Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-77ffc5d9c7-kttml Total loading time: 0.316 Render date: 2021-04-23T08:39:32.385Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": false, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true }

Labyrinth Dances in the French and English Renaissance

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 November 2018

Thomas M. Greene
Affiliation:
Yale University

Abstract

Some descriptions of ballets performed at the late Valois court in France draw upon accounts of choreographic and equestrian maze-like performances extending back into early antiquity. Common elements include a convoluted complexity in the dancers’ movements, repeated reversals, and a series of patterns variously reformed after regular interruptions. The practice of medieval dances at Easter upon the labyrinth designs of one or more French cathedrals may also have exercised an influence on Renaissance dancing. A sonnet by Ronsard describing a labyrinthine ballet invites at least two metaphysical interpretations. Neoplatonic theories of magic are apparently reflected in the choreography by Balthazar de Beaujoyeulx for his Balet Comique de la Royne. Labyrinth dances in Ben Jonson's masques are associated with Orphic cosmogony. The description of an angelic labyrinth dance in Milton's Paradise Lost leads to historical and theoretical questions concerning the intermittent persistence of the phenomenon.

“Here's a maze trod indeed Through forth-rights and meanders!“

— The Tempest

Type
Studies
Copyright
Copyright © Renaissance Society of America 2001

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below.

