Loves of Mars and Venus

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Ballet d'action in six scenes with libretto and choreography by J. Weaver and music by Symonds and Firbank. Premiered 2 Mar. 1717 at Drury Lane Theatre, London, with L. Dupré, Santlow, and Weaver. It re-told the mythological story of Vulcan trapping his wife Venus and her lover Mars in his net, and employed a range of unusually naturalistic gestures and facial expressions. It was an early but sophisticated attempt to explore the dramatic possibilities of dance, and was also one of the first instances of a ballet which aimed to convey a full-length story rather than functioning as a divertissement. Extracts were reconstructed by M. Skeaping for the Royal Ballet's Ballet for All (1969).

Subjects: Dance.

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