Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.



(also, divertimento).

In the theater during the 17th and 18th centuries, a divertissement was an inserted or concluding part of a dramatic production (sometimes of an opera or ballet), consisting of singing, dancing, brief comic scenes, parodies, and other numbers amusing in nature. A divertissement usually is unrelated to the plot of the main presentation. During the 1870’s the divertissement became an independent part of the concert program of vaudeville theaters and balagan (traveling) shows. Use of the divertissement in Russian ballet became widespread after the Fatherland War of 1812, when it was transformed into a unique type of ballet presentation with patriotic and nationalistic subject matter.

In music the divertissement is a type of light popular music. The term designates an instrumental work which serves primarily as an amusing diversion. Divertissements consist of several sections (usually from four to ten) and are arranged for various instrumental groups (ranging from one instrument to a chamber ensemble or an orchestra). They combine elements of the suite and the sonata and resemble a serenade because of their extensive use of dance genres. They are also related to the cassation and the nocturne. Examples of divertissements can be found in the works of Haydn and Mozart.

During the 19th century, divertissements were converted into a genre of salon music similar to a medley. There are a few exceptions, for example, Hungarian Divertissement by Schubert, written for two pianos. During the 20th century the divertissement has taken the form of a suite consisting of short ballets (for example, the divertissement from Stravinsky’s ballet Le Baiser de la fee). Occasionally works are composed that are stylizations of the 18th-century divertissement (Bartók’s Divertimento for Strings).

References in periodicals archive ?
On pourrait presque soutenir qu'il l'est par accident : dans la machinerie industrielle du divertissement se glissent des gestes artistiques inedits, des deplacements inventifs du cadrage, une souplesse inconnue du montage, une tension singuliere des dialogues, un jeu frappant des acteurs, une captation elargie du decor et des lumieres .
Though the painstakingly rebuilt Globe may strike an uncomfortably Disney-esque chord, the conversion of Giles Gilbert Scott's looming power station into an ascetic repository for modern art demonstrates both the surprising lure of high culture as a metropolitan divertissement and, equally importantly, the fascination of the physical--the building's heroic scale, the see-and-be-seen promenading spaces and the stimulating panoramas of the city.
Because John Wesley, when he wants to be, is really sexy--as sexy as a Tijuana Bible or a Boucher divertissement.
Since then, the perception of the court dramas as mere royal divertissement and insubstantial extravaganza has been gradually corrected by the studies of Sebastian Neumeister, Mythos und Reprasentation (1978), Robert terHorst, Calderon: The Secular Plays (1982), and Thomas A.
Le premier est celui d'un divertissement dans le domaine du tourisme et du loisir.
Ces sejours de vacances devront permettre aux enfants, en plus de profiter de la mer, d'apprecier la beaute des sites naturels et touristiques des regions ou il sejourneront et de jouir de moments de jeu, de divertissement et de decouverte.
Hachimi Idrissi a affirme que cette colonie de vacances, qui en est a sa premiere edition, s'assigne pour objectif de contribuer a l'epanouissement de ces enfants et a l'eclosion de leurs talents, en leur offrant l'opportunite d'exprimer leurs aspirations, avec a l'appui un savant dosage entre l'utile et l'agreable, l'education et le divertissement.
La region des chutes d'eau figure parmi les regions favorables aux divers jeux maritimes, a l'equitation, et aux activites touristiques et de divertissement.
Jean Rigby will sing the aria Softly Awakes My Heart from Saint-Saens' opera Samson and Delilah while Mr Dunk will direct members of the reunion in a performance of Ibert's Divertissement.
They gave a supple account of Roussel's Divertissement (a piece well worth catching), instruments interchanging ideas with such finesse; persuasively committed readings of Poulenc's Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano and his magnificent Sextet, fully alert to this loveable composer's trademark of streetwise melancholy; and an uproarious response to the sleazy irony of L'Heure du Berger by Jean Francaix (the title translates, not as you might think, but as 'Happy Hour')
She balanced Shafajinskaia well in their opening duet, sang her "Podrugi miliye" song warmly and went on to make a strong impression in the Act II divertissement.
After the divertissement, guests dined on salmon, prawns and caviar, danced to the music of the Art Deco Band and bid on a number of French luxuries, including a black poodle puppy that was auctioned off for $3,000.