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(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 ?
Au menu du divertissement, le festival Marrakech du rire viendra etoffer la grille de programmation.
At one time or another Wesley adapts nearly all of them to his own ends: the fetes galantes and pastorales, the seasonal allegories and Arcadian landscapes, the Ovidian metamorphoses, historical anecdotes, and sporting scenes, the orientales, chinoiseries, odalisques, and divertissements (i.
Shimada, who has been touted in the New York Times as "one of the major new Japanese voices," works hard to make this storyline, by turns threadbare and self-consciously quirky, more than a divertissement enlivened by New Age-ish excursions into the paranormal (Matthew's guardian spirit is able to visit other people's dreams), forays down Tokyo's meaner streets (including encounters with street gangs and visits to gay bars and sex hotels), and glimpses into the disaffected lives of the young that seem cribbed from Brett Easton Ellis.
Ce sont des activites de formation et de divertissement visant a enseigner les langues etrangeres aux jeunes marocains de 13 a 17 ans dans un cadre de detente et de divertissement en parallele avec le programme d'enseignement academique.
Diverses operations ont ete retenues pour l'amenagement d'espaces de loisirs et de divertissement dans dix-sept quartiers de la commune d'Adrar, a-t-on appris hier aupres de cette collectivite locale.
The San Francisco Ballet's Nutcracker has a Chinese divertissement that represents a dragon from Chinatown, which is culturally specific but more importantly, not demeaning.
Pres de 3 millions de personnes travaillent dans ce secteur de facon directe, alors que l'on recense plus de 7 millions de travailleurs indirects, comme dans les domaines de plongee, du tourisme therapeutique et du tourisme de divertissement.
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.
Balanchine featured her in La Valse (1951) and Swan Lake (1951), and as the Spanish divertissement in The Nutcracker (1954).
No fault of Voigt's that the dance emerged no sillier than it always does; the composer's greatest dramatic mistake was to burden his soprano with what is, in effect, a balletic divertissement.
Une societe qui n'arrive pas a trouver les moyens de divertissement pour fuir cette monotonie.
Similarly, director Richard Seyd's production offers a pleasant summer divertissement with no particular edge - a wine cooler instead of a full head of champagne.