Italian Renaissance Ballet

Grand Opening of the Domenico da Piacenza Ballet Museum

The Domenico da Piacenza Ballet Museum, on the corner of Washington and Smith St, is opening its doors for the first time this Monday, May 6th. The museum, so named for one of ballet’s first master teachers, will feature artifacts and information centering on the Italian Renaissance. This showcase of Renaissance Ballet will only last through June, so be sure to get your tickets soon!

The spotlight of the exhibit will be on da Piacenza himself. Da Piacenza, who thrived in the 1400s, gave birth to the word “ballet.” In his writings, he used the word “ballo” to describe his works, instead of the word “danza,” both of which mean dance in Italian. From this choice, “ballet” grew into the term we use today. Also on display, will be excerpts from the teacher’s writing, entitled De Arte Saltandi ed Choreas Ducendi. It is one of the few manuals that have survived from that time. For more in depth information regarding da Piacenza and the Italian Renaissance Ballet, be sure to stop by the museum. It is a wonderfully enriching experience you will not forget!

Historical Spotlight: Catherine de Medici

 catherine de medici

Catherine de Medici was an Italian noblewoman who lived in the 16th Century. She was born in Florence Italy in 1519 into a very wealthy non-royal family. At the age of fourteen, her marriage to Henry, Duke of Orleans, was arranged. Later, Henry would go on to become king of France. Twelve years later, King Henry passed away in a jousting accident. No longer restricted by his rule, Catherine was able to implement some of her Italian heritage into the French Court. She incorporated Italian pageants and daily dance classes into the courts. She went on to plan a “Ballet Comique de la Reine” to celebrate the marriage of one of her Dukes (*see image below for an illustration of the performance). This is now considered the first ballet de cour. Various sets, costumes, music, and dance were used to complete this ballet. Due to Catherine de Medici’s integration of her Italian heritage, the art of ballet was able to spread to the French courts. From there, ballet became an unstoppable force. De Medici died in 1589 of pneumonia, but her contribution to dance will live on forever.


Entertainment of the Week: Italian Ballet Dinner Theater

 ballet theater

Come visit the Italian Ballet Dinner Theater for a wonderful meal and show! Enjoy professionally choreographed ballet performances accompanied by a wonderful multi-course feast. While you enjoy the beautiful dances, you will be served a surplus of renaissance-style foods. Much like the very first ballet ever performed, each course will be introduced by a dance called an “entrée.” Let us take you back in time to the 15th Century and treat you like Italian Royalty! It is a once in a lifetime opportunity that you cannot miss! For a sample of dance and music styles of the time, please refer to the short video below.

*Ticket prices vary throughout the season*


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