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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
115 Media in collectionpage 1 of 2
Amadis
Alceste
Pamone
Armide
Psyché
Amadis
Thesée
Alcine
Tancrède
Iphigénie
Les Muses
Mr. Isaac.
La sultane
La Creole
Venus
La dance.
Psyché