History of Dance and Ballet

Ref: C3744375

Dance is an important part of our cultural heritage.The illustrated course looks at how dance developed over key periods of its history from the 17th Century court of Louis XIV (the King who invented ballet) to the present day including: the first professsional dancers; the 'Romantic' ballet period and its subsequent decline; the patronage of the Czars and the great Tchaikovsky classic ballets. It will explain how new dance styles and themes developed in the early 20th Century through the Diaghilev Ballet Russes and how artists such as Leon Bakst and Pablo Picasso brought innovation to stage costume and design with colour palates never before seen in the theatre. We conclude by choosing a selection of works by contemporary choreographers from across the dance spectrum. We assess their artistic collaborations and the contribution they have made to the rich diversity of dance as a performance art today.

Course aim

The course will trace the development of dance as a performance from its roots in the 17th Century court of Louis XIV through key periods of its history with a view to gaining an appreciation of the diversity of dance in the theatre today.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • The course is for anyone who would like to know more about the history of dance and its development.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Recognise the historical significance of dance as an important part of our cultural heritage from its roots in the 17th Century to the present day.
  • Assess the effects of the cultural changes in Europe that led to Czarist Russia becoming the centre for ballet innovation in the 19th Century.
  • Appraise the influence that revolutionary artists such as Leon Bakst, Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse made to dance costume and design in the early 20th Century.
  • Summarise the influence that Diaghilev's Ballet Russes had on dance as a performance art in the 20th Century.
  • Recognise some of the key contemporary choreographers working across the dance spectrum who have contributed to the growing popularity of dance as a performance art today.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning
  • You may be asked to discuss a review of a dance performance you have seen in the theatre, online, on film or TV.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to read reviews about dance performances e.g., newspaper or online reviews and to share these with the group.

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

Download full course information sheet

History of Dance and Ballet

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course has been cancelled.

Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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