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The History of Ballet


Ballet is one of the oldest art forms in Western civilization. It has evolved, but its roots date back to renaissance era Italy. The word "ballet" simply means "dance." Ballet is a type of dance that is characterized by its use of formalwear, precise footwork, and gracefully executed movements. Ballet has evolved to become one of the most popular types of dance across Europe. All around the world you will find both professional dancers and amateur enthusiasts who are committed to this form of art. Even though modern ballet has its roots of origin in Italy and France, the earliest form of this art date back to Ancient Greece with dancers performing in competitions during religious celebrations. There are many different styles of ballet that have developed over the centuries including modern, classical, and neoclassical. In today's post, we'll explore some highlights from this rich history.


King Louis XIV Made Ballet Popular

Louis XIV was a French monarch who lived from 1638 to 1715. He is known for being the most influential king in modern European history and he established France as an absolute monarchy. At this time, Louis XIV made ballet popular among his courtiers by hosting dancing events at Versailles Palace which quickly became the center of fashion across Europe. He was a ballet dancer himself and is known to be one of the major reasons for the increasing prominence of ballet in Europe.

He was known as the Sun King because of his ballet performance as Apollo. He did ballet for almost 18 years and is considered the king who brought court ballet to its height of prominence.


Ballet Transformed Differently In Different Parts of the World

Even though ballet began in Europe, it was transformed differently in different parts of the world due to local traditions and cultures. For example, traditional Greek dance is very similar to Ballet because both these forms focus on using the entire body as a means of expression and communication. However, there are some differences between European, Asian, and other forms of ballets like the Western dances which emphasize more complex footwork; Eastern dance focuses on intricate hand movements.

The Change in Ballet Costume from the Earlier Times

Like ballet technique, the ballet costume has also changed remarkably over the period. The early costumes were made for comfort, but now they are designed in such a way that it gives the dancer flexibility and freedom of movement. The earlier form of ballet dress was like a chemise which was a simple shift without sleeves that reached down until knees and sometimes even ankles. Later, it evolved into more elaborate dresses with layers upon layers of petticoats covered by an overdress or robe.



The Present Day Ballet Costume

Nowadays, dancers wear contemporary clothes like leotards along with tights or footless hosiery so as not to impede their movements on stage. These days most classical dance companies have adopted stricter codes regarding what kind of clothing can be worn during performances because historically some ballets have been performed semi-nude due to censorship laws in different parts of the world.


These were some of the main highlights of the history of ballet. If you want to know more about ballet dancing and how to perform it, you can use the Explorer mode on Part My Day. Not only can you find how to perform ballet but you can also earn money by becoming a Host and sharing your ballet experience with the world.




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