Rogues & Vagabonds

theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013…

Archive Exhibition Review • ABSOLUTISM AND REVOLUTION

Adapted from an article published as Exhibition Review | STAGES AND SCENES on Rogues and Vagabonds Theatre Website in 2008.

Pippa Rathborne's SCRATCH POST

Engraving by Le Pautre of the performance of Lully’s Alceste in the cour de marbre, the first of six fêtes, Les Divertissments de Versailles, held in 1674 to celebrate one of Louis XIV’s military conquests. “I have loved war too much”, confessed the dying king, forty two years later, when his mania for glory had bankrupted the state.

In the second half of the 17th century, court ballet, inspired by Louis XIV‘s example, continued to be a ritualized, exquisitely designed declaration of political agenda and ideology, occasions prickling with controversy, just as much as the Jacobean court masques and the dumb-show of Hamlet’s play within the play.

Contemporary princes were expected to use theatrical performance to make a political point, even if by nature they were not talented dancers or actors. A serious vocational soldier-statesman like the young William of Orange, who preferred architecture and gardening to any…

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This entry was posted on 03/20/2014 by in Exhibition, Theatre.
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