Author Noverre, Jean Georges
Title Lettres sur la Danse, et sur les Ballets
Publishing Location Lyon
Year 1760
Publisher Aimé Delaroche
Edition I
Number of Pages in-8, 484
Publishing Country FRA
Publishing Language FRE
Notes COMPLETE TITLE: Lettres sur la Danse, et sur les Ballets, par M. Noverre, Maître des Ballets de Son Altesse Sérénissime Monseigneur le Duc de Wurtemberg, & ci-devant des Théâtres de Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Londres, &c.. Online text: GALLICA - GOOGLE BOOKS - INTERNET ARCHIVE The "Privilège" is dated December 21, 1759. The volume is dedicated to Karl Eugen von Württemberg and includes 15 letters. There is an edition of the text, always dated 1760 but without "Privilège" and "Approbation", that  bears on the title page: "A Stutgard, et se vend a Lyon, Chez Aimé Delaroche". LATER EDITIONS: In  1766, Théorie et pratique de la Danse simple et composée, de l'Art des Ballets, de la Musique, du Costume et des Décorations, par Mr Noverre Directeur de la Danse et Me des Ballets de S.A.S. le Duc regnant de Württemberg was published, the first of a collection of 11 manuscript volumes containing a summarized version of the treatise dated November 10, 1766 (see). The manuscript, which Noverre presented to Stanislav II Augustus, King of Poland, in the hope of securing employment, is now conserved at the University of Warsaw Library. Reprint of the first edition: Lettres sur la Danse, et sur les Ballets, par M. Noverre, Maître des Ballets de Son Altesse Sérénissime Monseigneur le Duc de Würtemberg, & ci-devant des théâtres de Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Londres, &c., Vienne, Jean-Thomas de Trattnern, 1767, in-8, 444 pp. Second edition: Lettres sur la Danse et sur les Ballets. Par M. Noverre, Pensionnaire du Roi, & Maître des Ballets de l'Empereur, Londres et Paris, Chez la Veuve Dessain junior, 1783, in-8, 368 pp. In Paris the work is dedicated to Monsieur Amelot, Ministre au Département de Paris. In London the work is dedicated to the Prince of Wales. The Works of Monsieur Noverre, Translated from the French, London, G. Robinson, [1782] 1783, 3 vols. (see). Vol. 1-2: An Essay on the Art of Dancing; Vol. 3: The Danaides, or the Daughters of Danaus; Rinaldo and Armida; Adela of Ponthieu; The Graces; The Horatii abd Curiatii; Agamemnon revenged; Apelles and Campaspe, or the Self-Conquest of Alexander; The Amours of Venus, or Vulcan's Revenge; Alceste, or the Triumph of Conjugal Love. The first volume includes three letters from Voltaire to Noverre dated 1763, 1764 and 1772. Lettres sur la Danse, sur les Ballets et les Arts par M. Noverre, Ancien Maitre de Ballets en Chef de la Cour de Vienne et de l'Opéra de Paris, St. Petersbourg, Chez Jean Charles Schnoor, 1803-1804 (4 tomes in 2 volumes) (see). Online text: GOOGLE BOOKS: T. I - T. II - T. III - T. IV - INTERNET ARCHIVE: T. I - T. II - T. III - T. IV Joseph Marie Quérard (La France littéraire, ou Dictionnaire bibliographique des savants, historiens, et gens de lettres de la France, &c., Paris, Firmin Didot père et Fils, 1827-1839, tome VI, pp. 461-462) mentions an edition in 4 volumes of the Lettres  published by Bonnier in Copenhagen in 1803. Lettres sur les Arts imitateurs en général, et sur la Danse en particulier, dédiées à Sa Majesté L'Impératrice des Français et Reine d'Italie. Par J.