The Art of Ballet

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Publisher Description

Some may possibly wonder to find here no record of Ballet in Italy, or at the Opera Houses of Madrid, Lisbon, Vienna, Buda-Pest, Berlin, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Warsaw, or Petrograd (formerly St. Petersburg), not to speak of the United States and South America. This, however, would be to miss somewhat the author’s purpose, which is not to trace the growth of Ballet in every capital where it has been seen. To do so effectively were hardly possible in a single volume. A whole book might well be devoted to the history of the art in Italy alone, herein only touched upon as it came to have vital influence on France and England in the nineteenth century. We have already had numerous volumes dealing with Russian Ballet; and since the ground has been extensively enough surveyed in that direction there could be no particular advantage in devoting more space to the subject than is already given to it in this work, the purpose of which only is to present—as far as possible from contemporary sources—some leading phases of the history of the modern Art of Ballet as seen more particularly in France and England.

A brief series of biographical essays “Cameos of the Dance,” by the same writer, was published in The Whitehall Review in 1909; various articles on the subject also being contributed to The Evening NewsLady’s PictorialIllustrated Sporting and Dramatic NewsPall Mall Gazette and other London journals during 1910 and 1911; and a series of “Sketches of the Dance and Ballet,” coming from the same hand, appeared in The Dancing Times, 1912, 1913 and

 1914. They were based on portions of the manuscript of the present work which, begun some years ago by way of pastime, and written during the scant leisure of a crowded business life, was completed at the publisher’s request, and was—save for a few brief insertions in the proofs—ready, and announced for publication before the Great War began in August 1914.

The preparation of this book has involved the marshalling of a vast array of facts and dates, the delving into and comparison of some three hundred or more ancient and modern volumes on dancing and on theatrical and operatic history, the study of scores of old newspaper-files and long-forgotten theatrical “repositories” and souvenirs. Error is always possible in spite of care, and if it should have happened here the writer will be grateful for correction. In covering so wide a field a full bibliography becomes impossible from limits of space; but to those interested the following list of leading authorities—supplemented by those referred to in the text—may be of service. “La Danse Grecque Antique,” by M. Emmanuel; “Roman Life and Manners under the Early Empire,” by L. Friedländer; “Dramatic Traditions of the Dark Ages,” by Joseph S. Tunison (University of Chicago Press); “Orchésographie,” by Thoinot Arbeau (1588); “Des Ballets Anciens et Modernes,” by Père Menestrier (1682); “La Danse Antique et Moderne,” by De Cahuzac (1754); “The Code of Terpsichore,” by Carlo Blasis (1823); “Dictionnaire de la Danse,” by G. Desrat (1895); “Dancing in all Ages,” by Edward Scott (1899); “Histoire de la Danse,” by F. de Menil (1905); and “The Dance: Its Place in Art and Life,” by T. and M. W. Kinney (1914).

Arts & Entertainment
November 3
Rectory Print
Babafemi Titilayo Olowe