Art Question

 

Part 1:

From Chapter 5, read the introduction through the section titled “Early Ballet”, stop after reading about Romantic ballet and Giselle. Last sentence, “Giselle depicts the story of a woman who dies of a broken heart and comes back as a ‘wilis’ (a mythical spirit figure), not to seek revenge on her lover, but to protect him from the evil wilis.”

Answer the following:

1) Who was Catherine de’ Medici? What was her contribution to ballet?

2) How long was the Ballet Comique de la Reine created by Beaujoyeulx? Who danced the principal roles?

3) “The libretto of the ballet was published in 1582 and was to become one of the first books on ballet.” Research what a libretto is. Define “libretto”.

4) Who granted permission for the Royal Academy of Dance to be started in France?

5) Create a list of the changes that ballet underwent due to the creation and use of the proscenium stage.

6) I believe the text did not do justice to Jean Georges Noverre. Here is more information about him. (wikipedia – but accurate information):

He proclaimed in his text that ballet should unfold through dramatic movement, and the movement should express the relationship between the characters. Noverre named this type of ballet, ballet d’action or pantomime ballet

Noverre’s text demanded an end to repressive traditions peculiar to the Paris Opera Ballet, such as stereotypical and cumbersome costumes, and old-fashioned musical styles and choreography. Noverre also discussed the methods for training dancers such as encouraging a student to capitalize on his or her own talents (The Encyclopedia of Dance and Ballet 699). Most of Noverre’s criticisms of dance in his book were directed towards the Paris Opera Ballet[9] because he felt the Paris Opera Ballet created ballets that were an isolated event within Opera lacking meaningful connection with the main theme of the Opera. He criticized the Paris Opera Ballet[9] use of the mask because it restricted the dancer from showing facial expressions that could bear meaning on their characters. Noverre devoted the whole of his Ninth Letter to the subject of masks and wrote, ” Destroy the masks and” he argued, “we shall gain a soul, and be the best dancers in the world.” Noverre specifically dealt with seven major points in his treatise:

  1. Regarding the training of dancers, he emphasized that correctness in dance technique as laid down by Pierre Beauchamp and others must be held with sensitivity to the individual’s anatomy.
  1. Of prime concern, the pedagogical consideration of the dancer’s personality and style is prerequisite to artistic development.
  1. Noverre stressed that within a dramatic context, validity and sincerity of gestural expression are of the utmost importance in creating a ballet.
  1. Noverre called for the logical development of plots. According to Noverre, plots should be thematically integrated with movement. Additionally, all superfluous solos and irrelevant dance techniques should be omitted from the ballet.
  1. Noverre was adamant that music be appropriately suited to the dramatic development of the plot.
  1. He insisted that costumes, décor, and lighting be compatible with the introduction, plot, and climax of each act within the ballet.
  1. With the disappearance of masks in his own ballets, Noverre pronounced his advanced ideas on stage make-up for dancers that would allow for the dancer’s expression to be seen rather than hidden behind a mask (Lee 111).

In your opinion which of these changes would have had the greatest impact on dance as an art form and why?

7) Make a list of the characteristics of a Romantic Ballet introduced in your text. You will need this information for a paper later in the module.

Part 2:

Using the information given in the Ballet Pantomime file, using video notes or another video tool, create and perform TWO mime sequences. The sequences must be at least four gestures long. They must convey a thought. These sequences will not be grammatically correct. You do not have to lower body movements, just the arm gesture. After you have performed each sequence, verbally say what your sentence meant. Have FUN with it! 

Part 3:

Although many of the Romantic ballets contain a love story, “Romanticism” is a way at looking at the world. It does NOT indicate a love story. Read the following to better understand the themes and ideas behind the Romantic era of ballet.

Read this article to get a deeper understanding of Romanticism and the Romantic period of ballet. Info about Romanticism and Romantic Ballehttps://californiaballet.wordpress.com/2010/06/04/…

When watching ballet, it is often helpful to know the story of the ballet before watching it. Please, research the story of Giselle.

As you progress through this course, you will see dance move between entertainment, story telling, and questioning or bringing light to elements of society. Giselle uses a story to look at the class system of the times. Today, we watch it as a “cute” ghost story but take a moment to think about cultural norms of the era in which it was created.

Write a paper discussing the following:

1) How Giselle exemplifies a Romantic ballet. Although you do not have to cite, I should see references to what you have learned in your text and readings about Romanticism and Romantic Ballet including how you see Giselle challenged the societal standards of the times in which it was originally created.

2) How the choreographer used movement to give you insight into the characters/ into their personalities. Be able to give examples.

3) Your reaction to the ballet.

ORGANIZE before writing. This paper should include an Introductory and concluding paragraphs. For an academic paper, the introduction should include who and what you watched. It should give insight into the information that you are going to cover in the paper in general terms. The introductory paragraph should be followed by paragraphs that each cover ONLY ONE topic in detail. You could have more body paragraphs but an easy way would be to write one paragraph for each of the requirements for the paper. The concluding paragraph should summarize what you said in the paper.

