The great history of classical dance
Granted, classical dance is usually the basis of all dances, but where does it come from? How has it become what it is today?
Origin of ballet
The Italian balletto is the one that marks the beginnings of classical dance. The word ” ballet ” comes from this Italian term that means “dance.”
The Italian balletto was introduced to France by Catherine de Medici , seeking to entertain guests during weddings. Little by little, the balletto became the ballet of the French Court and the opera-ballet of Lully or Molière.
Although classical dance has its origins in the Italian Renaissance, we must not fool ourselves: it was precisely in France and Russia that it had its greatest boom.
Coding of classical dance
Did you know…?
Louis XIV was passionate about dance and it was thanks to him that ballet had a great importance in the 16th century, with the creation of the Royal Academy of Dance in 1661.
A little later, classical dance was codified thanks to the creation of the five positions by Pierre Beauchamp, dancer and choreographer of the Court. The first, second, third, fourth and fifth positions form the basis of classical dance and continue to be so.
It was not until the 19th century that a classical dance method was finally obtained: the Cecchetti method , which is based on the technique and anatomy of the classical dancer, with the freedom to develop their own way of dancing. It is used today in the National Ballet of Canada.
Renewal of classical dance
It is time to give importance to the classical dancer, who until then only performed secondary roles. It is shown with the tutu, the tights and the tips, to be more “aerial”.
The ballet La Sylphide (1832) marked the most important turning point of the century.
The Franco-Russian alliance of classical dance led to great wonders: Marius Petipa (French who spent much of his life in Russia) invented the greatest works of art of classical dance: Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, La Bayadère, The Nutcracker … All constitute works that serve as the basis for ballet today.
In fact, today, although classical dance continues to be the school of rigor and discipline, it aspires to modernize itself thanks to choreographers such as Maurice Béjart, Benjamin Millepied, Pina Baush or Rudolf Nureyev . The great history of classical dance