Collection of Dances in Choreography Notation (1700)

Images extracted from the latter half of Choregraphie, a book first published in 1700 which details a dance notation system invented by Raoul-Auger Feuillet which revolutionised the dance world. The system indicates the placement of the feet and six basic leg movements: plié, releveé, sauté, cabriole, tombé, and glissé. Changes of body direction and numerous ornamentations of the legs and arms are also part of the system which is based on tract drawings that trace the pattern of the dance. Additionally, bar lines in the dance score correspond to bar lines in the music score. Signs written on the right or left hand side of the tract indicate the steps. Voltaire ranked the invention as one of the “achievements of his day” and Denis Diderot devoted ten pages to the subject in his Encylopdédie.

The rest of the book, including a beautifully illustrated explanation (in French) of the notation system, can be viewed here in our Texts collection.

Housed at: Internet Archive | From: Boston Public Library
Underlying Work: PD Worldwide | Digital Copy: Pending Clarification
Download: Right click on image or see source for higher res versions






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