Ballet From the 1500s Through the Present

With more than three decades of experience in the legal profession, attorney Joseph Solfanelli practices law in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where he has owned his law firm since 1975. His extensive career has included many successful legal cases. Apart from his work as an attorney, Joseph Solfanelli enjoys watching ballet, a form of dance which dates back to the 15th century.

Ballet first arose during the Italian Renaissance. The courts often hosted elaborate dances for noblemen and women, and it was at these gatherings that master dancers began teaching ballet-style dances for the court to partake in. Later, ballet was funded for performances in the French courts by Catherine de Medici, wife of King Henry II. King Louis XIV spread the dance even further in the 17th century by his own participation in it, which created standards for ballet that set it on a path as a dance requiring more training and skill.

In the 1700s, Jean Georges Noverre gave the dance recognition as its own art, since previously, ballet had mostly accompanied opera. He developed a form of ballet called ballet d’action, which tells a story using dramatic motion and expression. Throughout the next century, ballet picked up more and more momentum, taking shape as a romantic art form. During the same era, pointe ballet and costumes like tutus developed. Once Russia picked up on the dance, challenging leaps and turns were incorporated and practiced regularly. Today, ballet blends many of its historic influences.


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