-G. Noverre, Ancien Maître des Ballets en chef de l'Académie Impériale de Musique, ci-devant Chevalier de l'Ordre du Christ. Ornées du Portrait de l'Auteur, Paris, Chez Léopold Collin; La Haie, Chez Immerzeel et Compagnie, 1807, 2 vols. (vol. I: 30 letters, 468 pp.; vol. II: 24 letters, Programmes of 10 ballets, 520 pp.) (see). Online text: GALLICA: Vol. I - Vol. II - GOOGLE BOOKS: Vol. I - Vol. II Also to be mentioned are: - Recueil de programmes de ballets de M. Noverre, maître des ballets de la Cour Impériale et Royale, Vienne, chez Joseph Kurzböck, 1776. Collection of 13 Programmes (libretti) of ballets: Les Horaces et les Curiaces; Les Grâces; Agamemnon; Iphigénie; Adélaïde de Ponthieu; Alexandre et Campaspe; Acis et Galathée; Eutyme et Eucharis; La Rosière de Salency; Les Amours de Vénus; La mort de Licomède; Hypermnestre; Médée et Jason. - Vie de David Garrick, suivie de deux Lettres de M. Noverre à Voltaire sur ce célèbre acteur, et de l'Histoire abrégée du théâtre anglais, depuis son origine jusqu'à la fin du XVIIIe siècle, Paris, chez Riche et Michel, de l'imprimerie de H. L. Perronneau, An IX [1800-1801] (see). Includes the two letters on Garrick written by Noverre to Voltaire (pp. 125-176) and the letters written by Voltaire to Noverre (11 octobre 1763, pp. 177-178; 26 avril 1764, pp. 179-180; 2 avril 1765, pp. 181-182). Online text: GALLICA - GOOGLE BOOKS RECENT EDITIONS: Lettres sur la danse et sur les ballets. Précédées d'une vie de l'auteur, par André Levinson, Paris, Éditions de la Tourelle, 1927. Includes the 15 letters of 1760. In the same year the text was published also by Duchartre & Van Buggenhoudt in Paris.  Lettres sur la danse et les arts imitateurs, Paris, Lieutier, 1952. Reprint in facsimile: Paris, Librairie théâtrale, 1977. Includes 35 letters selected by Fernand Divoire from the 1760, 1803-1804 and 1807 edition, re-organized according to his personal criterion. In the Appendix a Notice biographique and the Programme (libretto) of the ballet Médée. Reprints of the 1760 edition: - New York, Broude Brothers, 1967. (Facsimile) Online text: HATHI TRUST - Clermont-Ferrand, Paleo, 2009, 2 vols. (Facsimile) Lettres sur la danse. Présentation de Maurice Béjart, Paris, Ramsay, 1978. Reprint: Paris, Édition du Sandre, 2006. Includes the 15 letters of 1760. CRITICAL EDITIONS: Lettres sur la Danse, sur les Ballets et les Arts (1803), edited by Flavia Pappacena, Lucca, LIM, 2012. Includes the 35 letters contained in volume I (tomes I and II) of the St. Petersbourg edition (1803). CIRCULATION AND TRANSLATIONS: Since its publication, the work was treated as a manifesto for a reform of the ballet. The aesthetic principles and methods of composition set out therein spread throughout Europe from as early as the end of the 1750s and constituted the basis for ballet at the Opéra of Paris in the years of the French Revolution and in the Romantic era. Excerpts from the Lettres of 1760 were included in the section Danse  in volume 126 of the métodique edition of Diderot and d'Alembert's Encyclopédie, published in 1786. From 1762 and throughout the nineteenth century, all works on dancing contain more or less explicit referenes to Noverre's text (Giovanni-Andrea Gallini, A Treatise on the Art of Dancing, London, Printed for the Author; and sold by R. and J. Dodsley; T. Becket; and W. Nicholl, 1762 (see); Gennaro Magri, Trattato teorico-prattico di ballo, Napoli, Vincenzo Orsino, 1779, 2 vols. (see)). Another book greatly indebted to the Lettres was Carlo Blasis's Traité élémentaire, théorique et pratique de l'Art de la danse (Milan, Chez Joseph Beati et Antoine Tenenti, 1820) (see), that became the stylistic and didactic model for nineteenth-century dance. Compared to the first edition of 1760 the editions of 1803-1804 and 1807 had less circulation. Unlike the 1760 edition, which represents the culmination