Ballet- Now and Then
Ballet as a form of dance has its roots in the Italian renaissance courts specifically during the 15th century. Later it developed in the royal courts of France and Russia. It was perhaps in France that ballet grew most profusely as a complete art form. Though later it traveled far and wide and now almost every continent has its own style of ballet making it one of the most popular dance forms in the world. There are a number of dance schools all across the globe dedicated to ballet. Also, ballet is considered to be a rather difficult art to master requiring consistent hard practices, immense physical stamina and complete dedication to the dance. Adhering to certain strict rules, ballet is an art form that requires an immense amount of perseverance, patience and persistence to be perfected.
Being a performance dance, ballet requires a certain specific kind of music and choreography. Choreography for ballet is often by the professionals who have already achieved high skills in the dance form. Usually, classical music is used in ballet and most of them are theatrical in nature. They narrate a story with a plot. Mime is a common part of ballet. Though most of the times instrumental music is used, have a lyrical song for ballet is also not uncommon.
Along with the music and choreography, the ballet clothing is also rather special. Normally ballet leotards are used. A leotard is a skin tight garment that covers the entire body; at times the legs may be free. There are full body leotards and leotards that do not cover the legs. Such a type of garment allows unrestricted movement of the body- which is an essential component of ballet. Other than this, the ballet shoes are also of critical importance. Even a novice at ballet would know the emphasis of feet movement in ballet.
One of the most important rules of classical ballet is to keep the feet pointed when they are not on the floor except when playing unusual characters when feet may be flexed. Thus ballet shoes need to be soft and with flexible sole. They are usually made of a very soft variety of leather or satin, but the sole of the shoe has to be flexible. Traditionally, women wear pink shoes and men wear white or black shoes. Tan colored slippers—which are unobtrusive and thus give the appearance of dancing barefoot—are worn in modern ballets by both men and women.
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