How and Why Wonder Book Ballet

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    TfwH O WA N DW H YU/orvcfoiBoo&o

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    T H E H O W A N D W H Y W O N D E R B O O K O F

    B > r

    W r i t t e n b y L E E W Y N D H A MI l l u s t r a te d b y R A F A E L L O B U S O N IE d i to r i a l P r o d u c t i o n : D O N A L D D . W O L F

    E d i t e d u n d e r t h e s u p e r v i s i o n o fD r . P a u l E . B l a c k w o o dW a s h i n g t o n , D . C .

    T e x t a n d i l l u s t r a t i o n s a p p r o v e d b yO a k e s A . W h i t eB r o o k l y n C h i l d r e n ' s M u s e u mB r o o k l y n , N e w Y o r k

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    W O N D E R B O O K S N E W Y O R K

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    I n t r o d u c t i o nT h e w o r l d h a d k n o w n m a n y f o r m s o f t h e d a n c e w h e n b a l l e t w a s

    i n t r o d u c e d . B u t t h i s w a s a n e w k i n d o f d a n c e t h a t t o l d a s t o r y i n m o v e m e n ta n d p a n t o m i m e , a n d o v e r t h e y e a r s , it h a s b e c o m e a v e r y h i g h l y d e v e l o p e da n d e x c i t i n g a r t f o r m .

    T h e m o r e y o u k n o w a b o u t b a l l e t , t h e m o r e y o u c a n e n j o y i t . I t h e l p sto k n ow h o w f in ishe d b a l l e t p r o d u c t i on s d e p e n d on th e c oo p e r at i v e e f for t so f m a n y people p r o d u c e r s , m u s i c i a n s , c h o r e o g r a p h e r s , b a l l e t m a s t e r s ,s c e n e d e s i gn e r s i n ad d i t i on to th e d an c e r s . I t h e l p s to k n ow th at b a l l e ti s b a s e d o n a f e w b a s i c s t e p s a n d m o v e m e n t s w i t h m a n y p o s s i b l e v a r i a t i o n s .A n d i t h e l p s to k n ow th at gr e a t i n d i v i d u a l e f for t i s r e q u i r e d to b e c om e asu c c e s s fu l d an c e r . Y e t on e s e e s th a t i n b a l l e t , too , su c c e s s h as i t s d e e p an dp e r s o n a l s a t i s f a c t i o n s .

    I n b a l l e t , t h e t e a c h e r i s v e r y i m p o r t a n t . N e w i d e a s a n d i m p r o v e m e n t sh a v e b e e n i n t r o d u c e d b y m a n y g r e a t b a l l e t te a c h e r s . A n d a s y o u w i l l r e a dh e r e , " A g r e a t t e a c h e r i s l i k e a c a n d l e f r o m w h i c h m a n y o t h e r c a n d l e s c a nb e lit s o m a n y , i n f a c t , t h a t t h e w h o l e w o r l d c a n b e m a d e b r i g h t e r . "

    The How and W hy Wonder Book of Ballet i s i tse l f a teacher , and i tw i l l m ak e th e w or l d b r i gh te r b e c au se i t th r ow s l i gh t on an e xc i t i n g ar tf o r m w h i c h , y e a r b y y e a r, i s b e c o m i n g a m o r e i n t i m a t e a n d a c c e p t e d p a r to f t h e A m e r i c a n s c e n e .

    Paul E. Blackwood

    Dr. Blackwood is a professional employee in the U. S. Office of Education.This book was edited by him in his private capacity and no official support orendorsement by the Office of Education is intended or should be inferred.

    1961, by Wonder Books, Inc.All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions.Published simultaneously in Canada. Printed in the United States of America.

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    C o n t e n t s

    W H A T I S B A L L E T ?B E G I N N I N G S O F B A L L E T

    How does ballet differ from other dancing?What was early ballet like?Where did ballet come from?Where was the first ballet school started?How did bal let change?What was the most important changein ballet?E A R L Y B A L L E R I N A S

    Who was the first leading ballerina?What contributions did Marie Camargomake to ballet?Who was Marie Taglioni?How did Marie Taglioni change bal letdancing?Which bal lerinas were commanded todance for a queen?Did male dancers perform during thisperiod?

    B ALLET IN R USSIAWhat contributions to bal let were madeby Italian dancers?What costume was designed for theclassic ballet?

    R U S S I A N B A L L E T D A N C E R SWhich ballerina got a special title fromthe Czar of Russia?How did Pavlova become a dancer?What was Pavlova's most famous dance?Who was the most famous male dancerof all time?How did Nijinsky manage his leaps?Who was Serge Diaghilev?How were ballets created duringDiaghilev's time?

    T H E B A L L E T R U S S EWho were the main artists of Diaghilev'sBallet Russe?What contributions did Michel Fokinemake to the ballet?Who taught the dancers of theBallet Russe?What other ballets were presented by theBallet Russe?

    B A L L E T T O D A YW hat is classic ballet?What are some classic ballets?What are romantic bal lets?Which is the most popular of theromantic ballets?Wh at is mod ern bal let?

