ballet d'action

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Jean-Georges Noverre (1727—1810) French choreographer and dance theorist

Gaspero Angiolini (1731—1803)

John Weaver (1673—1760) dancer and choreographer

Franz Hilverding (1710)

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A ballet which is primarily designed to tell a story. One of the choreographers principally associated with the development of ballet as a narrative art form, rather than an ornamental spectacle, was Jean-Georges Noverre, working in 18th-century France. Noverre believed that dance steps and gestures should be used to describe the characters' motives and advance the plotline rather than simply form pleasing patterns. In his work, the role of the corps de ballet was also enhanced, from decorative background to an integral part of the action. Noverre's reforms also required that music and costumes should be adapted to fit the dramatic imperative. Other choreographers to share Noverre's views were Weaver, Hilverding, and Angiolini. Fokine used Noverre as his model when arguing for similar reforms in early 20th-century Russia.

Subjects: Dance.

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