Our production of The Sacred and the Profane was inspired by Renaissance dance styles as they were practised all over Europe in the 16th and early 17th centuries. France and Italy pioneered spectacular kinds of ballet in court theatre: dancers displayed themselves in fabulous costumes and performed intricate, complex figures which they had rehearsed for weeks, even months.
In the Renaissance period, dance was an indispensable accomplishment: people spent on star instructors as much as one would nowadays on a trophy car. At court, whole careers were built on a fine appearance and elegant movements. If you are an upwardly mobile student today you might consider a law conversion course on top of their BA, or an internship in the City of London. Four hundred years ago, you would have worked out daily with your personal dancing master to get ahead in life.