Ballet : King Louis XIV And The 17th Century Dance

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Ballet was a dance originated in the 15th century. Noblemen and women were treated to special events, where dancing and music created a great show for the audience. The 17th century dance had a huge role of significance both socially and politically. The French court under Louis XIV became the new model of sophisticated and polite behavior. King Louis XIV used dance as a political tool to make certain of his kingship. King Louis XIV was a passionate dancer and had a tremendous amount of impacts on the development of a new form a dance known as ballet. He spent hours practicing his technique. He made his ballet debut as a young boy and progressively advanced as a teenager. Louis was known as “The Sun King” from his role as Apollo in Ballet de la Nuit, where he represented the rising sun. During Louis’ reign as king, he developed two types of dances. These included social dances for the ballroom and theatrical dances for court entertainment (Lihs, 2009, pg 42). Louis XIV used the power of ballet to unite France, while at the same time forming a place for ballet in French society, and outlining the basics of ballet today. The two forms of dances shared similar steps and styles and were practiced by nobles. Nobles were invited to the palace and were expected to participate in ballets. They learned about two to four new ballroom dances a year. Being an ideal dancer was one of the best ways for a nobleman to gain favor with the king. When first performing, the professional

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