History of Ballet
All the way back in the 17th century, King Louis the XVI founded the Academie Royale de Musique, commonly known as the Paris Opera. Until that time ballet hadn’t the kind of formalization with which we are familiar today. It was a recreational activity more than an artistic discipline. The preceding two hundred years had steadily popularized it into a burgeoning expression, however.
Over the following three hundred years, not only would ballet go through some substantial changes, it would be traditionally formalized in the same way classical music would around the same time. This was a period in history which planted seeds that would eventually grow into the expressionistic juggernauts we know in modernity.
The Classical Seeds Leading to Modernity
From Mozart to ballet, renaissance artwork to Monet, in Europe some of the most compelling aesthetic work would be done over the centuries between 1600 and 1900; and their legacy would endure to the present day. But as these legacies were being developed, particular means of expression soon came to define them.
With classical music, notes are recorded in a particular type of musical notation originally unique to Europe, but eventually more mainstream. Yet you may be surprised to learn that “western” musical notation isn’t the only type. Eastern and Indian traditions have their own ideas when it comes to notation.
Music isn’t restricted to the printed page. A treble and bass clef aren’t all which define the scope of expression. Musicians can spin a tune regardless of any understanding of classical notation; however such notation makes certain kinds of orchestral performance of the classical variety understandable.
If you’re trying to play Mozart without the sheet music, good luck. Similarly, when it comes to ballet, the “sheet music” is often the wardrobe involved. Certainly, the dancer can move her body beautifully without any clothes whatsoever; but the wardrobe silhouetting them is also a big part of the performance. A bunch of naked people jumping around onstage is hardly a show.
Neither is a conglomeration of individuals going about dressed in jeans and t-shirts. What’s more: such apparel restricts movement substantially, and is the equivalent of playing on an instrument where several particular notes just don’t work, or can’t be reached.
This all becomes even more integral when you consider that modern dance forms incorporate not just ballet, but Interpretive, Jazz, Tap, and many other refined and continually growing dance trends. The kind of stage shows that attract big audiences combine acrobatic gymnast moves with the refined grace of ballet, the unpredictable angles of interpretive moves, and the ease of jazz expression.
For all these varying dances, you’re going to need a wardrobe which can be trusted, and has been designed by purveyors of the craft with insight into not only varying forms of dance, but the varying stages of a dancer’s life. From her first pirouettes in preschool to the classes she teaches as an older, experienced ballerina, there are stages to be considered and wardrobe options to be refined.
Today, you can get all you need from a single, consolidated online location. Dancewear sites like Just For Kix have clothing options that are “…Inspired by your dance and devoted to everything that makes your dance a better version of you.”
Solutions of this variety will save you time and money, while simultaneously putting you in a position to grow substantively. Granted, you can write sheet music on a napkin—you can dance naked in the rain!—but if you want to be refined, you’re going to need a good music folder, good en pointe shoes, a leotard with the right print, and durable solutions across the board.