Rediscovering sources and remains for 18th-century dance performance by the means of virtual 3D interactive reality

During the 18th century, dance performance evolves from Court operas to new freer forms. Our purpose is to demonstrate how new technologies, as virtual 3D interactive reality, can help us to understand the spaces where performances were staged, and help dancers to restitute performances of these works. Archives, iconography, remains of decorations, all this scattered documentation asks for digital restitutions. We shall look how various spaces were provided at French court performances, as Voltaire’s La Princesse de Navarre in the Manège of Versailles, for the wedding in 1745, or the wider space provided by Gabriel's Grand Théâtre of Versailles for the wedding of Louis XVI in 1770. We shall further study two instances of sets for ballet-pantomime. The accurate manuscript of the stage-set provided for Orphée and Renaud et Armide in Stuttgart Opera in 1778, as well as Le Déserteur by Maximilien Gardel (1786 and ff.), for which we have a set of wings in Fontainebleau, several drawings by Pâris, and other unpublished technical informations provided by Archives at Paris Opera. With the help of this methodology, we hope to link academic studies of sources and practice by offering a new visualisation of spaces.

Dominique Lauvernier
Symposium Title: 
Dancing in the theatre of Europe in the long 18th century 2012
Author affiliation: 
Université de Caen, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris, Equipe HISTARA