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Midgelow, Vida (2003) REWORKING THE BALLET: RE FIGURING THE BODY AND SWAN LAKE Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey.

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Reworking the ballet: Refiguring the body and 'Swan Lake' illuminates the choreographic praxis, context and politics of reworkings of classic ballets. Dance reworkings can be seen as unruly acts framed within the status quo of the canon and are positioned as examples of canonical counter-discourse. Deconstructing the canon through processes of demythologisation and the strategies of intertextuality, reworkings have the potential to resist the nostalgic and the authoritative frame of the canon. Revealing gaps and omissions, elucidating assumptions and privileges, and exposing gender and ethnic specificities, these dances evoke difference and diversity, and bring the partial and the provisional to the fore.

Through close readings and using feminist / postfeminist and postcolonial perspectives particular attention is given to the revision of gender within these dances. Gender is shown to be especially fictive within reworkings due to the explicit reappropriation, and reinscription, of the body within these dances. The ways in which three radical reworkings of Swan Lake by Susan Foster, Shakti and myself refigure the female body and the erotic forms the main focus of the thesis. These dance makers rework the already highly gendered body of the ballerina - reclaiming the body and the erotic as a force for women, such that they have the potential to enjoy the power and pleasure of their own sexuality without recourse to dominant orthodoxies.

Reworkings assert the simultaneous habitation of multiple and overlapping formulations. As hybrid, intertextual works these dances activate, at the very least, a bi-directional gaze - simultaneously challenging and evoking their source texts. Through this 'double gesture' these dances have the potential to reconfigure their source texts, and the bodies therein, in such a manner as to operate beyond binary oppositions of canon/counter-canon.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
Midgelow, Vida
Date : March 2003
Contributors :
Additional Information : Thesis submitted for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, University of Surrey. Copyright remains with the author. A VHS video is available in the National Resource Centre for Dance to accompany this thesis. Please see link
Depositing User : Diane Maxfield
Date Deposited : 22 Oct 2018 12:19
Last Modified : 29 Oct 2018 11:35

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