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The King Who Invented Ballet: Louis XIV and the Noble Art of Dance

Film looking at how Louis XIV not only had a passion and talent for dance, but supported and promoted innovations that would lay the foundations for classical ballet to develop.

September 2015 marks the 300th anniversary of the death of King Louis XIV of France and this documentary looks at how Louis XIV not only had a personal passion and talent for dance, but supported and promoted key innovations, like the invention of dance notation and the founding of the world's first ballet school, that would lay the foundations for classical ballet to develop.

Presented by David Bintley, choreographer and director of the Birmingham Royal Ballet, the documentary charts how Louis encouraged the early evolution of ballet - from a male-dominated performance exclusive to the royal court to a professional artform for the public featuring the first female star ballerinas. The film also looks at the social context of dance during Louis XIV's reign, where ballets were used as propaganda and to be able to dance was an essential skill that anyone noble had to have.

As well as specially-shot baroque dance sequences and groundbreaking recreations of 17th-century music, it also follows Bintley as he creates an exciting new one-act ballet inspired by Louis XIV.

1 hour

Last on

Thu 17 Sep 2015 02:00

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • Marc‐Antoine Charpentier

    Plenu Sunt Coeli Et Terra

    Performer: Choir of King’s College, Cambridge. Conductor: Philip Ledger. Performer: Orchestra of St Martin in the Fields.
    • EMI Classics.
  • James Michael Kerr

    Out of the Black

    Performer: Royal Blood. Composer: Ben Thatcher.
    • Warner Music UK Ltd.
  • George Harrison

    Here Comes The Sun

    Performer: Peter Rostal. Performer: Paul Schaefer. Conductor: Ron Goodwin. Performer: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
    • HMV Classics.
  • Henry William Duffy

    Sun King

    Performer: The Cult. Composer: Ian Astbury.
    • Beggars Banquet.
  • Marc‐Antoine Charpentier

    Plenu Sunt Coeli Et Terra

    Performer: Choir of King’s College, Cambridge. Conductor: Philip Ledger. Performer: Orchestra of St Martin in the Fields.
    • EMI Classics.
  • Alexandre Desplat

    Daisy's Ballet Career

    Performer: Alexandre Desplat.
    • Universal-Island Records Ltd.
  • Jean‐Baptiste Lully

    Entrée d'Apollon

    Performer: Les Arts Florissants. Conductor: William Christie.
    • Harmonia Mundi.
  • Jean‐Baptiste Lully

    Entrée - from Persee

    Performer: Les Talens Lyriques. Conductor: Christophe Rousset.
    • Erato.
  • Nino Rota

    The Godfather Waltz (main theme)

    Performer: Unknown. Conductor: Carlo Savina.
    • Sony/ATV Music Publishing Ltd.
  • Stephen Montague

    The King Dances

    Performer: Royal Ballet Sinfonia. Conductor: Paul Murphy.
    • United Music Publishing Ltd.
  • Isham Jones

    I'll See You In My Dreams

    Performer: Django Reinhardt. Composer: Gus Kahn.
    • Cherry Red Records.
  • Georges Delerue

    Day for Night

    Performer: London Sinfonietta. Conductor: Hugo Wolff.
    • Nonesuch Records.
  • John Lennon

    Sun King

    Performer: Booker T. & The MG’s. Composer: Paul James Mccartney. Composer: George Harrison.
    • Angel Air Records.
  • Ensemble correspondances

    Entrée du Roy representant le Soleil levant

    Conductor: Sébastien Daucé.
    • Harmonia Mundi.
  • Ladyhawke

    Magic

    • Universal/Island.
  • George Harrison

    Here Comes The Sun

    Performer: Urban Voices Collective.
    • Universal Music Operations.
  • André Campra

    Le Jardin de Monsieur Rameau

    Performer: Les Arts Florissants. Conductor: William Christie.
    • Harmonia Mundi.
  • Anne Dudley

    Jeeves and Wooster Main Theme

    Performer: Dover Street Jazzomaniacs. Conductor: Anne Dudley.
    • Universal Music Publishing.
  • André Campra

    Le Jardin de Monsieur Rameau

    Performer: Les Arts Florissants. Conductor: William Christie.
    • Harmonia Mundi.
  • Nino Rota

    The Godfather Waltz (main theme)

    Performer: Unknown. Conductor: Carlo Savina.
    • Sony/ATV Music Publishing Ltd.
  • Prince

