London: Sold by G. Robinson... 1782.
. Translated from the French. London: Sold by G. Robinson..., -1783.
First English edition. Three octavo volumes, bound in one (8 3/8 x 5 inches; 212 x 126 mm). , lxviii, 227, [5, index]; , 258; xi, [1, blank], 330 pp. Volume I not dated, the title-pages to volumes II and III are dated 1783. With frontispiece portrait. Half-title for each volume. This is very scarce as we could only find two other copies at auction in the past 50 years.
Volumes I-II comprise: "An Essay on the Art of Dancing." Volume III comprise: The Danaides. Rinaldo and Armida. Adela of Ponthieu. The Graces. The Horatii and Curiatil. Agamemnon revenged. Apelles and Campaspe, or, The self-conquest of Alexander. The amours of Venus. Alceste.
Modern blue morocco over marbled paper boards. Top edge dyed brown, others dyed red. Newer endpapers. Some minor foxing and toning, mainly to portrait. Some occasional pencil markings. Overall a very good copy.
According the the ESTC, "a projected fourth volume was never published."
"Noverre was born in Paris on 29 April 1727, and was expected to follow a military career like his Swiss father. Instead, though, the young Jean-Georges chose a vocation requiring equally rigorous discipline, studying dance with a M. Marcel and then with the famous Louis Dupre and making his debut at the Opera-Comique in Paris on 8 June 1743. This led to further engagements abroad; while still in his teens, Noverre performed at Fontainebleau, and in Berlin before Frederick II, at whose court he met Voltaire. The king's excessive thrift, however, led his maitre de ballet, Lany, and several of his colleagues to break their contracts and desert the Prussian court in 1747. Noverre became ballet master in Strasbourg and created his first great success, Les Fetes chinoises, there. He went on to Vienna, where he worked under Empress Maria
Theresa and became maitre de danse to her 12-year-old daughter, the future Marie Antoinette, who later became his patron... In 1755, he went to London with his family and his company to work with David Garrick at the Drury Lane Theatre. He had access to Garrick's library, enabling him to study classical literature and draw on it for subjects for his ballets while developing his own methods of teaching dance and choreographing for the stage. It was here, in 1756, that he began to formulate his ideas in a treatise published four years later in Lyons... Noverre's innovatory ideas are preserved in his Lettres sur la danse, et sur les ballet...it was translated into English in 1782.
Niles & Leslie. ESTC N25828