Romantic ballet facts for kids
The Romantic ballet is a genre of ballet that evolved in the early 19th century as a reaction against the classicism that dominated 18th century art and literature. Balletomanes of the early nineteenth century were bored with stories about ancient gods and goddesses, plots based on myths, and ancient costumes. They wanted ballets about real people and real places. Pointe work became artistic expression rather than stunt work, and the long, white, ballet skirt of tulle was introduced. Both produced the illusion of ethereal weightlessness. Gas lighting made capable special dimming effects and wires made it possible for ballerinas to "fly".
The romantic era in ballet began with The Ballet of the Nuns in 1831 and was followed by La Sylphide in 1832. The genre began a slow decline. Coppélia of 1870 is said to mark the end of the romantic ballet, although the three ballets composed by Tchaikovsky are romantic ballets. Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake of 1876 is considered a romantic ballet. Even his The Nutcracker of 1892 is a romantic ballet. Michel Fokine's Les Sylphides of 1906 is considered a tribute to the romantic ballet in its atmosphere and tone.
Romantic ballets have four things in common: they are about real people rather than mythological gods and goddesses; they employ local or national color in costumes, settings, and dances such as mazurkas and waltzes; a supernatural, fantastic, exotic, or spiritual element is usually prominent; and ballet technique is a focus, especially pointe work for the ballerina.
Images for kids
The Three Graces: embodiment of the Romantic ballet, ca. 1840. This lithograph by A. E. Chalon depicts three of the greatest ballerinas in three of the era's defining roles: (left to right) Marie Taglioni as the Sylph in Filippo Taglioni's 1832 ballet La Sylphide; Fanny Elssler as Florinda in the dance La Cachucha from Jean Coralli's 1836 ballet Le Diable boiteux; and Carlotta Grisi as Béatrix in the Grand pas de Diane chasseresse from Albert's 1842 ballet La Jolie Fille du Gand.
Romantic ballet Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.