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( fl 1719–42). Italian choreographer and dancer . He was probably a native of Florence, since he is often cited in librettos as ‘Francesco Aquilanti, Fiorentino’ or ‘da Firenze’. His early choreographic work was concentrated in Venice, where he provided ballets for 17 operas at the Teatro S Giovanni Grisostomo (1721–34; including Leo’s Catone in Utica, Porpora’s Semiramide riconosciuta and works by Gasparini, Orlandini, Vinci and others), and for five operas during Ascension seasons at the Teatro S Samuele (1722–35; including Vivaldi’s Griselda). During this time he is also listed as a choreographer in Reggio Emilia (1725, Porpora’s Didone abbandonata) and as a dancer for opera productions in Turin (1727–8, 1729–30), along with Chiara Aquilanti who may have been his wife, sister or daughter. He spent two seasons in Naples as a choreographer, first for operas at the Teatro S Bartolomeo (1736–7...

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(fl 1726–49). Italian choreographer. He worked primarily in Venice during the second quarter of the 18th century, creating ballets for more than 30 opera productions. Most of his choreography was for two theatres, S Angelo (1726, 1733–4, 1735, 1746), where his work appeared in operas by Vivaldi and Albinoni, among others, and S Giovanni Grisostomo (1731–2; 1746–7, 1748–9), where he choreographed several operas by Hasse. He also was employed for five Ascension seasons at S Samuele (1738, 1740, 1746, 1748, 1749), and for a season each at S Cassiano (1742–3) and S Moisè (1744–5). In 1738 he worked in Milan. He may be the ‘Zanetto Galetto’ listed as ballet-master for G. M. Ruggieri’s Arrenione at S Angelo (1708). In Gli abiti de veneziani (1754), Giovanni Grevembroch wrote that Gallo, nearly decrepit, was teaching the minuet to the first rank of nobility, and had a school in the Giovanni Grisostomo district....

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(b Modena, c 1700; d Naples, ?1774). Italian dancer, choreographer and impresario . He spent the early part of his career in Venice, where he created ballets for more than 40 operas, 1720–45. His name first appears as a choreographer for the 1720 Ascension season (Orlandini’s Griselda) at the Teatro S Samuele, here he worked for 11 Ascension seasons (later productions included works by Porpora, Albinoni and Galuppi, and Gluck’s Demetrio in 1742). He also choreographed at S Giovanni Grisostomo (24 operas, 1722–45, including Porpora’s Siface, Meride e Selinunte, Rosbale and Statira, and Hasse’s Alessandro nell’Indie and Semiramide riconosciuta) and at S Angelo, S Cassiano, and S Moisè. At the Teatro Falcone in Genoa (1731) and the Regio Ducal Teatro in Milan (1732–3, Lampugnani’s Candace; 1737–40, works by Bernasconi, Brivio and Leo) he worked with his wife Maria, a Venetian ballerina. While in Milan Goldoni, who knew the couple from Venice, spent an evening at their home, in his ...

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(Anton Christoph)

(bap. Vienna, Nov 17, 1710; d Vienna, May 30, 1768). Austrian dancer, choreographer and impresario. He was a member of a large theatrical dynasty active in Vienna from at least the 1660s. His father, Johann Baptist Hilverding, had been an associate of the famous Hanswurst Josef Anton Stranitzky, and his elder brother Johann Peter Hilverding led various troupes of German actors, ending his career in Russia. Franz Hilverding’s principal training – at the emperor’s expense – was with the dancer Blondy in Paris during the mid-1730s. While there he probably witnessed performances of Fuzelier and Rameau’s opéra-balletLes Indes galantes, an entrée of which, Le Turc généreux, he later imitated in a pantomime ballet. Hilverding’s sojourn in Paris almost certainly contributed significantly to his overall cultural education; his knowledge of literature and skill as a draughtsman and composer of music were thought unusual in a choreographer.

By 1737 he was engaged as a dancer at the Habsburg court, where he soon began composing ballets alongside Alexander and Franz Anton Phillebois. According to his pupil Gasparo Angiolini’s account, the period of mourning after the death of Charles VI in ...

