Reworking the Ballet: Counter Narratives and Alternative Bodies

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Taylor & Francis, Nov 9, 2007 - Music - 240 pages
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Challenging and unsettling their predecessors, modern choreographers such as Matthew Bourne, Mark Morris and Masaki Iwana have courted controversy and notoriety by reimagining the most canonical of Classical and Romantic ballets.

In this book, Vida L. Midgelow illustrates the ways in which these contemporary reworkings destroy and recreate their source material, turning ballet from a classical performance to a vital exploration of gender, sexuality and cultural difference.

Reworking the Ballet: Counter Narratives and Alternative Bodies articulates the ways that audiences and critics can experience these new versions, viewing them from both practical and theoretical perspectives, including:

  • eroticism and the politics of touch
  • performing gender
  • cross-casting and cross-dressing
  • reworkings and intertextuality
  • cultural exchange and hybridity.

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About the author (2007)

Dr. Vida L Midgelow is a Reader in Performance Studies and Dance at The University of Northampton, UK and Director of The Choreographic Lab. Her research activities cross between practice-as-research and traditional written modes. She has presented papers and toured her movement based works in the UK and internationally. She has particular expertise in current European dance practices, the radical reworking of the classics, gender and sexuality in performance, choreographic methodologies and improvisation. Her essay ‘Decentred Bodies: Postfeminist Corporealities Dance’ (in The Postfeminist Handbook, 2006) brings together several of these concerns. In recent years she has also made a number of choreographic installation pieces, these include; O (a set of footnotes to Swan Lake) and Threshold : Fleshfold.

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