Thursday, October 13, 2011

Belmont College and Delsarte Expression

Search Amazon for Delsarte Expression.

Located in Nashville, Tennessee, Belmont College was a prestigious ladies finishing school serving the well0to0do families of Middle Tennessee and beyond.  The Moran girls, Fanny, Ida (Teatot), and possibly Marion who was the youngest attended Belmont.

This programme is an example of the type of subjects that aristocratic young ladies were expected to learn and excel at in school and in life.  With names like "fancy steps", "doll drill", and "long wand exercise" the school was promoting the social graces while teaching the girls calisthenics and deportment.

Francois Delsarte and Genevieve Stebbins developed the system known as "delsarte Expression".  The Delsarte method taught that "expression of face precedes gesture, and gesture precedes speech".  Simply stated that means a signle look can convey a thousand words.  He called this the law of sequence.  Their book The Delsarte System of Expression, published in 1887, is 278 pages in length and covers topics such as the tilt of the head, poise and bearing, and exercise. Many of the books about the Delsarte Expression system are still being reproduced in 2011.