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Noverre à l’Opéra-Comique : nouvelles perspectives et découvertes (1743-1756)

Jean-Georges Noverre (1727-1810), un artiste européen au siècle des Lumières
Bertrand Porot
Université de Reims
The documents collected here are an opportunity to consider the Noverre’s career with a new eye. As a matter of fact, it is now certain that he danced during the 1743 and 1744 seasons at the Opéra Comique. His debuts in Paris as a dancer, at the age of 16, just before he went to Berlin, drew the attention of both the public and the critics. It is now attested by documents and testimonies of the time that it was in the autumn of 1744.

Concerning his career as a choreographer, we know that his return to the Opéra Comique was a great success. From July 1754 to February 1756, he performed six creations and three revivals within one and a half years, including the real triumph of Les Fêtes chinoises (1754). The Opéra Comique also had an influence on Noverre’s art, particularly thanks to the “ballet pantomime”, which was very common on that scene. The the Opéra Comique thus appeared to Noverre as a place where he was trained as well as a place where his art matured.