    Page4

    77789

    10101010121213131314141515171717171819

    PageHow are modern bal let dancers t rainedto dance? 26W hat are some mo dern bal lets? 27W hat is character dancing? 30

    P A N T O M I M E - A L A N G U A G E O FT H E D A N C E 31

    What is pantomime? 31P E O P L E W H O M A K E B A L L E T 3 3

    Wh o supports the bal let companies? 33Who supports ballet in the United States? 33Wh at is the job of the compan y manager? 34W hat job does the artistic director do? 34W hat is the role of the chor eogr aphe r? 34Wh at is a ballet mas ter? 35Ho w does a com poser serve in the ballet? 35What is the job of a wardrobe mistressin a bal let compan y? 35What part does a scene designer playin ballet? 36In what way does a costume designer aidballet dancers? 36W hat does the stage manag er do? 37Who are some other important backstagehelp? 37

    P R E S E N T - D A Y B A L L E R I N A S A N DD A N S E U R S 3 8Margot Fonteyn 38Michael Somes 38M aria Tallchief 38Andre Eglevsky 38Alicia Alonso 39Igor Youskevitch 40John Kriza 40

    W H A T I T T A K E S T O B E AB A L L E T D A N C E R 4 0How old should one be to take bal letlessons? 42How does ballet training for boys and

    19702 0212 22 22325252 6

    girls differ?What is the role of the danseur?BALLET DRESS

    What is the costume for the class?How are ballet slippers made?What kind of stage costumes are used?BALLET TALKLABANOTATION - DANCE INWRITING

    How can dance movements be wri t tendown?H O W YO U CAN ENJO Y BALLET

    4 24 24343434344

    4 64648

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    The Firebird, a ballet bythe choreographer Michel Fokine, was firstdone in Paris in 1910.The composer Igor Stravinsky wrote the musicfor this famous ballet.

    ..*

    Maria Tallchief, as themagical Firebird, leapswith graceful elegance.Her power and controlmake her seem almostweightless in the air.

    W h a t I s B a l l e t ?D a n c i n g is n o t o n l y o n e o f t h e o l d e s t

    a r t s , b u t i t i s a l s o o n e o f o u r b a s i c i n s t i n c t s , a n d a w a y t o e x p r e s s o u r f e e l i n g s . E v e n t h e s m a l l e s t c h i l d r e n d a n c e f o r j o y , o r w i t h a n g e r , o r w i t h p a i n a n d s o d o g r o w n u p s , f o r t h e s a m er e a s o n s .

    B u t t h a t k i n d o f d a n c i n g i s no t b a l l e t ! T h e d i c t i o n a r y s a y s t h a t b a l l e t i s " a

    s t a g e d a n c e t h a t t e l l s a s t o r y i n m o v e m e n t a n d p a n t o m i m e a n d is p e r f o r m e db y a g r o u p o f p e r s o n s . "

    A n y o n e w h o h a s s e e n b a l le t k n o w st h a t t h i s a v e r y p l a i n d e f i n i t i o n o f t h em a g n i f i c e n t s p e c t a c l e t h a t b a l l e t c a n b e .T o d a y , a l m o s t e v e r y o n e h a s s e e n b a l le te i t h e r o n t e l e v i s i o n , o n t h e m o v i es c r e e n , o r l u c k i e s t o f a l l o n t h e

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    i t . * 4 *

    i l l i f

    ^#&

    I

    s t a g e , p e r f o r m e d b y l i v i n g , b r e a t h i n gd a n c e r s , s o w o n d e r f u l l y s k i ll e d t h a ts m a l l c h i l d r e n h a v e b e e n h e a r d t o a s kt h e i r m o t h e r s , " A r e t h o s e p e o p l e r e a l l yr e a l ? "

    T h e p e o p l e ar e r e a l , i n d e e d . T h e ym o v e w i t h l i g h t n e s s a n d u n b e l i e v a b l eg r a c e a n d s p e e d b e c a u s e o f t h e ir m a n yy e a r s o f s p e c i a l t r a i n i n g i n a d a n c ef o r m w h i c h h a s a t e c h n i q u e a l l i t s o w n .B u t t h a t i s n o t a l l t h a t m a k e s b a l l e t s o

    The Firebird and the hunter-prince

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    Shown are the five positions of the feet andarms on which all balletmovements are based.Every movement in ballet starts and ends in oneof these basic positions."Closed" positions: feettouch. "Open" positions: feet are parted.

    w o n d e r f u l t o s e e . T h e o t h e r p a r t s t h a tm a k e u p t h e b r e a t h - t a k i n g w h o l e a r et h e f inest m u s i c i n t h e w o r l d , s p l e n d i ds t a g e s c e n e r y t h a t st i rs t h e i m a g i n a t i o n ,g l i t te r i n g c o s t u m e s t h a t e x c i t e o u r e m o t i o n s , t h e d r a m a o f t h e s t o r y , o r t h eh u m o r o f i t for t h e r e a r e a l l k i n d s