Throughout history, ballet has been shaped into an art form of beauty and grace. In the 15th and 16th century, ballet started to rise in Italy at the time of the Renaissance as a form of “ball.” “Ball” is composed of small movements in the hips, feet, and legs. After the marriage of the French King Henry II and Catherine de Medici, this dance of “ball” was introduced to the French court.
Over the next hundred years, the French began to create terminology and vocabulary for “ball,” which was later changed to be ballet. One performer, King Louis XIV, also known as the Sun King, sparked the beginning of the development of ballet. His performance heavy influenced ballet in society and caused the new art form to flourish. Over the next few years, ballet spread all across Europe. It was then that ballets were beginning to be created and performed by professionally trained dancers.
As dance evolved, a new concept of the art was pursed. Choreographers wanted to create an illusion of the dancers flying across the stage, which is why pointe shoes were invented. Pointe shoes are similar to a ballet slipper, but they have a hard tip at the toe made of many layers of fabric and glue. Each pointe shoe is handcrafted by a shoe designer. The increasing popularity of these shoes lead to the spread of ballet in America.
There, it became modernized and transformed into different styles of dance. America caused ballet to evolve with society into what it is today. Ballet is not just found in one style; its structure is used in styles of dance such as jazz, contemporary, and modern. Everything in dance is centered around the ideas and concepts of ballet and its philosophies. Ballet is very traditional with its steps and ideas but has become unique over time. Although ballet has evolved through time, it’s beauty and grace still remains.
Photo Credits: Vogue Australia