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Download Dancing Women: Female Bodies on Stage by Sally Banes PDF

By Sally Banes

Dancing ladies: woman our bodies Onstage is a miraculous and well timed contribution to bounce heritage, recasting canonical dance because the early 19th century by way of a feminist standpoint. surroundings the construction of particular dances in socio-political and cultural contexts, Sally Banes indicates that choreographers have created representations of ladies which are formed through - and that during half form - society's carrying on with debates approximately sexuality and feminine identification. vast in its scope and compelling in its argument Dancing ladies: * presents a chain 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 elements of choreographic constitution and magnificence * analyzes various women's photographs - together with brides, mistresses, moms, sisters, witches, wraiths, enchanted princesses, peasants, revolutionaries, cowgirls, scientists, and athletes - in addition to the production of varied women's groups at the dance degree * indicates techniques to problems with gender in postmodern dance utilizing an interpretive procedure assorted from that of alternative feminist dance historians, who've under pressure both victimization or occasion of ladies, Banes unearths a way more complicated variety of cultural representations of gender identities.

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51 Gautier’s description of Giselle’s second act shows just how close the Wilis were to the ghosts of the lapsed nuns in Robert le diable: With her characteristic melancholy grace [Adèle Dumilâtre, in the role of Myrtha] frolics in the pale star-light, which glides over the water like a white mist, poises herself on flexible branches, leaps on the tips of the grass, like Virgil’s Camilla, who walked on wheat without bending it, and, arming herself with a magic wand, she evokes the other Wilis, her subjects, who come forth with their moonlight veils from the tufted reeds, clusters of verdure, and calixes of flowers to take part in the dance.

54 For the workingclass woman, who was even less likely to marry, there were fewer options: backbreaking factory work, domestic service, work convents, and prostitution. 55 The normative expectation, at least for bourgeois women, was that all women would get married in order to channel their sexuality “properly”—but in fact a large proportion did not. For working-class women, prostitution was often the only alternative to starvation, and in the first thirty years of the nineteenth century, prostitution—both legal and illegal—flourished.

49 Suggestions of questionable goings-on in convents were not unfamiliar on the stage of the Opéra, either. Marie Taglioni’s first great triumph had come in a scene reminiscent of the dance of the Wilis, the Ballet of the Nuns in Meyerbeer’s opera Robert le diable. In it, she danced the role of the debauched 32 THE ROMANTIC BALLET abbess Hélène, one of the group of lapsed nuns who arise from their tombs at the Devil’s behest, throw off their habits, and dance hedonistically. 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.

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