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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.
Les coulisses de l'Opéra
1805
1805
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1883
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1883
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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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