The Sun King taps into the Supreme Power of Ballet

March 27, 2022

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The Sun King taps into the Supreme Power of Ballet

Discover the Underlying Origin & Purpose of an Unrivaled Artform.

Forever heralded as The Sun King, Louis XIV of France brings Ballet to the world in the 17th century.

Louis XIV Ballet-1800-pix
stage production still from BBC Documentary: "The King Who Invented Ballet"

In 1653 he exhibits its supreme power with his eternally iconic performance in Ballet de la Nuit or ballet of the night. The production runs from sundown to sunset, lasting twelve hours straight. It is a picture of his country rising from darkness into light.

Discover the underlying origin & purpose of Ballet.

The Underlying Origin & Purpose of Ballet

Originating in 15th century Italy, belletti as they were called then, moved to the courts of France where they transformed into impressive court performances known as ballets de coeurs or court ballets.

“… danced by royalty, nobility and foreign dignitaries who aimed to entrance their peers in the audience” [D.Bintley] they served as political and cultural promo methods.

Besides being early broadcasting tools ”presenting events of the day with a twist” [Canova Green] and PR devices, promoting “the glory of France, the grandeur of the monarch” [Canova Green] ballet served a much deeper purpose: it denoted the profound strive towards understanding and expression of universal ORDER, through its mediums of leadership on earth, ie. royal figures and those in positions of power.

Prof. Canova Green says it another way: “… by performing dance you could bring down celestial influence… it was all about trying to recreate harmony on earth.”

The court ballets employed a form of conscious, or intelligent movement and posturing as a language used to define and convey the real dynamic and hierarchical order among the elite and ruling classes. This language defined the level of nobility, social rank, status of power and the expressions of respect, allegiance, recognition and obedience to it.

Bottom line: Ballet is the code of conscious, or intentional movement, with a visual, physical vocabulary representing the principles of presence, focus, order, purity, power, grace and integrity. 

Ballet is our active awareness through practice, of a higher state of being.

What is ballet?

Ballet is:

  • the essence of nobility, meaning to live a higher, more elevated way of life
  • a powerful tool with universal appeal – ballet ‘speaks’ to everyone because it is the language of:

— Beauty (pure and refined, requiring true strength and discipline to attain the skills of this high art)

— Power (a tamed and refined power over the lower animal nature of man)

— Order (it takes organization and coordination of many parts working together as one to express ballet poses and posture)

— Grace (moving in a stalwart, confident manner with intention and awareness of every movement)

— Integrity (this implies an ‘integration’ or ‘connection’ of multiple qualities within a person, resulting in actions that create harmony, prosperity and build-up people)

This defines why Ballet has the power to unite nations, cultures & politics like nothing else.

  • ballet is at the heart of civilized culture & social hierarchy because it reflects intelligence, pedigree and refined taste

Where did ballet originate?

The Ballet we know today originated in the royal courts of France, in the mid 1600’s. 

Although the early roots of Ballet began in the regal palaces of Italy, Ballet was developed and refined into a visible artform being introduced to the world by the French King, Louis XIV.

Influenced by elaborate entertainment that took place in royal celebrations and aristocratic weddings of France and Italy, Ballet de cour or “court ballet” was the earlier name given to ballets danced at royal courts by nobility during the time of Louis’ reign.

Historically, dance has been an important part of the social hierarchy, and one of the most important skills for a gentleman (i.e. a noble, educated man) to master. As a king, Louis was expected to dance as soon as he could walk.

Who started ballet?

The Sun King Louis XIV in the 17th Century

Born in 1638, the longest-reigning monarch in French history, Louis XIV, who is known as the “Sun King” and the “King who invented Ballet”, gave birth to the ballet we know today.

Louis used ballet as the ultimate PR (public relations) tool to glorify his monarchy and place ballet at the heart of civilized culture. As a teen, his iconic appearance in “Ballet of the Night” (1653), where he danced the Sun King, conveyed strength and victory, bringing confidence and power to France on a national and international scale. He was like a political leader and rock star in one.

Most impressive, is the final ballet legacy that Louis XIV left to the world. Specifically, in 1661 he established the first formal national academy of dance called Académie Royale de Danse. The institution was comprised of 13 of the most experienced dance masters from ballet productions at his court. It is here that court dance began to be analyzed and codified into a teachable system of artistry and craftsmanship.

This opened the door to a closely related opera and ballet company that sprang up in 1669, and although the Académie Royale de Danse did not survive after the overthrow of the monarchy in 1789, the latter institution did. Today it is known as the Opéra National de Paris (aka,The Paris Opera Ballet) and it is the oldest national ballet company in the world.

How did King Louis IX get into ballet?

Louis XIV was brought up and groomed to embrace the art of ballet by the Italian-born Cardinal Mazarin as part of his high-level education.

Louis XIV loved beauty and power, and as an extension and outgrowth of his love for the art of ballet, he expressed and cultivated his passion for fashion and architecture, which includes building the elaborate Palace of Versailles (1661 to 1715).

As France’s longest serving monarch, the “Sun King” reigned over a period of unprecedented prosperity in which France became the dominant power in Europe and a leader in the arts and sciences.

How can ballet affect your mind?

It is no coincidence that the “King who invented Ballet” had an exceptional mind which enabled him to have unprecedented and unbeatable success as a leader and world influencer.

Ballet integrates the mind and body, beyond separation, as one functional unit of expression.

Ballet integrates the left and right hemispheres of our brain, through poses and movements that require developing coordination, endurance, flexibility, strength, agility and conscious control of our expression.  

This creates and activates pathways in the brain unavailable to those who do not practice ballet. Therefore, those who practice ballet are at an advantage mentally and physically to be creative, constructive, excel in various activities and successfully pursue their interests.

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on a last note...

Just after finishing this piece, I walk out to the parking lot of the cafe where I did my writing - when lo and behold, I see this magnificent SUN medallion hanging off the mirror of the car parked next to mine - our Greater Self is always speaking to us!