References

Apuleius. 1956. The Golden Ass. Trans. Robert Graves. New York.Google Scholar
Arbeau, Thoinot. 1967. Orchesography. Trans. Mary Stewart Evans. New York.Google Scholar
Les Argonautiques Orphiques. 1987. Ed. and trans. Francis Vian. Paris.Google Scholar
Beaujoyeulx, Balthazar de. 1971. Le Balet Comique de la Royne. Trans. Carol and Lander MacClintock. N.p.Google Scholar
Beaujoyeulx, Balthazar de. 1982. Le Balet Comique. Facsimile. Intro. Margaret M. McGowan. Binghamton.Google Scholar
A Book of Masques in Honor of Allardyce Nicoll. 1967. Cambridge.Google Scholar
Brantôme, Pierre de Bourdeille, Seigneur de. 1822-1823. Oeuvres completes. 8 vols. Paris.Google Scholar
Callimachus. 1977. Hymns and Epigrams. Trans. A.W. Mair. London.Google Scholar
Caroso, Fabritio. 1986, reprint. Nobilta di dame. Trans. Julia Sutton. 1600. Oxford.Google Scholar
Cave, Terence. 1973. “Ronsard's Mythological Universe.” In Ronsard the Poet, ed. Terence Cave, 159-208. London.Google Scholar
Claudian. 1922. Trans. Maurice Platnauer. 2 vols. London.Google Scholar
Colonna, Francesco. 1999. Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, The Strife of Love in a Dream. Trans. Joscelyn Godwin. New York.Google Scholar
Conti, Natale. 1976, reprint. Mythologiae. New York.Google Scholar
Cunningham, J.P. 1965. Dancing in the Inns of Court. London.Google Scholar
D'Aubigné Agrippa. 1981-1999. Histoire universelle. Ed. Andre1 Thierry. 10 vols. Geneva.Google Scholar
Davies, Sir John. 1949. “Orchestra.” In Silver Poets of the Sixteenth Century, ed. Gerald Bullett, 320-42. London.Google Scholar
Deecke, Wilhelm. 1881. “Le Iscrizioni Etrusche del Vaso di Tragliatella.Annali dell'Istituto de Corrispondenza Archeologica 35: 160–68.Google Scholar
Déienne, Marcel. 1989. “La grue et le labyrinthe.” In L'Ecriture d'Orphh, 15-28. Paris.Google Scholar
Doob, Penelope Reed. 1990. The Idea of the Labyrinth from Classical Antiquity through the Middle Ages. Ithaca.Google Scholar
Erasmus of Rotterdam. 1992. Adages Ilvii 1 to III Hi 100. Trans, and annot. by R. A. B. Mynors. Toronto.Google Scholar
Fallon, Jean M. 1993. Voice and Vision in Ronsard's Les Sonnets pour Helene. New York.Google Scholar
Ferrari, Anna. 1998. II tempo et il labirinto: immagini del mito classico. Turin.Google Scholar
Ficino, Marsilio. 1978. In convivium Platonis. Ed. and trans. Raymond Marcel. Paris.Google Scholar
Ficino, Marsilio. 1989. Three Books on Life. Ed. and trans. Carol V. Kaske and John R. Clark. Binghamton.Google Scholar
Fletcher, Angus. 1983. “The Image of Lost Direction.” In Centre and Labyrinth. Essays in Honour of Northrop Frye, ed. Eleanor Cook, et al., 329-46. Toronto.Google Scholar
Franko, Mark. 1993. Dance as Text: Ideologies of the Baroque Body New York.Google Scholar
Gordon, D.J. 1975. The Renaissance Imagination. Ed. Stephen Orgel. Berkeley.Google Scholar
Greene, Thomas M. 1994. “The King's One Body in the Balet Comique de la Royne. ” In Corps Mystique, Corps Sacrt: Textual Transfigurations of the Body from the Middle Ages to the Seventeenth Century (Yale French Studies, 86), 75-93.Google Scholar
Herodotus. 1987. The History. Trans. David Grene. Chicago.Google Scholar
Homer. 1990. The Iliad. Trans. Robert Fagles. New York.Google Scholar
Jakobson, Roman. 1978. Six Lectures on Sound and Meaning. Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
Jonson, Ben. 1925-1952. [Works]. Ed. C. H. Herford and Percy and Evelyn Simpson. 11 vols. Oxford.Google Scholar
Jonson, Ben. 1969. The Complete Masques. Ed. Stephen Orgel. New Haven.Google Scholar
Kerenyi, Karl. 1966. “Labyrinth-Studien.” In Humanistische Seelen-Forschung, 226-73. Munich.Google Scholar
Kern, Hermann. 2000. Through the Labyrinth. Designs and Meanings over 5000 Years. Munich.Google Scholar
Knight, W.F. Jackson. 1936. Cumaean Gates: A Relation of the Sixth Aeneid to the Initiation Pattern. Oxford.Google Scholar
Koerner, Joseph Leo. 1983. Die Suche nach dem Labyrinth. Frankfurt-am-Main.Google Scholar
Lawler, Lillian B. 1964. The Dance in Ancient Greece. Middletown, CT.Google Scholar
Lazzaro, Claudia. 1990. The Italian Renaissance Garden. New Haven.Google Scholar
Leone, Ebreo. 1929. Dialoghi d'amore. Ed. Santino Caramella. Bari.Google Scholar
Leone, Ebreo. 1937. The Philosophy of Love. Trans. F. Friedeberg-Seeley and Jean H. Barnes. London.Google Scholar
Lucian. 1936. Works. Trans. A.M. Harmon. 8 vols. London.Google Scholar
Magnificentissimi spectaculi, a regina regum matre in hortis suburbanis editi, in Henrici Regis Poloniae invictissimi nuper renunciati gratulationem, descriptio, Jo. Aurato, poeta regit auctore. 1573. Paris.Google Scholar
