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.