Comédie-Ballet

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Comédie-Ballet

 

a theatrical genre combining dialogue, dance, pantomime, instrumental and sometimes vocal music, and the fine arts (scenery, costumes). Created by Molière, it was characteristic of the French theater of the mid-17th century. Together with the composers J. B. Lully and M.-A. Charpen-tier, the balletmaster P. Beauchamp, and the set designer G. Vigarani, Molière staged his own comédies-ballets, including Les Fâcheux (1661), Le Manage forcé (1664), La Princesse d’Elide (1664), George Dandin (1668), Monsieur de Pourceaugnac (1668), Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme (1670), Les Amants magnifiques (1670), and Le Malade imaginaire (1673). The comédie-ballet exerted a considerable influence on the subsequent development of the French musical theater.

REFERENCES

Gvozdev, A. A. “Operno-baletnye postanovki vo Frantsii XVI-XVII vv.” In the collection Ocherkipo istorii evropeiskogo teatra. Petrograd, 1923.
La Laurencie, L. de. Frantsuzskaia komicheskaia opera 18 veka. Moscow, 1937. (Translated from French.)
Tiersot, J. La Musique dans la comédie de Molière. Paris, 1922.
References in periodicals archive ?
Another chapter, on Moliere's comedie-ballet George Dandin, ou le Mari Confondu and Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, is similarly enlightening about the invention of musical comedy that shaped these plays.
This renewed favor is certainly related to the greater interest given to the comedie-ballet in general by recent scholars (Claude Abraham, Stephen Fleck and Charles Mazouer, among others) and performers, as part of a growing recognition of the role played by the baroque in the culture of the grand siecle.
In that view, this quintessential comedie-ballet ends, "thanks to the marvelous powers of theatrical illusion," with a euphoric "reunifi[cation]" of the arts (Tobin 244), led by the "the triumph of ballet" (McBride 127) towards an improbable symphonic dance ("Le Ballet des nations") that also unites divergent social classes and competing national cultures.
In addition, her background allowed Smith to think critically about the artistic challenges Moliere would have faced in working within the comedie-ballet form, which intermingled full-length plays with interludes of dance and music.
Powell moves from theoretical to musical analysis in "Le Bourgeois gentilhomme: Moliere and Music," whereas Julia Prest, in "Medicine and Entertainment in Le Malade imaginaire," convincingly claims that the comedy's medical ceremony is less a satire on doctors than it is "a reminder of the therapeutic properties of theatre and specifically of Moliere's comedie-ballet genre" (146).