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Distributed for Intellect Ltd

(Re:) Claiming Ballet

Though ballet is often seen as a white, cis-heteropatriarchal form of dance, in fact it has been, and still is, shaped by artists from a much broader range of backgrounds. This collection looks beyond the mainstream, bringing to light the overlooked influences that continue to inform the culture of ballet. Essays illuminate the dance form’s rich and complex history and start much-needed conversations about the roles of class, gender normativity, and race, demonstrating that despite mainstream denial and exclusionary tactics, ballet thrives with “difference.” 

With contributions from professional ballet dancers and teachers, choreographers, and dance scholars in Europe and the United States, the volume introduces important new thinkers and perspectives. An essential resource for the field of ballet studies and a major contribution to dance scholarship more broadly, (Re:) Claiming Ballet will appeal to academics, researchers, and scholars; dance professionals and practitioners;  and anyone interested in the intersection of race, class, gender, and dance.

328 pages | 6.69 x 9.61 | © 2021

Black Studies

Music: General Music

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"[This book] examine[s] the white, cis, heteropatriarchal history of ballet, and how many dancers and choreographers are grappling with this history. It has started some very important conversations about the role of ballet today and how this art can thrive within the beauty of difference."

New Books in Performing Arts

Table of Contents

Introduction: Regarding claiming ballet / reclaiming ballet

Part One – Histories

Chapter 1: Ballet, from property to Art – Adesola Akinleye

Chapter 2: Should there be a Female ballet canon? Seven Radical Acts of Inclusion - Julia Gleich and Molly Faulkner

Chapter 3: Arabesque en Noir: The Persistent Presence of Black Dancers in the American Ballet World - Joselli Audain Deans 

Chapter 4: Portrayals of Black people from the African Diaspora in western narrative ballets – Sandie Bourne

Part Two – Knowledges  

Chapter 5: The traces of my ballet body - Mary Savva  

Chapter 6: Ballet Beyond Boundaries – Personal History. Brenda Dixson Gottschild  

Chapter 7:“Auftanzen statt Aufgeben” and The Anti Fascist Ballet School -Elizabeth Ward 

Chapter 8: Dancing Across Historically Racist Borders – Kehinde Ishangi 

Part Three – Resiliences  

Chapter 9: Dance Theatre of Harlem’s radicalization of ballet in 1970s & 1980s – Theresa Ruth Howard  

Chapter 10: Personal testimony as social resilience - Theara J. Ward 

Chapter 11: “Can you feel it?”: Pioneering Pedagogies that Challenge Ballet’s Authoritarian Traditions - Jessica Zeller 

Chapter 12: The Ever After of Ballet – Selby Wynn Schwartz 

Chapter 13: Ballethnic Dance Company Builds Community: Urban Nutcracker leads the way – Nena Gilreath

Part four – Consciousnesses 

Chapter 14: The Counterpoint Project – When Life Doesn’t Imitate Art -  Endalyn Taylor

Chapter 15: Ballet’s Binary Genders in a Rainbow-Spectrum World:

A call for progressive pedagogies - Melonie B. Murray  

Chapter 16: Dancing through Black British ballet: Conversations with dancers - Adesola Akinleye and Tia-Monique Uzor 

Chapter 17: Ballet Aesthetics of Trauma, Development, and Functionality – Luc Vanier & Elizabeth Johnson 

About the contributors 


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