Two Major Styles of Ballet

An experienced attorney admitted to practice in several states, Joseph Solfanelli represents clients ranging from banks to independent business owners. Outside of his legal work, Joseph Solfanelli enjoys opera, classical music, and ballet.

The art of ballet was developed in the 15th century during the Italian Renaissance. Modern ballet, which incorporates elements of opera and theater, traces its origins to the French court of King Louis XIV. Since then, ballet has evolved into the classical form perhaps most widely seen today in productions of The Nutcracker and Swan Lake, as well as two principal variations: neoclassical ballet and contemporary ballet.

Developed during the 1920s, neoclassical ballet is built on the foundation of classical ballet but is usually a one-act or plotless performance. The tempo is usually faster and the dramatic development less symmetrical than classical ballet, with less elaborate costumes and sets. Another major style, contemporary ballet, combines modern dance and classical ballet. Although it began in the 1930s, the most significant innovations in contemporary ballet occurred in the 1970s and 1980s. Featuring both bare feet and pointe shoes, it also incorporates floor work in its choreography.


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.

The History of Ballet

With more than 40 years of experience in the legal profession, attorney Joseph Solfanelli is a general business lawyer practicing in Scranton, PA. His long career has enabled him to build a client base that included the nation’s largest anthracite coal company. When he is not busy as an attorney, Joseph Solfanelli enjoys watching ballet. This historic dance form dates back to the 15th century.

The art of ballet first appeared during the Italian Renaissance. The courts hosted elaborate dancing celebrations with noblemen and women in attendance, and master dancers taught dances to the nobility with the entire court participating. The following century, King Henry II’s wife, Catherine de Medici, funded ballet in the French court. In the 17th century, King Louis XIV spread its popularity and created standards for the dance through his own participation in ballet, rendering it a dance that required training and skill.

During the 18th century, Jean Georges Noverre helped sever the tie between opera and ballet, which validated the dance form on its own. He developed ballet d’action, a form of ballet that constructs a narrative story through expression and dramatic movements. In the 19th century, ballet gained momentum and developed more ethereal themes that introduced it as a romantic art. Pointe work and tutus first appeared, as well. Russia focused on the art, and demanding leaps and turns were soon the norm. Modern ballet incorporates a number of influences from the dance’s history to create a distinct modern character.