Author Rameau, Pierre
Title Le Maître à Danser
Publishing Location Paris
Year 1725
Publisher Jean Villette
Edition I
Number of Pages in-8, 24 + 271
Publishing Country FRA
Publishing Language FRE
Notes

COMPLETE TITLE: Le Maître à Danser. Qui enseigne la maniere de faire tous les differens pas de Danse dans toute la regularité de l'Art, et de conduire les Bras à chaque pas. Enrichi de Figures en Taille-douce, servant de démonstration pour tous les differens mouvemens qu'il convient faire dans cet exercice. Ouvrage très-utile non-seulement à la Jeunesse qui veut apprendre à bien danser, mais encore aux personnes honnêtes et polies, et qui leur donne des regles pour bien marcher, saluer et faire les reverences convenables dans toutes sortes de compagnies. Par le Sieur Rameau, Maître à danser des Pages de Sa Majesté Catholique la Reine d'Espagne.
Online text: INTERNET ARCHIVE

The treatise is one of the most important sources for the study and reconstruction of eighteenth-century dancing techniques. For the first time, we find a description of the five fundamental positions of academic dance (whose invention is attributed to Beauchamp by Rameau, though it is more likely that he was simply the first one to codify them). The first part of the work deals with the correct posture, the appropriate way of walking, the five base positions of the feet, the curtsies, the ceremonial observed in the "gran Bal du Roi", describing many steps such as the demi-coupé, the chassé, the pirouettes, and dedicating considerable attention (five chapters and numerous illustrations) to the description of the minuet, its music, its steps, and its etiquette. The second part is entirely dedicated to the use of the arms.

LATER EDITIONS:
The text was re-edited in 1734 (Paris, s.n.) and 1748 (Paris, Rollin Fils).
Online text (1748 edition): Library of Congress  

RECENT EDITIONS:
Reprint of the first edition: New York, Broude Brothers, 1967 (Monuments of music and music literature in facsimile. Ser. 2, Music literature; 45).

Reprint of the edition of 1748: Genève, Minkoff, c.2000.

CIRCULATION AND TRANSLATIONS:
Rameau's work was translated into English by John Essex in 1728 with the title The Dancing-Master: Or, The Art of Dancing Explained. Wherein the Manner of Performing all Steps in Ball Dancing is made easy by a new and familiar Method (see).
Online text: Library of Congress - Baroque Dance 

A more recent translation, also in English, is the one by Cyril Beaumont: The Dancing Master, by Pierre Rameau; translated by Cyril W. Beaumont from the original edition published at Paris, 1725, and embellished with 57 plates, London, C. W. Beaumont, 1931 (see).

The treatise Arte de danzar a la francesa (1758) (see) by the Spaniard Pablo Minguet e Irol includes sections of Rameau's work as well as section from Chorégraphie by Raoul-Auger Feuillet (see), dances choreographed by Pecour and a section, dated 1764, that describe steps of Spanish dances.

In 1767, the Portoguese dancing master Natal Jacome Bonem published Tratado dos principaes fundamentos da dança (see), based on the work by Rameau, Feuillet and Pecour.

The most recent Spanish translation is: El maestro de danza, Managua, Editorial Nueva Nicaragua, 1984 (see).

File pdf Le maitre à danser - 1725

 

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