“Le Ballet du Temps” (1654) is the first official Court work of the kind composed by Jean-Baptiste Lully. It was performed for the first time on 3rd December 1654 in the Louvre. Besides His Majesty, it was mostly danced by professional dancers. Nevertheless a list of courtiers participated in it looks very curious: Monsieur (Philippe d’Orléans, Louis XIV’s brother), Victor de Rochechouart Duc de Vivonne (Madame de Montespan’s brother & a devoted friend of the king), Armand de Gramont, Comte de Guiche (an intrigant, but a great warrior in the future), Marquis de Villeroy (another great warrior & a great friend of the king).
The plot is rather simple dedicated to the Essence of Time, Seasons, Ages, Astrology, Past & Future. The structure was divided in accordance with ages of its participants. For example, little boys danced minutes, the youth hours & weeks, while older ones did years & century. The logical expection was made for Louis XIV. He performed the Golden Age. It is a very curious philosophical vision of reality Jean-Baptiste Lully managed to express in dancing as well as an interesting interpretation of history which might not be only told by danced & sung.
Vive le Roy! 🙂