Contrary to popular belief, ballet didn’t always involve tutus, ballet slippers and pointe work. In fact, there’s a huge disparity between what ballet was originally and what it is to modern audiences today.
Ballet originated in the courts of the Italian Renaissance during the 15th and 16th centuries. With time it was developed further in France, Hungary, Austria and Russia as a dance form for concerts.
Among the many ballet dancers that helped spread the art form worldwide was Anna Pavlova. To this day, she is regarded by many as the best ballerina of all time.
It wasn’t until the 1930s that ballet grew in popularity in the United States with the founding of the New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and later in the mid-1950s, Joffrey Ballet Company.
In The Above Photo: Louis XIV in Lully’s Ballet de la nuit (1653).