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Jennifer Thorp

[Francis? ]

(fl London, 1673–1718; d ?January 1721). English dancing-master and choreographer. Little is known about his life; he may have been related to an earlier dancing-master in Paris, also named Isaac, he was one of a large group of recusant dancing-masters active in London from the 1670s onwards, and he was also closely related to a family of dancing-masters named Thorpe. In 1673 Mr Isaac danced as a Venetian and a Spaniard in a masquerade for the Duke of Monmouth, and in 1675 he danced in John Crowne and Nicholas Staggins's masque Calisto in Whitehall, London, and subsequently retained his connections with the English royal court. He was much sought after as a dancing-master (his pupils included the princesses Mary and Anne) and was respected by fellow dancing-masters as a mentor and patron. 22 of his dances survive in Beauchamp-Feuillet notation: 19 were published from 1706 onwards and reissued, with music by James Paisible, to celebrate Queen Anne's birthdays; one was published by Edmund Pemberton in ...

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Carol G. Marsh

(b Paris, ?1667; d Paris, ?after 1756). French dancing-master and choreographer. In 1698, about ten years after he began dancing at the Paris Opéra, he was brought to London by Thomas Betterton to perform at Lincoln’s Inn Fields. He performed and was active as choreographer at various London theatres until at least 1714, and in 1719 he was involved in plans for the new Royal Academy of Music. From 1715 to 1741 he was dancing-master to the grandchildren of George I, with a salary higher than that of Handel, their music master. His extant choreographies, preserved in Beauchamp-Feuillet notation, include a collection of 13 theatrical dances (A New Collection of Dances, London, c1725/R) composed during the first two decades of the 18th century; many of them are set to music by Lully and his successors, and are as demanding technically as those by Pécour and other French choreographers....

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Friderica Derra De Moroda

revised by Sibylle Dahms

(fl early 18th century). Italian dancer and choreographer. He wrote one of the most interesting 18th-century books on dance: Neue und curieuse theatrialische Tantz-Schul (Nuremberg, 1716/R with commentary by K. Petermann and Eng. trans.). The title-page (see illustration) and preface indicate that Lambranzi was born in or around Venice, and that as a dancer he toured Italy, Germany and France. The original manuscript for the book (in D-Mbs ; facs., New York, 1972, ed. F. Derra de Moroda) suggests by the type of cursive handwriting that he may have spent large parts of his life in Germany, although no other evidence is known to support this. The book contains 101 plates beautifully engraved by J.G. Puschner. Each plate shows a dance scene in stage settings typical for touring companies of the period (for illustration see Folia). All costumed male and female characters are presented by men (Lambranzi served as a model for most of the illustrations). At the bottom of each plate there are suggestions for the steps and the manner of performance. The melody for each dance is given at the top of each plate (similar to Feuillet’s printed dance notations, which Lambranzi knew quite well). The subjects of the dances range from ...

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Meredith Ellis Little

(b ?1651; d April 11, 1729). French dancing-master and choreographer . He was one of the finest dancers working under the celebrated royal choreographer Pierre Beauchamp. He is said in one source to have made his début as a dancer in a repeat performance of Lully’s Cadmus et Hermione in 1674. When, on Lully's death in 1687, Beauchamp left the Opéra, Pécour was appointed in his place. He gave up dancing in about 1703 but he held the post of ballet-master and choreographer at the Opéra until his death. His tutelage produced such outstanding dancers as La Fontaine, Subligny, Guiot, Prevost and Menese among the women and Blondy, Ballon, Dumoulin and Marcel among the men. He is credited with changing the ‘S’ figure of the Minuet to a ‘Z’, an innovation that helped keep the dancers in a proper relationship to each other and to the figure.

Many of his dances were recorded in the Beauchamp-Feuillet system of dance notation and can to a certain extent be re-created. Both the floor pattern and the steps are given in the notation. The style may be derived from a study of Pierre Rameau's ...

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Sarah McCleave

[‘La Vestale’]

(b 1709 d Paris, July 27, 1756). French dancer and choreographer. New evidence (Rubellin) corrects her date of birth. Her father Etienne Sallé married into the Moylin dynasty of fairground players (to Marie-Alberte Moylin, 11 April 1699), so her early training presumably took place in the inventive atmosphere of the foires. (The restrictions imposed on the forains cultivated their skills as mimes.) She is said to have studied formally with Françoise Prévost, Jean Balon, and also Michel Blondi of the Paris Opéra. Her first known public appearance, on 18 October 1716, was at Lincoln’s Inn Fields Theatre, London, with her brother Francis (1705–32). During this season her diverse repertory included Kellom Tomlinson’s notated dance The Submission and comic dances such as ‘The Dutch Skipper’, as well as ‘A Scene in the French Andromach Burlesqued’. On 5 June 1717 Marie and Francis contributed entr’acte dances to Handel’s ...

