From 1737 to 1745 Michel Chabanon appeared on the stage of the Jesuit College Louis-le-Grand as a dancer, musician and actor. The few sources known about Chabanon as a boarder reveal his gift for dancing and violin-playing, and give information on the theatrical, musical and choreographic practice he experienced in his childhood. On the occasion of the grand ballet, danced every August as part of the ceremony marking the end of the school-year, the young Chabanon was made sensitive to the different styles of dancing : the belle danse, the « grotesque » dance, the danse haute, and the pantomime. He saw on the Jesuit stage the greatest dancers of his time and danced with young professionals sometimes destined to fame, like Noverre for example. The College Louis-le-Grand actually gathered professional dancers from the different Parisian Ballets (Académie royale de musique, Comédie française, Comédie italienne, Opéra-comique) and integrated in its performances the numerous practices of the mid-eighteenth century. The College can thus appear as a haut-lieu of dancing, very much linked to the Parisian choreographic scene.
Michel-Paul-Guy de Chabanon et ses contemporains
Université Paris IV-Sorbonne
Apollon, Momus, Perroquet, Michel Chabanon, danseur et musicien sur la scène du collège jésuite de Paris (1737-1745)