Online Encyclopedia

JEAN GEORGES NOVERRE (1727-1810)

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Originally appearing in Volume V19, Page 839 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JEAN GEORGES NOVERRE (1727-1810), French dancer and ballet master, was born in Paris on the 29th of March 1727. He first performed at Fontainebleau in 1943, and in 1747 composed his first ballet for the Opera Comique. In 1748 he was invited by Prince Henry of Prussia to Berlin, but a year later he returned to Paris, where he mounted the ballets of Gluck and Piccini. In 1755 he was invited by Garrick to London, where he remained two years. Between 1758 and 176o he produced several ballets at Lyons, and published his Lellres sus la danse et les ballets. From this period may be dated the revolution in the art of the ballet for which Noverre was responsible. (See PANTOMIME and BALLET.) He was next engaged by the duke of Wurttemburg, and afterwards by the empress Maria Theresa, until, in 1775. he was appointed, at the request of Queen Marie Antoinette, manse des ballets of the Paris Opera. This post he retained until the Revolution reduced him to poverty. He died at St Germain on the 19th of November 1810. Noverre's friends included Voltaire, Frederick the Great and David Garrick (who called him " the Shakespeare of the dance "). The ballets of which he was most proud were his La Toilette de Venus, Les Jalousies du serail, L'Antour corsaire and Le Jaloux sans rival. Besides the letters, Noverre wrote Observations sur la construction dune nouvelle salle de l'Opera 0780; Lettres sur Garrick ecrites a Voltaire (1801); and Lettre a un artiste sur les fetes publiques (18oi).
End of Article: JEAN GEORGES NOVERRE (1727-1810)
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