Ballet – (from the French word “balleto”, meaning “I dance”) is a form of performing art, the highest stage of choreography. The main means of expression are music and dance, which are connected by indestructible wires. The art of dance in ballet rises to the level of musical-stage performances.
Usually, ballet is based on a certain plot, dramatic idea, but there are also ballets without a plot. The ballet mainly uses classical and characteristic dances. But pantomime also plays an important role in this art form. Actors convey the feelings of the heroes, the essence of what is happening on stage with the help of pantomime. Elements of gymnastics and acrobatics are also widely used in modern ballet.
Ballet appeared in Italy during the Renaissance as part of musical performances – operas – as small dance episodes (16th century). The first ballet performance, combining music, words, dance and pantomime, “Chircheya” or “The Queen’s Funny Ballet” was staged by Italian choreographer Balthazari di Belcoyozo in 1581 at the palace of Catherine de ‘Medici. Since then, the genre of palace ballet began to develop in France. (masquerades, pastorals, dance divertisings and interludes). In the time of Louis XIV, the performances of the palace ballet reached a very high level, using stage effects that gave the performances a legendary character.
In the second half of the 17th century, theatrical genres such as comedy-ballet and opera-ballet emerged, in which more space was given to ballet and attempts were made to dramatize it.
Ballet became an independent form of performing art only in the second half of the 18th century, thanks to reforms carried out by French choreographer J.J. Nover. Inspired by the aesthetics of the French enlighteners, Nover called the music “a program that directs the movements of a dancer” by creating performances that open with artistic plastic images.
The next period of development and prosperity of the ballet coincides with the period of romanticism. In the 30s of the XVIII century, the French ballerina Camargo shortened her skirt, gave up high-heeled shoes and brought her innovations to dance. At the end of the 18th century, the ballet costume became even lighter, which greatly contributed to the development of dance techniques. Dancers try to climb on their toes, trying to make their dances more airy. As a result, the point is invented. For the first time, dancer Maria Talioni used the punch as a means of expression in dance. There are different types of ballet: classical, multi-act ballet, drama ballet, ballet without plot – ballet – symphony, mood ballet – miniature. According to the genre, ballet is divided into comedy, folklore and heroic ballets. The twentieth century brought new forms to ballet – jazz-ballet and modern ballet.
Although the history of ballet in Azerbaijan dates back to 1940 – the date of staging of Afrasiyab Badalbeyli’s ballet “Maiden Tower”, in fact, its embryos were laid in the early 20s. Thus, in 1923, a private ballet studio operated in Baku. It should be noted that the first ballerina of Azerbaijan Gamar Almaszadeh learned the secrets of ballet at this school.
In 1939, Afrasiyab Badalbeyli wrote a one-act ballet “Tarlan” for children on the occasion of the first graduation of the Baku School of Choreography, and a year later a ballet “Maiden Tower” specifically for Gamar Almaszade.
Later, the theater’s repertoire included “Gulshan” (1950, S. Hajibeyov), “Seven beauties” (1952, G. Garayev), “Lightning Roads” (1961, G. Garayev), “Legend of love” (1962, A. Malikov), Garaja girl ”(1965, E.Abbasov),“ A thousand and one nights ”(1979, Fikret Amirov),“ Babek ”(1986, Agshin Alizade),“ White and black ”(2000, Khayyam Mirzazade),“ Love and death ”( 2005, P. Bulbuloglu) and others. was enriched with works.