Court Dances And Opera Ballet

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Chloe Pangonis
Barres and Ballet

Court Dances and Opera Ballet
King Louis XIV, the Sun King

Commonly referred to as the “Sun King” after his memorable performance as Apollo, King Louis XIV heavily influenced 17th century court dancing over his 72-year reign (the longest of any other known European sovereign). Not only did Louis XIV transform the French monarchy and establish France into the dominant European power, but he created a glittering court at Versailles and ushered in a golden age of art and literature as well. As a passionate dancer, himself, Louis XIV lead one of the most pivotal eras of ballet and remains a symbol of absolute monarchy of the classical age.
Born on September 5, 1638 in Saint-Germaine-en-laye, to King Louis XIII of France (1601-1643) and his Habsburg queen, Anne of Austria (1601-1666), Louis XIV was his parents’ first child after 23 years of marriage. Two years following the birth of Louis XIV, younger brother, Philippe was born. Louis and Philippe were often neglected as children and were primarily raised by servants (Louis). After his father’s passing on May 14, 1643, four-year-old Louis XIV inherited the crown thus becoming King Louis XIV of France and, by law, the owner of the bodies and property of more than 19 million subjects (Erlanger).
During King Louis’ reign, two kinds of dance developed: social dances for the ballroom and theatrical dances for court entertainments (Powers). Throughout this century, dance and opera were

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