Ballet d'action

Ballet d'action

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Ballet d'action is a ballet
Ballet is a type of performance dance, that originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th century, and which was further developed in France and Russia as a concert dance form. The early portions preceded the invention of the proscenium stage and were presented in large chambers with...

 movement started by French
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 choreographer Jean Georges Noverre in 1760. It involves expression of character and emotion through dancers' bodies and faces, rather than through elaborate costumes and props. The movement began due to Noverre's negative reaction to what he considered the dancers' undue focus on technical expertise and neglect of the true purpose of ballet.


In his book Lettres sur la danse et les ballets, Noverre asserted that the purpose of ballet is to "to represent characters and express their feelings" He advocated a move away from the use of bulky costumes to express character; instead, he stated that only the dancers' movements should matter. It was toward this end that Noverre developed ballet d'action.

Some dance historians maintain that earlier choreographers developed ballets in the ballet d'action style even though Noverre is widely recognized as the principal innovator of the movement.