Dancing, riding and fencing are the three fundamental arts in which a nobleman was educated in the baroque era. These arts were united in the caroussel, an elaborate divertissement at the court which has its origin in the medieval tournaments. The participating riders and musicians were dressed in richly decorated costumes. After a festive procession to the riding yard, different types of contests took place. Culmination of the caroussel was the performance of an equestrian ballet. This special form of ballet shows how tight the arts of dancing and riding were related in the 17th and 18th century. Like baroque dance, the choreographies for horses were notated and used different types of steps.
The paper wants to focus on the equestrian ballets at the court of Munich under the reign of Maximilian II Emanuel. Here we have the unique proof, that not the riding master but the dancing master was responsible for the equestrian ballets – Pierre Dubreil. He was employed at the court from 1715 until his death in 1732. Dubreil was not only dancing master and valet de chambre of Prince-elector Karl Albrecht (the later Emperor Karl VII) but also dancer, choreographer and costume designer. The paper takes a look at two extant equestrian ballets which were planned and choreographed by Dubreil.