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cuted to the sound of the fute all the proper movements either for attack or defence. It was composed of four parts: the first, the podism, or footing, which consisted in a quick shifting motion of the feet, such as was necessary for overtaking a flying enemy, or for getting away from him when an overmatch. The second part was the xiphism : this was a kind of mock fight, in which the dancers imitated all the motions of combatants ; aiming a stroke, darting a javelin, or dexterously dodging, parrying, or avoiding a blow or thrust. The third part, called the homos, consisted in very high leaps, or vaultings, which the dancers frequently repeated, for the better using themselves occasionally to leap a ditch, or spring over a wall. The tetracomos, the fourth and last part, was a square figure, executed by slow and majestic movements ; but it is uncertain whether this was every where performed in the same manner.
Of all the Greeks the Spartans were those who most cul. tivated the Pyrrhic dance. This warlike people exercised their children, at it from the age of five years to the accompaniment of hymns and songs. The following was sung at the dance called Trichoria, from its being composed of three choirs-one of children, another of young men, and the third of old. The latter opened the dance, saying, “In time past' we were valiant." The young men answered, 5. We are so at present." To which the chorus of children replied, “We shall be still more so when our time comes.” The Spartans never danced but with real arms. eess of time, however, other nations came to use weapons of wood on such occasions. Nay, it was only so late as the time of Athenæus,'who lived in the second centúry, that the dancers of the Pyrrhic, instead of arms, carried only flasks, ivy-bound wands, or reeds. But even - in Aristotle's time they had begun to use thyrsuses instead of pikes, and lighted torches 'instead of javelins and swords, with which they executed a dance denominated the conAagration of the world. A remnant of this military exercise, called the sword-dance, was currently performed by some of the minstrel troops, and has been occasionally presented in England by vagrant morris-dancers to a still later periode
Tacitus thus describes a species of sword-dance among the ancient Germans :. “One public diversion was cona stantly exhibited at all their meetings :-young men, whą
by frequent exercise have attained to great perfection in that pastime, strip themselves, and dance among the points of swords and spears with most wonderful agility, and even with the most elegant and graceful motions. They do not perform this dance for hire, but for the entertainment of the spectators, esteeming their applause-a sufficient, reward." Mr. Brand tells us, that he has seen this dance frequently performed in the north of England, about Christmas time, with little or no variation from the ancient method.
Of the Grecian dances for amusement and recreation some were but simple gambols or sportive exercises, which had no character of imitation, and of which the greater part exist to this day. The others were more complex, more agreeable, figured, and were always accompanied with singing. Of this
character was that called the wine-press, of which there is a description in Longinus, and the Ionian dances. These last in their original institution were decent and modest ; but in time their movements came to be so depraved as to be employed in expressing nothing but the most indecorous voluptuousness.
Among the ancients there were no festivals nor religious ceremonies which were not accompanied with songs and dances. It was not held possible to celebrate any mystery, or to be initiated in any sacred institution, without the intervention of these two arts; which were considered so essential, that to express the crime of such as were guilty of revealing the mysteries they employed the word kħeista "to be out of the dance." The most ancient of these religious dằnces is the Bacchic, which was not only consecrated to Bacchus, but to all those deities whose festival was celebrated with any kind of enthusiasm. On his return from Crete, Theseus instituted a dance, at which he himself assisted at the head of a numerous and splendid band of youths, round the altar of Apollo. It was composed of three parts--the strophe, the antistrophe, and the stationary. In the strophe the movements were from right to left; in the antistrophe, from the left to the right; in the stationary, which did not mean an absolute pause or rest, but only a more grave and slow movement, they danced before the aktar. Plutarch is persuaded that in this dance there is a profound mystery. Theseus gave it the name of geranos, or " the crane," because the figures which charac
terized it bore a resemblance to those described by cranes in their flight.
In the elaborate eulogium which Luciau has left us, it appears that the pantomimic powers of the ancients were equal to the representation of any of their mythological fables; and that they succeeded in expressing by gesture alone all those inflections of the passions, of which we find the enunciation so difficult with the help of those organs that seem to have been expressly provided us for that purpose by nature. He gives a decided preference to this dumb show over both tragedy and comedy, with all their vocal powers ; and even insists that the actors in the scenes he describes must have been endowed with every elegant accomplishment and amiable virtue.
From Greece these dances with different modifications found their way across the Adriatic. Rome adopted her manners, her arts, and her vices;--thence they were dispersed over the rest of Europe. In the reign of Augustus two very extraordinary men made their appearance, who invented a new species of entertainment, which they car. ried to an astonishing degree of perfection. Nothing was then talked of but the wonderful talents and amazing performances of Pylades and Bathyllus, who were the first to introduce what the French call the ballet d'action; wherein the performer is both actor and dancer.
