Jean-Georges Noverre (1727-1810), un artiste européen au siècle des Lumières
Université Paris-Sorbonne, IUFM
This paper focuses on a little known period of Noverre’s professional life, that of his beginnings as a dancer, dancing master and choreographer, notably in Lyon. Archival documents shed light on the creative context of his ballets at the Lyon Royal Academy of Music and make for a better understanding of the effect they had on their public and the reception they met in a town often described as conservative. We will first summarize what is known of his first seasons at the Royal Academy of Music (1749-1752) ; we will then specify why and how he spent a second period in Lyon from 1757 to 1760 collaborating with François Granier in the Ballet d’action; finally, we will evoke the posterity of these Lyon productions (for example, The Chinese Ballet). Our better knowledge of Noverre’s professional life from 1750 to 1760 helps explain his choice of Lyon (Aime Delaroche, 1759) and Stuttgart for the publication of his first theoretical treatise, as well as his place in the history of dance through his famous Letters that were translated into foreign languages from 1769 onwards.