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French Ballet, 18th Century

Ballet origin can be traced to the 17th century's elaborate and flamboyant entertainments celebrating marriages of wealth and power devised at European Royal courts. King Louis XIV of France, known as the Sun King, was a passionate dancer himself.
The performances were a mixture of spoken word, music, dance and pantomime. They contained spectacular ceremonial processions with technical effects and extravagant costumes. The scenarios were based by the myths of ancient Greece and Rome or on themes such as the four seasons, the natural world or events happening in distant lands.
Costumes were imaginative and fantastical, decorated with symbols designated to help the audience to recognize the characters in the story. The size of these costumes often limited dancers movements.
Psyché, a scene from the ballet
142 Media in collectionpage 1 of 2

Recüeil de dances contenant un tres grand nombres, des meillieures entrées de ballet de Mr. Pecour, tant pour homme que pour femmes, dont la plus grande partie ont été dancées à l'Opera.

This treatise includes six solo dances for women; eight for men; and seventeen duets for a man and a woman, two women, or two men, all choreographed by French dancer and choreographer, Guillaume-Louis Pecour (c... more

Jason et medée. Ballet tragique

"Gaetan Vestris as Jason between two ladies of the ballet..." (Source: George)