Shopping Cart Link

Wesleyan University Press

Sign up for our newsletter

Bookmark and Share
Cart link

For Educators

Go to Open Access link
Cover image Click for larger image

A Loftier Flight
The Life and Accoplishments of Charles-Louis Didelot, Balletmaster
Mary Grace Swift

Available only as an ebook.

Wesleyan Open Books

1974 • 240 pp. 33 illus. 6 x 9"
Biography / Dance

$0.00 Ebook, 978-0-8195-7798-6

Open access - no commercial use
Click Open Access at right to check availability.

A Loftier Flight is a biography of ballet master Charles-Louis Didelot. It accompanies on him along his life journey as a dancer and mime in revolutionary Paris, regency London, and imperial Petersberg. Charles-Louis Didelot was one of the greatest figures in ballet in the period preceding the Romantic. He was a balletmaster in the fullest sense of the word: an exacting teacher-director, whose many contributions included dancing en pointe and mime; a highly imaginative choreographer, who often collaborated with his composers and even instructed the orchestra; an innovative scenographer, whose insistence on authenticity and realism in costuming and staging revolutionized the production of ballet. Above all, he was a perfectionist; and in Revolutionary Paris, in Regency London and in Imperial Petersburg Didelot single-mindedly pursued his career, ignoring royal imperatives and fighting court intrigues and theatrical politics to realize as fully as possible his larger vision of the dance.

Based upon extensive research in three languages, Mary Grace Swift’s book is the first biography in English of Didelot. It is a full, impressively documented account of his life and career, in which she brings vividly to life the artistic milieu in which Didelot flourished.


Winner of the De La Torre Bueno Prize (1973)

MARY GRACE SWIFT is an historian who taught history at Loyola until her retirement in 1998. Her articles have been published in both dance and religious journals, such as Dance Magazine and Catholic Digest among others, and her books include The Art of the Dance in the U.S.S.R.; and Belles and Beaux on Their Toes; and With Bright Wings: A Book of the Spirit.

An NEH / Mellon Humanities Open Book Grant Recipient


Tue, 15 May 2018 13:55:31 -0500