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French Ballet, 18th Century

Ballet origin can be traced to the 17th century's elaborate and flamboyant entertainments celebrating marriages of wealth and power devised at European Royal courts. King Louis XIV of France, known as the Sun King, was a passionate dancer himself.
The performances were a mixture of spoken word, music, dance and pantomime. They contained spectacular ceremonial processions with technical effects and extravagant costumes. The scenarios were based by the myths of ancient Greece and Rome or on themes such as the four seasons, the natural world or events happening in distant lands.
Costumes were imaginative and fantastical, decorated with symbols designated to help the audience to recognize the characters in the story. The size of these costumes often limited dancers movements.
Psyché, a scene from the ballet
1699
1699
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1911
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1911
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New York Public Library Collections

The objects in this archive placed to the public domain by New York Public Library in 2016. The New York Public Library has been an essential provider of free books, information, ideas, and education for all New Yorkers for more than 100 years. Founded in 1895, NYPL is the nation’s largest public library system, featuring a unique combination of 88 neighborhood branches and four scholarly research centers, bringing together an extraordinary richness of resources and opportunities available to all.
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Disclaimer: This page and the website are not developed or endorsed by New York Public Library Collections. The media on this page is placed in the public domain by New York Public Library Collections. Address: 445 Fifth Avenue, 4th Floor New York, NY, Unites States, http://nypl.org

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