2 Ballet de Cour (Court Ballet), Ballet Opera

In the transition from the Renaissance to the Baroque period, dance began to become established as a separate art. The Ballet comique de la Reine (1581) by Baltasar de Beaujoyeulx is regarded as the first ballet. The music of early court ballets, a mixture of instrumental music, singing, recitation and dance, accompanied and illustrated visual representation. It contained onomatopoetic effect to imitate natural sounds like birds twittering and thunder.[3] The plot was subordinated to the function of the court ballet as a representation of court power. Louis XIV founded the Académie royale de danse in 1661 and the Académie royale de musique in 1669, from which the Paris Opéra developed. Jean-Baptiste Lully embodied the conception of dance and music from the same hand. He created Ballets de Cour, which were performed by the nobility and the king, and in which representation and performance overlapped, since the performers and recipients were identical. Louis XIV owed his epithet Roi Soleil to his appearance as Apollo in Lully’s Ballet royal de la nui (1653). Despite its professionalization, in the ballet opera dance was degraded to divertissemets due to a loss of symbolic function. As an element not essential to the plot, it remained a visible ornament of music, a decorative accessory to the singing and the recitation, virtually an arabesque of the opera.[4]

In 1700, Raoul-Auger Feuillet published a notation developed by Pierre Beauchamp under the title Chorégraphie, ou l’art de d’écrire la danse, thus introducing the term chorégraphie in the double sense of a written form (notation) and the writing (designing) of dances. Movement is transferred into a schema of signs, which is placed parallel to the notes of the music, so that both levels become comparable step by step and measure by measure.[5] This has been followed by countless proposals for notation up to the present, including systems by Laban ( and Benesh ( Since none of these notation systems has uniformly prevailed, the music score as a time grid for a ballet in conjunction with poses passed on in images is frequently the main point of reference for a reconstruction.[6]