By Robin Rinaldi
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Additional resources for Ballet (World of Dance)
As women began dancing in public, the costuming became more naturalistic and less confining, with the high heels of the court shed for soft, heelless slippers. Two of the first ballerinas were Marie-Anne de Cupis de Camargo, a virtuoso who dazzled audiences with her athleticism, and Maria Sallé, a more expressive and poetic dancer. The two women joined in ballet’s first great rivalry, one that illustrated two aspects Marie-Anne de Cupis de Camargo, shown here in this circa 1730 oil painting by Nicolas Lancret, was one of the first well-known ballerinas.
One of its highlights is a dance in which Lise and Colas intertwine in a ribbon, spooling toward and away from each other and weaving the material into patterns between them. In another dance, Lise’s girlfriends encircle and hold her en pointe via eight ribbons she holds above her head while they form a “wheel” around her, rotating her by moving in a circle as each holds the end of one ribbon. The ballet also includes folkloric touches in the form of a clog dance, a maypole dance, and a morris dance (an English folk dance for men).
Ballet Begins in Europe 29 As a talented dancer, Louis XIV was largely responsible for making ballet such an important part of French culture. At the age of 15, the French king danced as several characters in La Ballet de la Nuit (Ballet of the Night), including Apollo, depicted in this seventeenth-century painting. 30 BALLET (continued from page 27) When the Italian noblewoman Catherine de Medici married into the royal family of France in 1533, she brought knowledge of balli with her to the French royal court.
Ballet (World of Dance) by Robin Rinaldi