Medieval Europe 814-1450: Dance - Research Article from Arts and Humanities Through the Eras

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Ippolita Maria Sforza

1445–1488

Dancer
Duchess

A Child Prodigy of Dance.

Ippolita Maria Sforza was the daughter of Duke Francesco Sforza of Milan and Bianca Maria Visconti. Her father employed a number of scholars to provide his children with the finest of classical educations, which included Greek, Latin, rhetoric, and the arts. In 1454, Francesco added the humanist poet Antonio Cornazano to his household staff, assigning the instruction of dance as one of his teaching duties. A year later Cornazano dedicated his treatise Libro dell'arte del danzare (Book on the Art of Dancing) to his ten-year-old star pupil, Ippolita, making her the earliest known ballerina, that is, a dancer of choreographed dances. The treatise also includes a sonnet by Cornazano, extolling Ippolita's graces in language, echoing Latin mythological poetry. In the spring of that same year, Ippolita was introduced to two of the...

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This section contains 463 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Medieval Europe 814-1450: Dance Encyclopedia Article
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