By Peter Stoneley
Queers in ballet!? This stunning improvement is published via Mr. Stoneley during this very fascinating booklet at the mystery tradition of ballet. As a gay choreographer, i used to be happy and relieved to have the elephant within the room said. - Mark Morris
''Peter Stoneley sheds welcome mild on an open mystery: that ballet has lengthy answered to and encouraged homosexual male tradition. Of use to students and scholars alike, this publication may be a huge addition to any library of queer reviews, dance reviews, and modern functionality heritage and theory.'' - Thomas DeFrantz, Massachusetts Institute of know-how
There has lengthy been a well-liked conception of a connection among ballet and homosexuality, a connection that, for strategic purposes, has frequently been denied via these within the dance global. A Queer background of the Ballet specializes in how, as makers and as audiences, queer women and men have helped to improve some of the texts, photographs, and legends of ballet. extra, the booklet explores the ways that, from the 19th century into the 20th, ballet has been a way of conjuring homosexuality - of allowing a point of expression and visibility for those that have been another way declared unlawful and obscene.
This booklet provides a sequence of ancient case experiences, together with:
the perverse sororities of the Romantic ballet;
the fairy in folklore, literature, and ballet;
Tchaikovsky and the making of Swan Lake;
Diaghilev's Ballets Russes and the emergence of queer modernity;
the formation of ballet in the USA;
the queer makes use of of the prima ballerina;
Genet's writings for and approximately ballet.
Stoneley ends with a attention of the way ballet's queer culture has been memorialised by way of such modern dance-makers as Neumeier, Bausch, Bourne and Preljocaj.
This full of life, available research will entice scholars, students and common readers with an curiosity in dance, and in queer background.
Read or Download A Queer History of the Ballet PDF
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Extra resources for A Queer History of the Ballet
Such was the success of the ballet that numerous other versions emerged. The one that is most familiar today is Auguste Bournonville’s version of 1836, choreographed to music by Løvenskjold. The original source, on which the ballet was very loosely based, was French Romantic Charles Nodier’s Trilby, ou le Lutin d’Argaïl (1822), in which a young woman’s affections are lured away from her ﬁsherman 32 NUNS AND FAIRIES husband by Trilby, a goblin. In the ballet, the sex roles are reversed. Set in the Highlands of Scotland, La Sylphide is about a handsome young peasant, James, who is visited on the eve of his wedding by the Queen of the Sylphides.
Muñoz makes a link between the ephemeral gesture and ‘queer feeling’ in an essay on the New York gay club dancer Kevin Aviance. Following Marcia Siegel, he notes that dance is a ‘perpetual vanishing point’, in that at ‘the moment of its creation it is gone’. In an echo of Kopelson and Edelman’s discussion of the ‘resistance . . to embodiment’, Muñoz invites us to consider queerness, as much as dance itself, as ‘being ﬁlled with the intention to be lost’. Queerness must subsist in ephemeral gestures, because it has needed to remain invisible to an ofﬁcial culture of ‘evidence and facts’.
However, there are immediate problems with such an argument. The equation of homosexuals with fairies did not occur until the late nineteenth century; indeed, it is often argued that there was no widely accepted idea of ‘the homosexual’ until the late nineteenth century. Clearly the founding Romantic fairy ballets, La Sylphide and Giselle, are explicitly concerned with women and with male–female relations. We might, though, want to think about how the fairy ballet makes an inadvertent invitation to those who fall outside its intended audience.