The grand ballet thus acted as a bridge between theatre and life, between the fantastical and allegorical world of the spectacle and the hierarchically regimented world of the court, between the ballet de cour and la belle danse. It was a boiling down and summing up: the moral of the spectacle could be abstracted in the steps and figures of this dance, like a final chord and the end of a dramatic musical exposition. It re-established the formal hierarchies, returned the players to their stations, and formally confirmed the order and discipline governing social relations.
“Apollo’s Angels: A History of Ballet”
- on ballet at Louis XIV’s court in the late 1600′s