A form of dance where the music, the dances and the people are all in the hands of the dancers? That may be, but one of the most striking things about ballet is not what it does, but what it leaves behind.
The best things about ballet is that you leave something behind, even though it may look very well-done.
The worst is that you may not know when to leave things behind, or what to do with them, because ballet is so often something with no obvious end point in sight, which is why it’s often called “art”.
Why are ballet and all its forms so complex? The question often gets asked by people who’ve never danced, or dancers who are tired of the question (that’s not quite true, though).
Most ballet’s basic forms are learned from books. Books written in other languages tend to focus on different techniques (some with the original ideas, some with additions in modern times) which are more or less interchangeable because the techniques are based on the techniques of the era.
And they are simple, because all the forms were designed by people who didn’t know anything about the body and dance, let alone about the dance itself, so the shapes and patterns couldn’t be improved upon, and the forms weren’t intended to be changed too often.
Barcarolle (also called “the first ballet”), invented around 1840 in France by Léon Baudin, and popularized in the UK in the last few decades to have a big influence on the other European countries. And that’s how ballet is taught to young dancers.
But the form it came from is very different from modern ballet, and the shapes and patterns it created have been copied so many times in so many different genres that they all sound completely like something else.
In fact, ballet is in a constant state of evolution, as all the different forms are constantly being revised by new people whose job is to improve it, in order to be used by dance teachers.
Bertoletti, who taught ballet in Italy in the 19th century, was able to invent several forms that remained very similar to the originals; and other figures like Giugliano, who taught in France up until the 1870s, were able to invent their own forms which stayed practically the same.
It seems like people have started to understand that there is something wrong with this pattern: if you try to put the same pattern in a newer form, it
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