    Girls and Boys

    Performer: The Revolution.
    • Carlin Music Corp.
  • Martin Solveig

    Boys and Girls

    Performer: Martin Solveig. Performer: Dragonette.
    • Temps D'Avance.
  • Jean‐Baptiste Lully

    Entrée - from Persee

    Performer: Les Talens Lyriques. Conductor: Christophe Rousset.
    • Erato.
  • Marie-Claire Gaurichon

    J'ai Tant Escamote

    Performer: Zaz. Composer: Emannuel Xavier. Composer: Moshe Ilan Abou. Composer: Thierry Faure.
    • Sony/ATV Music Publishing Ltd.
  • Svein Berge

    Coupe de Grace

    Performer: Röyksopp. Composer: Torbjørn Brundtland.
    • Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.
  • Yann Tiersen

    L'autre valse d'Amelie

    • Universal Publishing.
  • Timothy Peter Hart

    A Moments Grace

    Performer: Boy & Bear. Composer: Andrew David Hosking. Composer: Killian Gavin. Composer: Jonathan Nicholas Hart.
    • Sony/ATV Music UK Ltd.
  • Jean‐Baptiste Lully

    Entrée - from Persee

    Performer: Les Talens Lyriques. Conductor: Christophe Rousset.
    • Erato.
  • Liam James Fry

    Money

    Performer: Courteeners.
    • Universal Music Publishing.
  • Ensemble correspondances

    Entrée du Roy representant le Soleil levant

    Conductor: Sébastien Daucé.
    • Harmonia Mundi.
  • Martin Kerszenbaum

    The Fame (Glam as you remix)

    Performer: Lady Gaga. Composer: Stefani Germanotta.
    • Polydor.
  • Allen Toussaint

    Here Come the Girls

    Performer: Ernie K-Doe.
    • EMI Music Ltd.
  • Jean‐Baptiste Lully

    Entrée d'Apollon

    Performer: Les Arts Florissants. Conductor: William Christie.
    • Harmonia Mundi.
  • Jean‐Baptiste Lully

    Armide

    Performer: Choir and Orchestra of the Collegium Vocale and the Chapelle Royale. Conductor: Philippe Herreweghe.
    • Harmonia Mundi.
  • Loreena McKennitt

    Dante's Prayer

    Performer: Loreena McKennitt.
    • Universal Music Publishing International Ltd.
  • Royce C Swain

    In the Evening

    Performer: Jimmy Witherspoon.
    • Carlin Music Corp.
  • Abner Silver

    Chasing Shadows

    Performer: Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli. Composer: Benny Davis.
    • Warner Chappell North America Ltd.
  • Royce C Swain

    In the Evening

    Performer: Jimmy Witherspoon.
    • Carlin Music Corp.
  • Gustave Roger Samyn

    Tous le garcons et les filles

    Performer: Françoise Hardy. Composer: Francoise Madeleine Hardy.
    • Alpha Music Publishing Ltd.
  • Lester Melrose

    Rising Sun Shine On

    Performer: Big Bill Broonzy.
    • Collectors Edition.
  • Amanda Sophie Barker

    Los Elefantes

    Performer: Haiku Salut. Composer: Gemma Louise Barkerwood. Composer: Louise Croft.
    • How Does It Feel To Be Loved?.
  • Henry William Duffy

    Sun King

    Performer: The Cult. Composer: Ian Astbury.
    • Beggars Banquet.
  • Ensemble correspondances

    Entrée du Roy representant le Soleil levant

    Conductor: Sébastien Daucé.
    • Harmonia Mundi.
  • Stephen Montague

    The King Dances

    Performer: Royal Ballet Sinfonia. Conductor: Paul Murphy.
    • United Music Publishing Ltd.
  • Richard Berry

    Louie Louie

    Performer: Ensemble correspondances. Conductor: Sébastien Daucé.
    • EMI Music Publishing Ltd.

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter David Bintley
Director Paul Wu
Producer Paul Wu
Executive Producer Mark Cooper
Participant Christine Bayle
Participant Mickael Bouffard
Participant Julia Buhrle
Participant Marie-Claude Canova Green
Participant Sebastien Dauce
Participant Catherine Guilyardi
Participant Hubert Hazebroucq
Participant Elisabeth Platel
Participant Yann Sordet
Participant Jennifer Thorp
Performer Birmingham Royal Ballet
Orchestra Royal Ballet Sinfonia
Conductor Paul Murphy
Choreographer David Bintley
Composer Stephen Montague
Set Designer Katrina Lindsay
Lighting Peter Mumford

Broadcast