Simultaneously signaling power and grace, refinement and discipline, the art of dancing held a singular status at the court of Louis XIV. Louis XIV elevated dancing to the level of high art, created the world’s first ballet school (the Académie Royale de la danse), and turned a social pastime into a stylized professional pursuit. Les Délices’ program explores dance from its social roots in the ballroom to the idiosyncratic, highly expressive music written for the first prima ballerinas on the theater stage. Works include Jean Féry-Rebel virtuoso “Characters of the Dance,” a scene from Rameau’s Pigmalion, the earthy, rollicking dances of Boismortier’s Ballets de Villages, plus solos for oboe, and viola da gamba.
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