Pylades undertook the hard task of representing, with the assistance of the dance alone, strong and pathetic situations, and may be called the father of that style of dancing which is known to us by the name of grave or serious pantomime. Bathyllus represented such subjects as required a certain liveliness and agility. Nature had been excessively partial to these two men, who were endowed with genius and all the exterior charms that could captivate the eye; and who by their study and application displayed to the greatest advantage all the resources that the art of dancing could supply. These, like two phenomena, disappeared, and never did the world see their like again. Government withdrew their protection, the art gradually sank into obscurity, and became even entirely forgotten on the accession of Trajan to the empire.
Thus, buried with the other arts in entire oblivion, dancng remained uncultivated till about the fifteenth century,
when ballets were revived in Italy at a magnificent entera tainment given by a nobleman of Tortona, on account of the marriage between Galeas, Duke of Milan, and Isabella of Arragon. Every resource that poetry, dancing, music, and machinery could supply was exhausted on the occasion. The description given of so superb an entertainment excited the admiration of all Europe, and the emulation of several men of genius, who, improving upon the hint given them, introduced among their countrymen a kind of spectacle equally pleasing and novel.
It would seem, however, that at first the women had no share in the public or theatrical dance ; at least we do not find them mentioned in the various entertainments given at the opera at Paris, till the 21st of January, 1681, when the then dauphiness, the Princess de Conti, and some other ladies of the first distinction in the court of Louis XIV., performed a ballet with the opera, called Le Triomphe de I'Amour. This union of the two sexes seemed to enliven and render the spectacle more pleasing and brilliant than it had ever been before. It was received with so much applause, that on the 16th of May following, when the same opera was acted in Paris, at the theatre of the Palais Royal, it was thought indispensable for the success of that kind of entertainment + troduce female dancers, who have ever since continued ! vé the principal support of the opera.
Dancing subsequently continued to encroach upon the sister arts of poetry and music, until it came to be cons sidered by many, particularly at Paris, as the paramount attraction. To the monotony and tiresome length of the recitatives may be chiefly attributed the disfavour into which music had fallen. A wit, being one day asked what could be done to restore the waning taste for the opera, replied, that they should lengthen the dances and shorten the petticoats. In the first instance music supplanted poetry, and dancing now superseded both ; usurping a pre-eminence which several distinguished ballet-masters contributed to maintain. The art, however, of composing those grand dances which are now so much admired, was for many years in a state of infancy, till Monsieur Noverre gave it a degree of perfection which it seems impossible to exceed. In an elaborate book upon the subject, this celes brated ballet-master and performer has with great eloquence
and ingenuity delineated the nature, objects, and powers of dancing, and shown how much it may be ennobled by an acquaintance with the kindred arts.
Ballets, he observes, have hitherto been only faint sketches of what they may one day become ; for, as they constitute an art entirely subservient to taste and genius, they may receive daily variation and improvements. History, painting, mythology, poetry, all join to raise it from that obscurity in which it is buried, and it is only surprising that composers have hitherto disdained so many valuable accessories and resources. “ If ballets, therefore," says he, "are for the most part uninteresting and uniformly dull; if they fail in the characteristic expression which constitutes their essence; the defect does not originate from the art itself, but should be ascribed to the artist. Are then the latter yet to leam that dancing is an imitative art? I am indeed inclined to think that they know it not, since we daily see them sacrifice the beauties of the dance, and give up the graceful naïveté of sentiment to become the servile copyists of a certain number of figures known and hackneyed for above a century.
“ Ballet-masters should consult the productions of the most eminent painters. This would bring them nearer to nature, and induce them to avoid, as often as possible, that formality of figures which by repeating the object presents two different pictures on one and the same canvass. Such figures must give way to nature in what we call ballets d'aclion. An instance may serve to support and elucidate my argument.
“ At the sudden and unexpected appearance of some young fauns, a troop of nymphs take themselves to flight with equal terror and precipitation. The former are in pursuit of the latter, with that eagerness which the very hope of pleasure can inspire. Now they stop to observe what impression they have made on the nymphs; these, at the same time, and for a similar reason, check their career : with fear they survey their pursuers, and endeavour to guess at their intentions and provide for a retreat to some spot where they may rest secure from the dangers that threaten them. Both troops now join, the nymphs resist, defend themselves, and at last effect their escape with no less swiftness than dexterity.
• This I call a busy active scene, in which the dance, as