University of Surrey

Test tubes in the lab Research in the ATI Dance Research

Narrative Variants and Theatrical Constants: Towards a Dramaturgy of the Ballet Fantastique (1830–1860).

Bernkopf, Astrid. (2005) Narrative Variants and Theatrical Constants: Towards a Dramaturgy of the Ballet Fantastique (1830–1860). Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike.

Download (9MB) | Preview


Ballet is often perceived as a danced fairy tale and, therefore, considered to be like the fairy tale. In this research, the literary form of the fairy tale is compared with the narrative of the ballet fantastique in two acts. The analytical method of Vladimir Propp’s Morphologie des Marchens (1975) serves as starting point for an investigation into storytelling and the narrative of the ballet scenario. Until now, narrative analyses have been overlooked by dance analysis. Therefore, the task of this study is to propose the first dramaturgy of the ballet fantastique and, thus, a first independent model of narrative analysis for dance. The scenarios of two-act ballets dating from 1830 to 1860 provide a compact corpus of research, which is treated as a hybrid form, lying between literature and performance. Since the ballet fantastique’s narrative does not follow literary patterns, the application of Propp’s model encounters several restricting factors. Firstly, there are differences between the two art forms, and, secondly, there is the lack of a methodological framework within which a ballet plot can be analysed. Concerning the first case, stage conventions are considered as regulating the ballet plot by setting several of its features into a particular structure or appearance. Literary theory cannot account for these theatrical notions and, therefore, studies on drama and opera are applied to describe and define the stage conventions and their relevance for the narrative. Additionally, psychoanalytical concepts are used to characterise the events and characters of the ballet plot. The lack of an established method results in this thesis following the path of search and research. The main body of text sets up a methodological framework that allows for the construction of the Dramaturgy of Desire. With this first dramaturgy of the ballet fantastique, narrative analysis is introduced to dance analysis.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Bernkopf, Astrid.
Date : 2005
Additional Information : Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Surrey (United Kingdom), 2005.
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 24 Apr 2020 15:27
Last Modified : 24 Apr 2020 15:27

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

Information about this web site

© The University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, United Kingdom.
+44 (0)1483 300800