Skip to main content

McGowan, Margaret M. "Dance’s Debt to Artists in Early Modern France."

McGowan, Margaret M. "Dance’s Debt to Artists in Early Modern France." In Terpsichore and her Sisters: The Relationship between Dance and other Arts [Proceedings of the Early Dance Circle Conference held on 8-10 April 2016], edited by Georgina Boyes, 21-32. Cambridge: Early Dance Circle, 2017.


Many sources (account books, drawings and contemporary witness records of spectacle) have emerged in recent years which allow us to have some notion of the nature of artists’ contribution to the success of ballet in early modern courts. The evidence is overwhelming as regards costume design and this will be my main focus: exploring the grotesque creations from Daniel Rabel’s album (1610-35) but also analysing designs made for Francis I (reigned 1515-47) and for later Valois kings. This exploration will highlight continuities in fashion – taste for the exotic, the heroic or the decorous; how designs affected the nature of the dancing, moulded the human form or actually impeded the execution of some steps. Artists’ work for the decoration of dancing space, for engineering dancers’ arrival on stage – descent from heaven or emergence from the sea – will also be examined with a conclusion that (from an analysis of royal accounts, drawings and libretti) presents the art work employed for two performances in 1619: the king’s ballet of Tancrede and the queen’s ballet of Psyche.

Year of publication: 2017

Full text search

(The full text search always takes place in the entire bibliography. It can be refined afterwards with the filters).

Filter Bibliography