Dance History Essay

23172 Words93 Pages
Louis XIV and the French Influence Louis XIV and the French Influence When Louis XIV was crowned his interest in dancing was strongly supported and encouraged by Italian-born Cardinal Mazarin, (formerly Mazarini), who assisted Louis XIV. The young king made his ballet debut as a boy, but it was in 1653 as a teenager that he accomplished his most memorable feat as a dancer. He performed a series of dances in Le Ballet de la Nuit and for his final piece he appeared as Apollo, god of the sun. Wearing a fancy golden Roman-cut corselet and a kilt of golden rays he came to be known as the Sun King. Cardinal Mazarin promoted Italian influences in the French spectacle. The ballet master he imported from Italy was Giovanni Baptista Lulli, who was rechristened Jean Baptiste Lully for work in France. Lully became one of the king’s favorite dancers and rivaled the king as the best dancer in France. In 1661 Louis established the Academie Royale de Danse in a room of the Louvre, the world’s first ballet school. Also in 1661 he attended a party put on by the finance minister to show off his new home in the country. The entertainment was Moliere’s ballet Les Facheaux which pleased the king to no end, although he thought that the finance minister was a treasonous servant. As it turned out, the finance minister was arrested, and the ballet master, the home’s architect, and the gardener were hired by the king. At court, Moliere and Lully collaborated, with Moliere choreographing and Lully composing the music for ballets. Pierre Beauchamps, another ballet master, also worked with them choreographing interludes in the dramatic parts. Beauchamps eventually was named “superintendent of the king’s ballets” in the dance school that Louis established in 1661 and is now one of the most famous of the “fathers” of ballet. It is Beauchamps who has been given credit for

More about Dance History Essay

Open Document