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[Francesco ]

(d Lisbon, Jan 18, 1775). French choreographer and dancer . His name first appears as ‘Mons. Soutter’, ballet-master for the 1738–9 opera season at the S Giovanni Grisostomo, Venice: his first opera was Rinaldo di Capua’s Farnace. Except for a three-year period in Stuttgart (1758–61), where he immediately preceded Noverre and choreographed three Jommelli operas, Sauveterre worked in Italy until 1766, creating ballets for operas in Padua (1740), Turin (1740–41, 1749–50), Florence (1743–4, 1746–7), Milan (1746, 1748, 1752–3, 1755–6, 1763, 1765), Reggio Emilia (1741, 1750–51, 1753, 1755), Naples (1742, Leo’s Andromaca), Rome (1749), Bologna (1756) and Venice (1749, 1740–51, 1763–6). Sacchini, Paisiello and Guglielmi are among the composers with whom he worked. In 1766 Sauveterre accompanied his student, Pietro Colonna, to Lisbon, and was recommended as dancing-master to the prince and choreographer for the court theatres, replacing Andrea Alberti, ‘Il Tedeschino’; there he choreographed many operas by Jommelli, as well as works by Perez, Piccinni and others. A contemporary writer in Florence described his ballets as superb. He emphasized dramatic and mimetic content in the style of ...

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Moira Goff

(b c1690; bur. London, Jan 31, 1754). English dancer, dancing-master and choreographer. He is sometimes confused with his father, the actor John Thurmond (d 1727). He was first billed as dancing at the Drury Lane Theatre in 1710, and in 1718 he became the company's dancing-master. He remained there (except for a short period when he danced at Goodman's Fields) until his retirement from the stage in 1737. He danced regularly throughout his career and is best known for the pantomimes with which he proved himself a worthy rival to John Rich. These began with The Dumb Farce and A Duke and No Duke (both 1719; composers unknown). Thurmond was responsible for the dances in the phenomenally successful pantomime Harlequin Doctor Faustus (1723), which was followed by Harlequin Sheppard (1724), Apollo and Daphne (1725) and The Miser, or Wagner and Abericock...

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Jennifer Thorp

[Kenelm]

(b ?1693; d 1758). English dancing-master and choreographer. He was apprenticed to the London dancing-master Thomas Caverley (c1648–1745) from 1707 to about 1714, and he studied theatrical dance with René Cherrier (fl 1699–1708). Between 1708 and 1721 he compiled a manuscript notebook ( NZ-Wt ), which includes an early notation of Caverley's Slow Minuitt and six theatre dances of his own (five with music by Jean Baptiste Loeillet (i) and one with music by Tomlinson himself), three of which were designed as an entr'acte for a production of The Island Princess (Lincoln's Inn Fields, 1716) and later revived with additions as An Entertainment of Dancing for the Stage (1721). Six more of Tomlinson's dances, set to music by himself, Loeillet and Babell, were published annually between 1715 and 1720 (and as a collection in 1720) and survive as engraved notations. In ...

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Moira Goff

(bap. Shrewsbury, July 21, 1673; d Shrewsbury, Sept 24, 1760). English dancer, choreographer and dancing-master . The son of another dancing-master named John Weaver, he was educated at Shrewsbury School but spent part of his youth in Oxford, where his father kept a dancing school. By 1700 he was a theatrical dancer in London and early in 1703 he created The Tavern Bilkers, his first work for the stage. He became associated with the dancing-master Mr Isaac, who wished to improve both the status and the practice of dancing, and in 1706, at Isaac's suggestion, he published Orchesography as well as six of Mr Isaac's ball-dances in Beauchamp-Feuillet notation. He returned to Shrewsbury, and, in 1712, with the encouragement of the essayist and dramatist Sir Richard Steele, he published An Essay towards an History of Dancing. It dealt mainly with the status of dancing in antiquity, but in the final chapter Weaver argued for the reform of contemporary stage dancing so that it could represent ‘...