The Ludus pastoralis, a Jesuit school ballet (1734)
Ludus pastoralis (Paris: F-Pn, VM6-14) is a beautifully produced manuscript description of a Jesuit school ballet, dated 1734, containing text, music (both instrumental and vocal), and dance in Beauchamps-Feuillet notation. The students performing the Ludus were expected to demonstrate a comprehensive education in theatre, dance, and music.
The six choreographic scores in the Ludus, choreographed for one to eight dancers, represent different dance types. They are representative of the belle danse style in at least one respect: their symmetrical figures. However, in spite of the different types, all six dances employ the same restricted step vocabulary. Furthermore, some of these steps seem unique, and there appears to be some irregularity in the dance-music relation.
This work will be examined in two ways: score analysis, and demonstration of one particular section. Its choreographic language can be elucidated from alternative yet complementary perspectives: adaptation to the pedagog