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Noverre, jeune danseur au Collège Louis-le-Grand (1741-1742)

Jean-Georges Noverre (1727-1810), un artiste européen au siècle des Lumières
Marie Demeilliez
Université Paris IV-Sorbonne
In 1741 and 1742, the name of Noverre appeared on the programmes printed for the annual ballets of the Parisian Jesuit College. These programmes are the oldest sources known about Noverre’s activities as a young professional and give us information on the choreographic practice he experienced before he joined the Opéra-Comique. On the occasion of this grand ballet, danced every August as part of the ceremony marking the end of the school-year, the College Louis-le-Grand gathered professional dancers from the different Parisian Ballets (Académie Royale de Musique, Comédie Italienne, Opéra-Comique) and integrated in its performances the numerous practices of the mid-eighteenth century. Thanks to these ballets, the young Noverre could meet on the Jesuit stage the greatest dancers of his time and the children of important aristocratic families. He also was made sensitive to the different styles of dancing – the belle danse, the danse haute (for the characters of Furies and Parques), the grotesque dance – as well as to such choreographic novelties as theatrical dance and pantomimes.