Grammar, punctuation, spelling and word choice as well as content will be considered in grading.

Although portions of this paper are your opinion, you do not need to make statements like, “I thought the dancing was lovely.” Instead, write, “The dancing was lovely.” You should be able to write this paper without using the first person (I, me, we, our). Your paper should not include anecdotal material. If you do not know what that word means, look it up!

Part 4:Classical Ballet – The Sleeping Beauty

Classical Ballet

During Petipa’s time, ballet technique took a giant step forward; aerial work, pointe work, beats and turns increased in scope. Costumes for the ballerina were shortened further to show off the position of the dancer’s legs and her pointe work.

The ranks that are still used in classical ballet companies were established during this period: principals (those who dance the lead roles), soloists (solo and character roles; this does not mean that they are dancing by themselves but that they have featured roles), and corps de ballet (remaining members who do the “background or larger group pieces; pronounced “core” de ballet). In a classical ballet, the Principals move the story along. Only the best dancers earn the title of “ballerina” and “premier danseur”. Not all dancers become “ballerinas” and “premier danseurs”. The soloists perform the divertissements (featured dances that are used to show off the dancer’s ability and do not contribute to the story) and roles that are less important to the storyline. The corps often functions as elaborate scenery standing still for long periods of time while the principals and soloists perform. The corps is dressed uniformly or in very similar costumes to create a symmetrical and harmonious background for the principals and soloists. When dancing, the Classical Ballet corps moves in symmetrical and often linear patterns. They often perform character dances (folk dances that have been modified for the stage) that exemplify the setting of the ballet.

Fairy tales and fables are often the story/theme of the classical ballet. The steps given the dancer are used to reveal the nature of the character being danced. These steps are choreographed to mirror the mood, music , and crescendos of the music; ¾ time uses a waltz step, a crescendo in the music is a lift or big step. Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky were composers (people who create music) known for creating music specifically for the ballet. Tchaikovsky wrote the scores for Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker, Stravinsky the scores for Firebird and Petrushka.

In the classical ballet, the technique of the dancers takes precedence over telling the story; dance passages are repeated two or three times then brought to a bravura conclusion. Divertissements, such as Puss in Boots and the White Cat from The Sleeping Beauty and the Venetian variation from Swan Lake, were introduced as vehicles to show off the expertise of the dancers. These variations do not further the story and are often seen as out of context. To tell the details of the classical ballet story, pantomime is often used.

The Grand Pas De Deux (pronounced “paw” de “”DO”) is an essential element of the classical ballet. It is usually toward the end of the ballet and is the joining of the main characters. The Grand Pas de Deux is always danced by the principals who are playing the lead characters in the ballet. The Grand Pas De Deux consists of four parts: 1) the entrance of the lead male and female followed by a supported adagio; 2) the male variation; 3) the female variation; and 4) the final coda.

1) The supported adagio highlights the female dancer; her partner assists her through lifts, turns and slow steps.

2&3) The male and female variations show off the technical ability of the dancers incorporating big jumps and turns for the male and precise pointe work and quick jumps for the female.

4) The final coda usually consists of quick turns or fouettes from both the male and female leads and final lifts and a pose.

Classical Ballet uses a story line to show off the abilities (bravura) of the dancers. The goal is entertainment over story telling.

Research the synopsis of ACT 3 of The Sleeping Beauty. This ballet is an example of Classical Ballet. Take note of characters from other stories that appear in the divertisements and the elements of the Classical ballet Grand Pas de Deux. Remember you are watching Sleeping Beauty, so if characters show up who do not belong in this story, it is a divertissement. You do NOT have to watch the entire ballet; begin at 1:18:48 This will give you an example of the role of the corps de ballet in classical ballet. They begin a short “parade” entrance of the divertissement characters. The divertissement characters are followed by four fairies. These are not divertissement characters because fairies are definitely a integral part of the story of the sleeping beauty. Watch the divertissements beginning with Puss in Boots an the white cat. Then, watch through the entire Act. The grand pas de deux begins at 1:36:10. Note: there is a pas de deux (dancers in blue) featured within the divertissements BUT this is not the Grand Pas de Deux. The grand pas de deux is always between the main characters.

After watching, create a list of ALL the divertissments. Choose one to write your thoughts about and then review the Grand pas de deux. Not sure what to write? Talk about the dancers skills, talk about the relationship between the characters, talk about “tricks” the dancers performed, etc

Part 5 :

Read “Contemporary Ballet” through the end of the chapter.

1) Create a list of the changes that Fokine and Diaghilev made to ballet. These changes began the transition into Contemporary ballet.

2) How does Contemporary ballet differ from Classical ballet?

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