The Development of Ballet
Ballet is a dance form that has a long history. The fact that it survives to this day shows that it has adjusted as times have changed.
Ballet began in the royal courts during the Renaissance. At that time it became common for kings and queens，as well as other nobility (贵族)，to participate in pageants that included music, poetry and dance. As these entertainments moved from the Italian courts to the French ones, court ladles began participating in them. Though their long dresses prevented much movement, they were able to perform elaborate (复杂的)walking patterns. It was not until the 1600s that women dancers shortened their skirts, changed to flat shoes, and began doing some of the leaps and turns performed by men.
It was also in the 1600s that professional ballet began. King Louis XIV of France, himself a devoted dancer, founded the Royal Academy of Dance. The five basic feet positions from which all ballet steps begin were finalized. In the late 1700s another important change occurred. Ballet began to tell a story on its own. It was no longer simply dance to be performed between acts of plays. Elaborate wigs (假发)and costumes were eliminated. By the early 1800s dancers learned to rise on their toes to make it appear that they were floating.
Classical ballet as we know today was influenced primarily by Russian dancing. The Russians remained interested in ballet when it declined in other European countries in the mld-1800s. One of the most Influential figures of the early 20th century was Sergei Diaghilev. His dance company, the Ballets Russes, brought a new energy and excitement to ballet. One of his chief assistants, George Balanchine, went on to found the New York City Ballet in 1948 and to influence new generations of dancers.
36 This passage deals mainly with_____.
A famous names in ballet
B Russian ballet
C how ballet has developed
D why ballet is no longer popular
37 The word “pageants” in Paragraph 2 means_______.
C royal courts
D big shows
解析：D通过前后文得出pageants包括了 music, poetry和dance，可知该题的意思可能是一 包含这些艺术形式的表演，这个同的实际意义是“盛大的庆典”。或者通过排除法也可轻松排除其他三个答案，从而选出正确答案。
38 Professional ballet was first performed in ______.
解析：B第三段的第一、二句It was also in the 1600s that professional ballet began. King Louis XIV of France，himself a devoted dancer，founded the Royal Acadcmy of Dance.由此司以得出答案是B项。
39 Who had an important influence on early ballet?
D Louis XIV.
40 We can conclude from this passage that ballet .
A is a dying art
B will continue to change
C is currently performed only in Russia
D is often performed by dancers with little training