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Choreography and Narrative Ballet's Staging of Story and Desire

by Susan Leigh Foster

  • ISBN: 9780253212160
  • ISBN10: 0253212162

Choreography and Narrative Ballet's Staging of Story and Desire

by Susan Leigh Foster

  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publisher: Indiana Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 09/01/1998
  • ISBN: 9780253212160
  • ISBN10: 0253212162
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Description: Choreography and Narrative traces development of the story ballet from the early - eighteenth-century fair theatres through the Revolutionary fetes to the well-known Romantic ballets La Sulphide and Giselle. This history charts ballet's separation from opera at mid-century and its emergence as an autonomous art form dedicated to the telling of a story through gesture and movement alone. The site for this historical inquiry is Paris, home to the most popular and lavish dance productions of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The ballet is analyzed in terms of the training procedures for dancers, the aesthetic goals and responsibilities of choreographers, the institutional frameworks that promote productions, and the expectations and pleasures of dance viewers. Throughout, ballet is approached as a cultural practice intimately connected with political and economic features of French society, a practice whose evolving form bears witness to, as it participates in, the sweeping social changes of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. To uncover the significance of ballet, Choreography and Narrative compares the dancing body with the body as constructed in social dance practices, and also in anatomy, etiquette, painting, acting, and physical education. Choreography is considered as a theorizing of embodiment, one which reflects on the individual, gendered, and social identities of those who dance and those who watch dancing.
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