Court (1553) Catherine de Medici married the King of France (Henri II) in 1553 and introduced ballet de court to the French Court. Starring roles were performed by the highest figures of the land. These were usually masked extravaganzas with costumed courtiers, dancing complex floor patterns and step sequences. Catherine de Medici (1519 - 1589)
  10. 10. Suitable attire The technique required excellent balance and control, but contemporary dress limited the possibilities of the movement. Shoes worn for early ballet usually followed current court fashion but eventually had to be specifically designed for purpose.Foot position became very important and a codified vocabulary of steps eventually emerged.
  11. 11. Ballet Comique de la Royne (1581) Balthasar de Beaujoyeulx staged a ballet in front of an audience of ten thousand people for Queen Louise of France. The drama (comique) lasted five hours. Louise de Lorraine
  12. 12. Il Ballarino (1581) After the publication of ‘Il Ballarino’ in 1581 Italy became the world centre for ballet. Fabritio Caroso
  13. 13. 'Orchesoraphie‘ (1589) Jehan Tabourot (aka Thoinot Arbeau) wrote 'Orchesoraphie‘ in 1589. This set the dance steps and rhythms that eventually became The ballet postures and movements in the 17th and 18th centuries. Jehan Tabourot (1519 - 1595
  14. 14. Louis XIV (The Sun King) The French Reagent loved dancing and starred in many court productions. He appeared in Ballet de la Nuit (1653) dressed as the Sun wearing high-heeled shoes with massive guilt buckles. In 1661 he founded the Academie Royal de danse (Paris Opera Ballet). Louis XIV (1638 – 1715)
  15. 15. The foundation of ballet Until 1681 all female roles were danced by young men. Historians believe the reluctance to include female dancers was related to their heavy clothing. Feet were elegantly pointed outwards to show off buckles and arm gestures were careful to avoid brushing the full sleeve.
  16. 16. Pierre Beachamps (1636 - 1705) The ballet master to the king, he played Louis XIV’s female partner in Le Triomphe de l’amour. in 1681. Beachamps stressed the need to use technical steps and movements as opposed to the sino geometrical Movements. Devised classical ballet's basic five positions.
  17. 17. Mind your ps and qs The origins of 'minding your p & qs' is thought to originate when dance masters cautioned their pupils to mind their pieds (feet) and queues (tails of their wigs) when they took to the floor. As was the convention dancers greeted each other with a bow. To bow too low resulted in the embarrassment of losing your wig.
  18. 18. The Professional Dancer Jean-Baptiste Lully, 1632-1687 Professional dancers started to appear in 1630 and by 1659 were well established. Jean Baptiste Lully formed a dance academy within the Academie Royale de Musique (1672). Lully died blood poisoning in 1687, as a result of a self inflicted injury he received by accidentally stabbing himself in the foot with his time marking stick.
  19. 19. Opera-Ballet During the 17th century century ballet was performed in the same productions as opera. Lully set the standard in the opera-ballet, and his audiences came to see the dancing as much as the music. The popularity of ballet increased after 1697 when female skirts were shortened.André Campra composed ‘L'Europe Galante’ (1697)
  20. 20. Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683 –1764) Jean-Philippe Rameau composed Les Indes Galantes in 1735 by which time dancers were definitely doing ballet. Ballroom and ballet dance forms were now recognised as two separate entities. Turning out legs to show shoe buckles become more important in ballet.
  21. 21. The importance of professional dancers Professional dancing masters became an integral part of court life. Courtiers trained in correct deportment and dancing were used to political effect i.e. establishing the dominance of the French Court. The fashion for court entertainment in the French style spread across Europe. Expressive dance became more accessible to a broader audience.
  22. 22. Choreography Raoul Auger Feuillet published ‘Choreographie, ou l'art de decrire la danse’ in 1700. He recorded both conventions of stage and ballroom dancing and attempted to create a dance notation similar to music. In 1713 the Paris Opera taught a technique based on Feuillet's writings.
  23. 23. Rise of the merchant class More dance and less speech made ballet more attractive to paying audiences. Use of soft, flat shoes by professional dancers allowed them to explore a range of movement. Jumps replaced the small springing steps and elevation became more important. Choreographers adapted their works to the new theatres.
  24. 24. Jean-Georges Noverre, (1727-1810) The French balletmaster generally considered the creator of ballet d'action (1780). This told a story through movement and facial expression. He disliked the dress of dancers and held the belief they should not wear masks. In 1727 he introduced choreography based on character and situation rather than personal display.The Shakespeare of Dance
  25. 25. Ballet d’action (1727) Ballet d'action told a story through movement and facial expression. Maximillien Gardel was the first to appear without his mask and wig. Audiences were ill at ease at the change but gradually came accept them and in doing so emergence of the soloist.
  26. 26. The Soloist As women becomes more accepted and choreographer’s steps more expressive solo Dancing became more creative and personal. Mademoiselle de Lafontaine (1665-1738) was the first recorded lady dancer at the Paris Opera (1681). The Queen of Dance
  27. 27. Marie Camargo (1710-70) At first ladies dancers wore heavy floor length costumes and heeled shoes. Marie Camargo (1710-70) was the first to cut her skirts, wear ballet tights and also take the heel off of her ballet slippers. This combination allowed her greater freedom of movement. She was the first woman to execute the entrechat quatre. Italian influence brought elevated and less horizontal movement.
  28. 28. Marie Sallé (1707–1756) Marie Sallé (1707–1756) was the first female Choreographer and wore a liberating, Grecian-style costume. She integrated music, costumes, and dance styles of her ballets with their themes.
  29. 29. Fierce Rivalry When danse haute superseded danse basse in 1730, dancers begin to leap, hop and jump. Fierce rivalry existed and Marie Salle appeared wearing more loosely fitting Clothing. Her rival Marie Ann Cupis de Camargo took the heel from her shoes and shortened the hem on her skirts. Ballerinas wore calcons de precaution tp prevent the audience from seeing anything inappropriate
  30. 30. Step Innovations As ballet grew more popular more women took part with new moves. Mademoiselle Lyonnais introduced double rond de jambe. Fräulein Heinel dazzled Europe with her multiple pirouettes on demi pointe.
  31. 31. French Revolution Italian dancer Salvatore Viganò (1769 – 1821) and his wife, Maria Medina wore much lighter costumes with soft flexible ballet shoes. Salvatore Viganò is considered the father of a new kind of performance called "coreodramma."
  32. 32. Pre-Romantic Period • Lady dancers started to dance on pointes • La Sylphide (1832) • Bell shaped dress became the forerunner of the tutu Marie Taglioni, (1804-1884)
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