By Sally Banes
Dancing ladies: lady our bodies Onstage is a unbelievable and well timed contribution to bop historical past, recasting canonical dance because the early 19th century by way of a feminist point of view. environment the production of particular dances in socio-political and cultural contexts, Sally Banes indicates that choreographers have created representations of girls which are formed via - and that during half form - society's carrying on with debates approximately sexuality and feminine identification. extensive in its scope and compelling in its argument Dancing ladies: * 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 service provider is created in dance via features of choreographic constitution and magnificence * analyzes a number women's photos - 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 degree * indicates techniques to problems with gender in postmodern dance utilizing an interpretive procedure assorted from that of different feminist dance historians, who've under pressure both victimization or social gathering of ladies, Banes unearths a way more advanced variety of cultural representations of gender identities.
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Additional info for Dancing Women: Female Bodies on Stage
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). ”45 As dance historian Joellen Meglin points out, “The Romantic ballet communicated a…horror of congregations of women…. Women acting in concert were characterized as vindictive, wrathful, and remorseless; they were the fearsome oppressed who would vent their fury in judgment of the oppressors.
For in La Sylphide, as in many of its progeny, the theme of marriage is introduced, only to be subverted in various ways. If eighteenth-century ballets represented wedding ceremonies, Romantic ballets so often show them undermined. 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.
Her motions are as mercurial as her moods. Lepaulle of the original French version of the ballet. She is by turns gracious, cautious, confident, loving, and mischievous; she moves forward and back from James’s chair as if to embody some ambivalence about revealing herself to him; she begins with low, small-scale footwork and then opens into space-devouring leaps; above all, she is never fixed in one place. Her back is flexible, and her movement sequences are extremely fluid. And when she dances in her own habitat, in the second act, her hovering (with the help of some unobtrusive stage machinery) turns into flight.