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Ballet is a Piece of Art

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The History of Ballet

Ballet start from Italian Renaissance courts at 15th century. Ballet in Italian language is “balletto” means “dance”. Basically, on that time, Ballet can teach people how to behavior in court such as how people stepped, bowed, or took someone’s hand. There are many court gestures can be still be seen in modern ballet techniques.

Catherine de Medici who a noblewoman from Italy married King Henry II who is a from France in 16th century. In France, Catherine de Medici improved the progress of ballet de cour that included dance, decor, costume, song, song, music and peotry. King Louis XIV helped to make the ballet refined into the art we know today. He trained ballet since he was in childhood. As a passionate dancer, he performed many times until one day he performed in Ballet de la nuit and he was entitled as Sun King because of his magnificent golden costume and choreography that shows the color use by king.

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In Paris, a dance academy had opened on 1661. King Louis XIV is the person who founded the academy named the Royal Academy of Dance. Ballet start to move from the courts to the stage. In 1669, there is a separate ballet academy named The Paris Opera Ballet was founded and still survives until today as the oldest ballet company in the world. Jean Georges Noverre, a French ballet master make a revolted against the artifice of opera-ballet because he believed that ballet could become an art form during mid-1700s. He the one who introduced the ballet d’action which mean a dramatic style of ballet that conveys a narrative.

Ballet as a Form of Art

Ballet is dance art category. Through dance, we can see beautiful body movement that not all people can do. Everyone can dance but required some practice. The reasons why I like this dance art are dancing good for body as it is great cardio workout. Dancing can make us sweating no matter what kind of dance including ballet. To me, ballet is such a beautiful dance because all the dancers is dancing gracefully. The movement looks very smooth and sometime the professional dancers make some outstanding and brave performance that blow audience mind.

Art also known as the language of feelings and the coordination through speech. Only the person who understand the art, they can feel the meaning of it though they unable to express it. Ballet is competitive same as other artists, musicians and actors. On 1975, a study done based on 61 physical activities led by Dr. James A. Ballet ranked on top as the most physically and mentally demanding activity. The physical part of ballet that could bring huge strains on body is feet that is doing en pointe that is use their feet to support whole his or her body. En pointe can be done with help pointe shoes. This dance move is one of the hardest step to master in ballet. After all the pain face by the ballet dancers, they still can hide the pain during the performance because they have the ability to convey emotion, passion and artistry. This is one the reason why ballet is art. Its involved emotion.

The classical ballet’s purpose is to tell story to audiences. Telling a story must required emotion, so the audience can understand the storyline. The preparations is taken seriously starting from the intricate set designs, elegant costumes and make-up to get good impression on the audience. Lastly, it depend to the dancers to show their passion and emotion as the final things to do during the performance. Ballet dancers can not tell the story effectively if they move like a robot and only performing tricks. If audiences only pay attention to the steps and physicality, it make ballet is a form of sport. Thus, emotion and creativity that show from the ballet dancers makes ballet is form of art. Although, the dancers only dancing, the audiences can feel the meaning of it. Story that ballet dancers try to convey must the story that interesting. To make interesting story, the responsible person need to be more creative and must has good imagination. So, that the other reason why ballet is an art.

Health Problems

For the beginner, ballet is a dance that can give pain to body. Commonly, ballet dancers or we can call ballerinas they have been practising ballet from three years old. The issue in this discussion is the dangers ballet dancing against children. Some of the problem that ballerina face is ankle problem. The ankle area is the part of body that very important to ballerinas as many of the movement uses that area. So the potential to get hurt on that area is high. During dancing, they always do turning, jumping, landing and being on pointe.

Other than that, the ballerinas has potential to get knee problem. Some of the dancing move that include knee part is bending, plies and jumps. Those are some basic steps that repeatedly do during ballet dancing, the dancers might have injuries at knees because the knees are tired. The pain can occurs because of cartilage that located behind the kneecap getting thinning or softening.

Next, unhealthy body image, due to many successful ballet dancers are thin, many new dancers are concerns about their body image and started develop eating disorders. The conclusion, many people started to afraid dancing ballet due to this kind problem plus ballet is hard to learn. Many ballet dancers started practising at very young age. But, still ballet can be learn by many range ages. To avoid pain as mention above, ballet dancer need to be more careful and take good care of their body.

Muslims and Ballet

The second issue is, learning ballet as a Muslim. This might be happen if the dancer is a woman, male dancer not effect that much. This is because in Islam, woman should cover up all over their body except face and wrist hand while man should cover from navel until knees. So as woman, ballet dance might be a bit hard to learn. Plus, the woman need to wear hijab. This might a bit hard to the ballet company because ballerinas have to look the same in their costume. Stephanie Kurlow is a woman who become first ballet dancer wearing hijab. She born into Russian-Australian family. She was rejected from many ballet classes. Since then, she join full-time classical ballet training and received many scholarships to prestigious dance school worldwide such as Royal Danish Ballet summer school. At the end, if we has interest into something, we have to learn more about that thing, even it is to hard to achieve. So let’s try the best as we could.

References

  • TED-Ed. (2016, March 8). The origins of ballet – Jennifer Tortorello and Adrienne Westwood. Retrieved September 25, 2019, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEekFTj5PvU&t=1s
  • “A Brief History of Ballet – Illustrated by Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre.” Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, www.pbt.org/learn-and-engage/resources-audience-members/ballet-101/brief-history-ballet/
  • Tolstoy, L (1899). What is Art? Cambridge, UK. Hackett.
  • Kottler, B. (2014, April 10). Ballet Is an Art, Not a Sport. Retrieved October 1, 2019, from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/ballet-is-an-art-not-a-sp_b_4718929?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAM577wk-IfhHjzuj-cvaMpWIL-KeDGgmZ5tIZN-PQ2aVRSWUZnpMT6XR3zSDdWg9GyPUddEmokLuFbNi3p2w63J7Am0NaphIDEb8N1MWsCXZPXGx3DSXwhXg5norqiFhaTdG9VzvWxX0526LXjF09997eukKbc2PwSA5M4YA0MO7
  • Agadoni, L. (2017, November 21). What Are the Dangers of Ballet Dancing for Children? Retrieved September 27, 2019, from https://living.thebump.com/dangers-ballet-dancing-children-6146.html.
  • Sofia, N., Syakirah, A., Shadeanna, N., Majid, I., & Amira, S. (2019, April 16). Meet Stephanie Kurlow, the First and Only Hijabi Ballerina. Retrieved September 29, 2019, from https://www.halalzilla.com/travelogue-stephanie-kurlow-hijabi-ballerina/86992

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