of the first experimental phase of Noverre's activity, these new editions reflect Noverre's experience from 1760 to 1794 at the courts of Stuttgart, Vienna, Paris and London. The topics of 1760 are dealt with more extensively and supported by more in-depth analyses, with new observations on ancient pantomime, the art of the dancer-actor, choreographic composition, music, costume, anatomy and information on the various generations of ballet-dancers at the Opéra from 1740 to the Revolution. German: - Briefe über die Tanzkunst und über die Ballette, vom Herrn Noverre. Aus dem Französischen übersetzt, Hamburg und Bremen, Johann Hinrich Cramer, 1769 (see). Translation by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing and Johann Joachim Christoph Bode. Online text: Wolfenbütteler Digitalen Bibliothek - Auszug aus: Noverre's Briefen über die Tanzkunst, in Rudolph Voss (ed. by), Ueber den heutigen gesellschaftlichen Tanz und das Ballet, Weimar, Kühn, 1862 (see). Abridgment of the Lettres by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing and Johann Joachim Christoph Bode. Online text: GOOGLE BOOKS Italian: Lettere sopra la Danza e sopra li Balli di Monsieur Noverre, maestro di ballo di S.A. Serenissima il sigre. duca di Würtemberg e prima de teatri di Parigi, Lione, Marsiglia, Londra etc. Tradotte dal Sig. Domenico Rossi (Napoli, 1778, 3 vols.) (see). Unpublished translation, edited by Domenico Rossi. The manuscript is at the Cia Fornaroli Collection of the New York Public Library. Between 24 May and 16 July 1794 the first eight of the 16 letters translated by Rossi appeared in La Gazzetta Urbana Veneta (see Elena Ruffin, "La prima traduzione italiana delle Lettres di Noverre: Venezia 1794", La danza italiana, no. 1, 1998, 35-58). Lettere sulla Danza, sui Balletti e sulle Arti (1803), edited by Flavia Pappacena, translation by Alessandra Alberti, Lucca, LIM, 2011. Translation of the 35 letters contained in volume I (tomes I and II) of the St. Petersburg edition (1803) (see).  Also to be noted is an Italian translation of the 1760 edition of the Lettres with numerous cuts: Lettere sulla danza. Presentazione, traduzione e note di Alberto Testa, Roma, Di Giacomo, 1980. Russian: Pis'ma o tance i baletach, edited by J. Slonimskij, Leningrad, Akademia, 1927 (see). Includes the first 15 letters of the St. Petersburg edition (volume I, tome I, 1803) and the Programmes (librettos) of the ballets: Euthyme et Eucharis; La mort d'Agamemnon; Les Horaces; Médée; Psyché et l'Amour; Belton et Eliza. English: The Lettres, translated by Cyril W. Beaumont, were published in series in the journal Dancing Times and then collected in a single volume in 1930: Letters on Dancing and Ballets, by Jean Georges Noverre. Translated by Cyril W. Beaumont from the revised and enlarged edition published at St. Petersburg, 1803, London, C. W. Beaumont, 1930 (see). It is a translation of the 15 letters of the tome I of the St. Petersbourg edition (1803), complete with the preface. Spanish: - Cartas sobre la danza, Buenos Aires, Anaquel, 1945 (see). Translation by Pablo Palant. - Cartas sobre la danza y sobre los ballets; precedida por una biografia del autor por Andres Levinson, Buenos Aires, Centurion, 1946 (see). Edited by Susana Uriburu.  Portuguese: Cartas sobre a dança. Estudo, tradução e notas Marianna Monteiro, São Paulo, Editora da Universidade de São Paulo, 1998 (see). Also to be noted is a Serbian translation: Pisma o plesu i baletu, Beograd, Theatricon / Studio Lirica, 2011. Edited and translated by Dragoslav Ilic.
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