By Sally Banes
Dancing ladies: lady our bodies Onstage is a superb and well timed contribution to bop historical past, recasting canonical dance because the early 19th century when it comes to a feminist viewpoint. environment the production of particular dances in socio-political and cultural contexts, Sally Banes exhibits that choreographers have created representations of ladies which are formed by way of - and that during half form - society's carrying on with debates approximately sexuality and feminine id. extensive in its scope and compelling in its argument Dancing girls: * offers a sequence of re-readings of the canon, from Romantic and Russian Imperial ballet to modern ballet and glossy dance * investigates the gaps among plot and function that create sexual and gendered meanings * examines how women's employer is created in dance via features of choreographic constitution and elegance * analyzes a number women's pictures - together with brides, mistresses, moms, sisters, witches, wraiths, enchanted princesses, peasants, revolutionaries, cowgirls, scientists, and athletes - in addition to the construction of assorted women's groups at the dance level * indicates methods to problems with gender in postmodern dance utilizing an interpretive technique varied from that of alternative feminist dance historians, who've under pressure both victimization or party of girls, Banes reveals a way more complicated diversity of cultural representations of gender identities.
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Extra info for Dancing Women: Female Bodies Onstage
Hélène uses her sexual charms to entice Robert, the Devil’s son and a nobleman, into taking a magic talisman that will win him his beloved. The vices the nuns had practiced in their earthly lives are reenacted in the ballet. 50 The American Fanny Appleton describes the overall effect of the Ballet of the Nuns: It was magnificent and terrific and diabolical and enchanting and everything else fine. The music and the show and the dancing! The famous witch’s dance [sic], in the freezing moonlight in the ruined abbey, was as impressive as I expected….
42 The Furies tell Orestes, the matricide: No, neither Apollo, nor Athena’s strength will rescue you, perishing, uncared for, knowing in your heart no whereabouts of joy, the blood sucked from you, fodder for ghosts, a shade. … Come join the dance; let us join in it! 43 Later, Orestes is saved by Athena, just as Albrecht is saved by Giselle’s protection, although in the ballet the Wilis simply disappear—instead of being transformed, like the Furies, into beneficent household spirits (the Eumenides).
La Sylphide’s human marriage plot, like that of so many Romantic ballets, fails. But the human marriage plot is also dysphoric, for it seems James could not have been happy married to Effie. Rather than a celebration of the incorporation of the community, La Sylphide explores society’s anxiety toward the Other, and perhaps toward the institution of marriage itself. ” Giselle, choreographed nearly ten years later, in 1841, embodies even more explicitly the values of that era, not only in terms of gender politics, but also in terms of class conflict and compromise, expressed through a gendered narrative of doomed love across class lines.