From Ballroom to Theatre: Venues for Dancing at the French Court (1581-1671)

The paper aims to show how the various changes undergone by the dancing space at the French court in the seventeenth century (the replacement of the 'salle de bal' by the 'salle de spectacle', the transformations of the stage and the introduction of perspective scenery, the new sitting arrangements in the auditorium and the resulting spatial displacement of the audience), all point in the same direction: the increasing manipulation of court spectacle by the French monarchy and its desire to turn the architecture and the layout of the hall or theatre into an image of the political order it hoped to establish.

Marie-Claude Canova-Green
Author affiliation
Goldsmith’s College, University of London