French Ballet Costumes, 1800-1850
The first half of the 19th century was vital for the history of ballet. The dance style was still baroque but the technique of the ballet class as we know it was established. A ballet was viewed as a danced drama and dancing scenes mostly occurred in extended divertissements and celebratory scenes.
In 1799, the ballet was officially recognized as a separate and vital entity at the Paris Opéra. The Paris Opéra Ballet successfully navigated the french revolution turmoil under a rule of Pierre Gardel, it's balletmaster in 1787-1827. Two most important productions of the post-revolutionary decades were La Sylphide, 1832 and Giselle, 1841.
Sometimes viewed as an obscure period in ballet's history, the early 19th century might better be seen as the continuation of a rich, complex art form, absorbing new developments that would have far-reaching impact. Artists from the period have left drawings of ballet costumes and choreographies that invite modern investigatiors.