Marius Victorinus. 1961. Ars Grammatica. In Grammatici latini, ed. Heinrich Kell, Vol. 6. Hildesheim. [Needs page numbers unless work takes entire volume.] Google Scholar
Marullus, . 1995. Hymnes naturels (Hymni naturales). Ed. and trans. Jacques Chomart. Geneva.Google Scholar
Matthews, W.H. 1970, reprint. Mazes and Labyrinths. 1922. New York.Google Scholar
McGowan, Margaret M. 1963. LArt du ballet de cour en France. 1581-1643. Paris.Google Scholar
Ménager, Daniel. 1979. Ronsard. Le Roi, le poète et les hommes. Geneva.Google Scholar
Miller, James. 1986. Measures of Wisdom. The Cosmic Dance in Classical and Christian Antiquity. Toronto.Google Scholar
Milton, John. 1935. Paradise Lost. Ed. Merritt Y. Hughes. New York.Google Scholar
Negri, Cesare. 1983, reprint. Le gratie d'amore. 1602. Bologna.Google Scholar
Nevile, Jennifer. 1999. “Dance and the Garden: Moving and Static Choreography in Renaissance Europe.Renaissance Quarterly 52: 805–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nonius, Marcellus. 1903. De compendiosa doctrina. Ed. Wallace M. Lindsay. Leipzig.Google Scholar
The Orphic Hymns. 1977. Ed. and trans. Apostolos N. Athanassakis. Missoula, MT.Google Scholar
Ovid. Metamorphoses. 1966. Trans. Frank Justus Miller. 2 vols. Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
The Oxford Classical Dictionary. 1970. Eds. N.G.L. Hammond and H.H. Scullard. 2nd ed. Oxford.Google Scholar
Peterson, Richard S. 1986. “Icon and Mystery in Jonson's ‘Masque of Beautie.'John Donne Journal 5: 169–99.Google Scholar
Plato. 1961. Collected Dialogues. Ed. Edith Hamilton and Huntington Cairns. New York.Google Scholar
Pliny. 1938-1963. Natural History. Trans. H. Rackham. 10 vols. Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
Plotinus. 1957. The Enneads. Trans. Stephen MacKenna. New York.Google Scholar
Plutarch, , n.d. The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans. Trans. John Dryden; revised Arthur Hugh Clough. New York.Google Scholar
Quainton, Malcolm. 2000. “Creative Choreography: Intertextual Dancing in Ronsard's Sonnets pour Htline: II, 30.” In Distant Voices Still Heard. Contemporary Readings of French Renaissance Literature, eds. John O'Brien and Malcolm Quainton, 155-70. Liverpool.Google Scholar
Raby, F. J. E., ed. 1966. The Oxford Book of Medieval Latin Verse. Oxford.Google Scholar
Ronsard, Pierre de. 1914-1974. Oeuvres completes. Ed. P. Laumonier, R. Lebegue, and I. Silver. 20 vols. Paris.Google Scholar
Ronsard, Pierre de. 1993. Oeuvres complètes. Ed. Jean Céard, Daniel Ménager, and Michel Simonin. 2 vols. Paris.Google Scholar
Ruskin, John. 1903-1912. Works. Ed. E. T. Cook and Alexander Wedderburn. 39 vols. London.Google Scholar
Santarcangeli, Paolo. 1984. II libro dei labirinti: storia di un mho e di un simbolo. Venice.Google Scholar
Seneca. 1979. Epistulae morales. Trans. R. M. Gummere. London.Google Scholar
Shakespeare, William. 1974. The Riverside Shakespeare. Ed. G. Blakemore Evans, et al. Boston.Google Scholar
Sparshott, Francis. 1988. Off the Ground. First steps to a Philosophical Consideration of the Dance. Princeton.Google Scholar
Spenser, Edmund. 1999. The Shorter Poems. Ed. Richard A. McCabe. London.Google Scholar
Tuccaro, Arcangelo. 1599. Trois dialogues de I'exercice de sauter et voltiger en I'air. Paris.Google Scholar
Tyard, Pontus de. 1950. The Universe of Pontus de Tyard. A Critical Edition of “L'Univers.” Ed. John C. Lapp. Ithaca.Google Scholar
Valdry, Paul. 1957. Oeuvres. Ed. Jean Hytier. 2 vols. Paris.Google Scholar
Virgil. 1984. The Aeneid. Trans. Robert Fitzgerald. New York.Google Scholar
Ward, John M. 1988. “Newly Devis'd Measures for Jacobean Masques.Acta Musicologica 60: 111–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wright, Craig. 2001. The Maze and the Warrior. Symbols in Western Theology, Architecture, Music, and Dance. Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
Yates, Frances A. 1947. The French Academies of the Sixteenth Century. London.Google Scholar
Yates, Frances A. 1959. The Valois Tapestries. London.Google Scholar

Full text views

Full text views reflects PDF downloads, PDFs sent to Google Drive, Dropbox and Kindle and HTML full text views.

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 9 *
View data table for this chart

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 20th November 2018 - 23rd April 2021. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Labyrinth Dances in the French and English Renaissance
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Labyrinth Dances in the French and English Renaissance
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Labyrinth Dances in the French and English Renaissance
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *