Very little self expression in early ballet: discipline, knowledge, order. From these court dances, a series of rules were made in how they were supposed to be performed, according to an idea of beauty. Pursuit of beauty.
The first ballet for which we have a complete score (aka considered the first one). 1581 to celebrate Catherine de Medici’s sister’s marriage.
Staged by Balthazar de Beaujoyeux
It integrated the music, dance, story, and décor. Dance was integrated into the narrative. It became the new genre of ballet.
Performed by Aristocratic amateurs. Performed in a huge salon in the palace, ¾ in the round, and the people sat above. People saw mostly the spatial patterns on the floor (which made the ballet very much centered around the use of the space).
Louis was an accomplished dancer himself, but also understood the political possibilities of the dance form. Through the ballet, the narratives of his production, as well as his appearance in them, he emphasized his divine right to rule.
He is often discussed as attractive and well proportioned. He was trained from a young age by his ballet master Pierre Beauchamps. He danced roles in at least 40 productions. He used the dance to win his court over and establish authority. It was a strategic method of control. He made dance even more central to court life.
Ballet is still tied to ideas of grandeur and luxury
Ballerinas still want to reach the top.
Desire for etiquette and gracefulness
Louis literally determined the form
Le Acadamie de Dance: first institutionalized school for dance.
Rules for what is to be done and how its done are quite literally written down.
Controls its form and where it goes.
5 positions of ballet, and turnout are established (never turn your back to the King).
In the beginning it was only men that performed. Not changed until the Romantic period/pointe shoe
Verisimilitude, and Decorum: both very insistent in Neoclassicism
The play was popular and successful, but met with protest and critique. Mostly Scudery.
What we read was only a small part of the letter writing that went back and forth between Scudery and Corneille. There was too much argument, so the Academy stepped in to not only decide if Le Cid was a good play, but also what a good play is.
The instructive aspect of tragedy, the questions of probability and necessity, the unities (unity of action, unity of danger) and so forth.
Thought the rules of neoclassicism were shackles to be broken for the sake of the audience.
Le Cid is historically important because the rules of drama came out of The Academy’s ruling.
Gives “evidence” that the plot is worthless, but every statement he makes is simply and opinion.
Rule of Plausibility: Argues that although the Spanish history states that the daughter marries the murderer of her father, it is not appropriate for poetry because it is not plausible. Who would do such a thing?
Must stay within 24 hour period to follow Neoclassical rules.
Le Cid is 3 years crammed into a 24 period.
Pushes us towards evil.
Aristotle claims that there are two types of plausible: the ordinary and extraordinary. The first is normal events. The second is fantastical events that seem to be almost contrived. This play falls under that idea. I do not violate the concept of consistency because although Chimene is virtuous, she is not perfect, and human nature is fallable. This decision gives her character depth, not ingenuity.
Says that Scudery is wrong when he claims that Corneille is not allowed to change the events of history to fit his plot. This has been done for centuries.
Also see a series of minor forms emerging:
¼ of all plays performed in 1780s were Shakespeare. Emblem of national culture. Increasing development of minor forms, and butchering of Shakespeare.
18th century England
In 1843: Parliament retracted part of the licensing act which said that only certain theatres could put on dramas. As a result, the development of English playwrights and playwriting was further supported.
They left because of the Licensing Act
Responsible according to Diderot, the more eratic performer. Her performance would have these tremendous highs where she would be super filled with the emotions of the character, but also choppy moments.
She was extremely consistent, got the high every single time in every single play in the same way through the same action. She wrote a memoir and told Dumensil that her way was better. She knew how to “act sad” rather than being sentimental/sensible. The actor isn’t supposed to feel the emotion: the AUDIENCE is supposed to feel sad.
Living pictures of Voltaire: a level of grace and fluidity and beauty. Idealized
Started in the French Revolution: very emotionally heightened.
He was said to be able to put things together that shouldn’t have fit together.
Very good friends with Napoleon.
Pantomime was super important.
Beginning of the more natural uses of the body in theatre.
Conduit of Garrick’s style
Shut down for anti monarchy messages
Costume design and authenticity:
Thought that theatre should be a history lesson
Because of that, costumes needed to be authentic.
Introduced the Neoclassical hairstyle
Disagreed with Diderot.
Sensibility trumps self-mastery.
Sympathetic model of acting: prototype of method acting
Excelled in physical movement and pantomime
Allowed for a smooth transition from the classical stage to the romantic stage
Came from a large family of well known, famous actors.
Tall, statuesque, handsome, excelled at tragic hero roles. Did really well with characters that were pressing on to a goal.
The portrait of him as Richard III was just like David Garrick’s.
Used his hands a lot in acting
1808: Covent Garden was destroyed by a fire.
He had the theatre rebuilt. He elevated the interior of the theatre and made it more plush. He also converted one area of the theatre that used to be a standing area into privately owned boxes, which could be rented on an annual basis for a very high fee.
Rioters eventually started protesting and demanding the “old prices” (OP). Eventually Kemble had to give back the original prices.
The working class was gaining a voice
Debut as Shylock, 1814
He was everything that Kemble was not.
He was short. His physicality was the antithesis of the neoclassical standards. He was not handsome. He rejected the notion of idealized gestures. We don’t even really see his hands.
Lack of grace in his physique
Beginning of romantic period:
Very passionate. Excelled at portraying sporadic characters. He was an alcoholic and drank himself to death.
–was not necessarily successful
–few of their plays were ever produced, but were highly read
F. Schiller: Goethe’s bestie; wrote “The Robbers” (example of Sturm und Drang principles)
grotesque equals everything that has been left off the stage in neoclassical drama; art should reflect nature (e.g. the beautiful and the grotesque), not just a heightened form of nature; a leap toward more realistic stage pictures; the unities of time and place are dumb and restrictive (they “clip the wings”); THIS IS MANIFESTO; rejects Aristotelian unity; nature/truth/inspiration should be the only things restricting a poet, not Aristotle; the “exactness” of locales is very important
-Specificity of local and historical accuracy
Hernani: asked Martignac (Minister of Interior); goes to King Charles X and is denied; everyone was kind of against it at first
*plot of Hernani: love plot of escaped nobel/bandit from Spain; play ends in a double suicide with Hernani and his lover
*The controversy/ “The Battle of Hernani”: Petit Cénacle (supporters of Hugo and Hernani in the claque) vs. traditionalists; Mlle. Mars was famed actress to play Doña Sol; Latouche most vicious critic of Hernani; results: people said the language was “intimate and idiomatic,” as well as parodies, death threats, and July Revolution (dethroning of Charles X); people attributed already tenuous state with Hernani’s artistic change
Paris: most popular form
England: we see more varieties of Melodrama. For example: equestrian melodrama (featuring horses). Dogs did that too! Lots of lighting and sound effects. Nautical Melodramas: boats on real water.
1. Plot is based on secret that is known to the audience, but not known to characters
2. Centers around young lovers
3. Carefully crafted exposition
4. Trifles: There is a small mistake or event that strongly effects the plot of the play (mis-delivered letter).
5. Neat endings: in which the status quo is reaffirmed in some fashion.
6. Sacrifices character development for exciting plots.
7. They were typically set indoors, with well dressed people, in elegant costumes, lived in nice homes, ate good food, luxury items strewn across the stage, which distinguishes them from Melodramas, which had exotic scenery.
8. Logic is the guiding principle of the well-made play.
9. The Well Made play introduces movement/blocking as an important element of the scenes.
Was popular in the 18th century on into the 19th century. Eradicated by the Civil Rights Movements.
This genre often reflects the racial tensions of American history which is why its important to study. First exploitation of black culture by American whites.
1843: Dan Emmett and the Virginia Minstrels debut in NYC, first minstrel show.
Endmen: Tambo and Bones
-Discuss characters you researched
Lane Seminary splits over the question of abolition.
Domesticity Cult: family wanted you to give a Christian testimony before you died. That was very common.
Hell= anywhere off the map.
George’s committed suicide. Its very troubling and hard to process for Harriet. It through her into doubt. She wondered who would die next. She can’t help but read this event as God punishing her. She can’t deal with that knowledge and moves really far from her parent’s original faith and philosophy.
Samuel Charles Stowe: her son dies at one-year-old. He died of cholera, very painfully.
She focuses on the separation of children from parents. She learned how a slave mother feels when her child is torn away from her.
At key moments, Stowe addresses the reader.
Enslaved people have families, feelings, connections, friends, faith.
The first chapter’s name refers to Tom. He appears within the context of his family.
She believes in women being pious and domestic, black women too, and they can’t do that if their children are taken from them. Very motherhood centered vision of how the world should work.
People were going to America to perform because of the Licensing Act.
The Hallum family were the main people. They rehearsed their whole show on the boat over, and then dominated when they got there.
Theatres started to be built in the country. Philadelphia, Charlestown, and eventually New York.
Melodramas rule the stage. Many of the melodramas are ones that have been imported or adapted from Europe.
1881: Tony Pastor stages first performance of “clean” vaudeville in NYC
Pastor built on the tradition of variety performances popular in France at the time, but transformed form into a family friendly performance.
He gave away free hams to lure in middle class women into the shows.
