Chapter 1 examines the Milanese pantomimes of Gasparo Angiolini, in particular his ballet on the theme of Condillac’s statue, La vendetta spiritosa (Milan, 1781; revived as La vendetta ingegnosa, o la Statua di Condilliac, Venice, 1791), and his project of creating a language of musical gestures that could be understood without training or acculturation. Inspired by Rousseau, Condillac, and Milanese writers such as the Verri brothers and Cesare Beccaria, Angiolini hoped that this “sign language” that could overcome linguistic and even political boundaries.
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