The Grotesque Dancer on the Eighteenth-Century Stage: Gennaro Magri and His Worldby Rebecca Harris-Warrick
Pub. Date: 11/15/2004
Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
Italian ballet in the eighteenth century was dominated by dancers trained in the style known as "grotesque"—a virtuoso style that combined French ballet technique with a vigorous athleticism that made Italian dancers in demand all over Europe. Gennaro Magri’s Trattato teorico-prattico di ballo, the only work from the eighteenth century that explains the practices of midcentury Italian theatrical dancing, is a starting point for investigating this influential type of ballet and its connections to the operatic and theatrical genres of its day.
The Grotesque Dancer on the Eighteenth-Century Stage examines the theatrical world of the ballerino grottesco, Magri’s own career as a dancer in Italy and Vienna, the genre of pantomime ballet as it was practiced by Magri and his colleagues across Europe, the relationships between dance and pantomime in this type of work, the music used to accompany pantomime ballets, and the movement vocabulary of the grotesque dancer. Appendices contain scenarios from eighteenth-century pantomime ballets, including several of Magri’s own devising; an index to the step-vocabulary discussed in Magri’s book; and an index of dancers in Italy known to have performed as grotteschi. Illustrations, music examples, and dance notations also supplement the text.
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