The History of Ballet - Gordon State College

From the Renaissance to the Modern
Ballet developed in Renaissance Italy
with dances called “balleto”
While initially a dance interpretation of fencing
(sport swordfighting), the balleto became huge
dances with elaborate costumes and hundreds of
“The Sun King’s Dance”
Before the 1800s, men were the lead dancers and all dancers
wore elaborate costumes that covered most of their bodies.
Beginning in the 1800s, women assumed the primary roles in ballet.
Costumes were minimized so that the dancers could better use their
bodies to express emotion
The ballet dancer gives the impression of barely touching
the earth, defying gravity by leaping on floating on toes.
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