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En Place: choreographic investigations of the dancer’s awareness of ballet form

Jackson, J (2009) En Place: choreographic investigations of the dancer’s awareness of ballet form In: The World Dance Alliance Global Summit, 2008-07-13 - 2008-07-18, Brisbane, Australia.

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In this paper I discuss the development of compositional methods in ballet and draw on my research into choreographic processes that have focussed on somatic awareness of ballet principles and their pedagogic underpinnings. Both Balanchine and Bournonville’s legacies offer compelling evidence of the symbiotic relationship between the development of academic and choreographic form in ballet (Crow/Jackson 2007). Sylvie Fortin (2003) contends that cross fertilisation between somatic and dance practice fosters individual creativity. Arguably ballet, which is defined by robust repertoire and principles, offers an apt model for investigating a choreographic pedagogy that also accounts for the somatic experience of the dancer. In the discussion, I use the example of a ‘shared’ solo from my recent choreography In the Reveal (2007) to consider the layering of personal and shared histories, multiple authorship and the somatic challenge to traditional methods of ballet creation. I reflect on a parallel approach in my teaching that draws principles of ballet spatial grammar, which I have conceptualised as frameworks for exploration of movement and expression. The ‘first person’ dimension and focus on principles shifts the emphasis in choreographic exploration away from the plastique or ‘what the body can do’, towards an inter-relational construct of the dancing as flow between sites of knowledge. The paper moves towards articulating the compositional methodologies emerging from the dancer’s personal dialogue with ‘objective’ ballet texts.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Human Sciences > School of Arts > Dance, Film and Theatre
Authors :
Date : 2009
Contributors :
PublisherOn-line publication, QUT Creative Industries and Ausdance., UNSPECIFIED
Related URLs :
Additional Information : This is an electronic version of an article published as Jackson J (2009). En Place: choreographic investigations of the dancer’s awareness of ballet form The World Dance Alliance Global Summit, Brisbane, Australia, 13 Jul 2008 - 18 Jul 2008. Editors: Stock C. Dance Dialogues: conversations across cultures, artforms and practices. Referred Proceedings.. On-line publication, QUT Creative Industries and Ausdance., Canberra, Australia. ISBN: 1875255176 Available online at:
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 11 May 2012 13:15
Last Modified : 23 Sep 2013 19:15

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