Prohibited the sale of alcohol, limit any questionable material, insured it would be a place for social gathering.
Established tiered performance circuits for acts in major cities. There were different levels and circuits with differently priced tickets and bigger and smaller theaters.
Just like America’s Got Talent. Like a talent show.
Leading to Realism!
Director is introduced: person in charge of integrating all the artistic elements.
Duke of Saxminogen: he was very interested in culture and artistic production, and paid attention to the court theatre he sponsored.
(helped introduce Realism)
They also influenced Stanislavski.
The whole company was talented.
Detailed staging of crowd scenes
The star system is rejected!!!!!! SUPER IMPORTANT
Leading to Realism!
**branch off of Meiningen Players
Constantine Stanislavski, and Vladmir Nemirovich-Danchenko
They sat down for a 17 hour long meeting, discussed all the failings of Russian theatre, and decided to do something about it. From this emerged the Moscow Art Theatre.
Improve overall artistic quality of productions
Increase emphasis on the literary aspects of plays, and do justice to the text
High-quality, ensemble style acting
Stanislavski always continues to evolve his ideas about acting
The first famous play was the Seagull.
Most influential theatre of the 20th century
This is where realism truly comes to be.
First play, Romantic Drama, Catiline, 1849 followed by others including the epic Peer Gynt. (1867)
Best known plays from mid career include: Ghosts (1881) Wild Duck (1884) Dolls House
Late career turn towards symbolism in plays like Rosmersholm (1886) and When We Dead Awaken (1899).
It’s a mistake to associate him only with Dolls House and realism because the last several plays he wrote were seen as the the inspiration for Symbolism (a part of the avant guard movement)
Shaw found Isben to be a breath of fresh air in contrast to Sardou (sardoodledom).
He introduces a portrayal of psychological depth (which is a contrast to the two most popular form of this time, Melodrama and The Well Made Play). Melodrama is known for plot, not depth of characters. Meanwhile, Isben was introducing deep characters with deep characterization.
The first performance of a work that heralded a breakthrough of modernism in American theatre.
1. There is a secret at the heart of the play that the audience knows but not all the characters do. The stakes have to be very high for the person who knows the secret. She borrowed money and she took out a loan. The secret is kept from her husband Torvald. We are let inside a marriage. She used the money to take him to Italy to get better, which is insulting his manhood. He was unable to play the role of husband (be financially responsible, taking care of her). Nora understands the role of playing wife (looking pretty, taking care of the children, playing the role of the lark, pretending to be helpless). She is very intelligent and knows how to manipulate him. The stakes of them finding out about borrowing the money is that Torvald might lose his job.
2. Exposition is filled in by the arrival of an old friend whom Nora has to fill in on her life, this makes us realize that she is not as helpless as we think.
3. The obligatory scene is when the characters react to the secret (the ending)
4. The object of significance: The letter is trifling, but it has disproportionate consequences.
5. Domestic setting: it’s set in a drawing room.
6. Luxury items: Nora is eating macaroons, its time for Christmas, and Torvald has been promoted to the head of the bank.
7. Young Lovers at the center of the play. There is some sexual passion between the two of them. But their marriage falls apart.
Primarily influenced by the ideas and theories of Darwin (Heredity and Environment influence human behavior).
They saw that characters and character’s behavior could be traced back to heredity or environment. They were interested in utilizing theatre to do a scientific study.
People behave the way they do, because of things like the clothing they wear and the surroundings in which they live. If they are influenced by their environment, then their environment must be depicted accurately onstage.
This idea translated into realistic scenery (using real kitchens and laundry machines etc).
Interest in real environments and depicting interiors with excruciating detail.
His brother murdered Abe Lincoln. Afterwards, he lived the life of a recluse for a while.
He advocated a manifesto style for Naturalism in his first play preface (pattern: Victor Hugo introduced Humanism in the preface to Cromwell).
“Free Theatre”: the first of several significant independent theatres to spring up in Europe. Several more followed.
They started opening because artists wanted to explore more ideas, that eventually would become mainstream ideas
They rejected the increasing commercialization of theatre. They were interested in existing outside of the commercial efforts to please an audience.
EG Craig was born to Ellen Terry (really famous English actress). He started out as an actor, but became frustrated with acting. (Wanted to argue that we should get rid of actors and replace them with puppets. He argued that predictability of actors was not good).
Idea is that scenic design should capture the feeling, mood, and idea of a piece, but not literally. Three dimensionality. Something that is evocative of the world.
Appia: Theatrical Lighting: created the mood, supported the spirit of the piece, etc. Advocated for the idea of being able to create a sense of mood.
Largely influenced by Freud
How have things influenced Nora’s subconscious?