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Parisian Music-Hall Ballet, 1871-1913 (Hardcover) (Sarah Gutsche-miller)
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This pioneering study of Parisian music-hall ballet brings to light a vibrant dance culture that was central to the renewal of French ballet at the turn of the twentieth century. Long thought a lost period for ballet in France, the fin de siècle in fact saw a flourishing of choreographic activity. More than four hundred ballets were created to great acclaim, half of which were full-scale pantomime-ballets, with entertaining narratives, catchy music, ****** choreography, lavish sets and costumes, pretty corps girls, and star ballerinas. Most of these productions were staged not at the elite Paris Opéra, but in the city's trendiest commercial venues: music halls. Between 1871 and 1913, the Folies-Bergère, the Olympia, and the Casino de Paris brought together the era's leading authors of light theater and comic opera to produce a flurry of imaginative ballets that combined the conventional structures of high art with the popular idioms of mass entertainment. They also drew unprecedented numbers of people from a broader cross-section of society than had ever before attended ballet. Parisian Music-Hall Ballet, 1871-1913 rediscovers this repertoire and culture, supplying a missing chapter in the history of French dance. Sarah Gutsche-Miller is an Assistant Professor of Musicology at the University of Toronto.