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John H. Baron

revised by Georgie Durosoir

(b c1615; d Paris, April 18, 1688). French dancer, composer, poet, lutenist and lute teacher. He was director of entertainments for the Countess of Soissons from at least 1636 until her death in 1644; it was her patronage that enabled him to enter the court. He became a royal lutenist in 1646 and was still playing the lute at court in 1673. He was named a royal dancer in 1644, and it is in this capacity that he achieved his greatest renown. He danced in nearly every ballet de cour from then until 1665 (e.g. Ballet du dérèglement des passions, 1648; Ballet de Cassandre, 1651; Ballet de la galanterie du temps, 1656), often alongside the young Louis XIV and his favourite, Lully. He composed music for ballets, and sometimes also the words (e.g. Ballet des plaisirs troublés, 1657). According to the Mercure galant (July 1677...