Francois Delsarte (1811–1871) was a French musician and composer who was most successful as a teacher.
He developed a style of movement that he originally meant for singers and actors to express emotion,
but which became popular with dancers who were rebelling against the strict discipline of the ballet.
The gestures and poses he created were from his observation of real human interaction, but the over-
dramatization of the late 19th and early 20th century "tableaus" and melodramas made the style seem
sentimental, although the great Constantin Stanislavski would later admit to being influenced by it.
Ted Shawn became fascinated by the method and realized that the people who ridiculed it, especially in
America, had never been fully exposed to the real teachings of Delsarte and the psychological connections
behind the poses. He dedicated himself to making a full study of both Delsarte and his teachings, and this
little-known gem of a book is the result. It is fascinating... one genius honoring another.