By Caroline Joan S. Picart
The hassle to win federal safeguard for dance within the usa was once a racialized and gendered contest. Picart lines the evolution of choreographic works from being federally non-copyrightable to changing into a class in all likelihood copyrightable lower than the 1976 Copyright Act, in particular reading Loíe Fuller, George Balanchine, and Martha Graham.
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Additional resources for Critical Race Theory and Copyright in American Dance: Whiteness as Status Property
This close association between “classical” ballet training, corporeal discipline, and (moral) “purity” continues to be extolled by various contemporary dance theorists. As Selma Jean Cohen notes: By “ballet” let’s say we mean what is usually considered its quintessential style, classical, if by “classical” we mean pure. Lincoln Kirstein [Balanchine’s patron] once defined style as a moral virtue manifested in the conquest of untidy egotism; ballet as “a clear if complex blending of human anatomy, solid geometry and acrobatics, offered as a symbolic demonstration of manners .
10 By the early-nineteenth century (the romantic period in ballet), the body vocabulary (and aesthetic), that persists even in today’s ballet, had congealed. Crucial to this aesthetic is the emphasis on an erect, uplifted spine, with an unbending torso, with shoulders pulled up and back—a clearly aristocratic bearing meant to embody courtly ideals. This close association between “classical” ballet training, corporeal discipline, and (moral) “purity” continues to be extolled by various contemporary dance theorists.
24 An anecdote about one of Balanchine’s classes illustrates the premium Balanchine placed on this component of a balletic aesthetic. [Balanchine] had the [dancers] line up and go separately across the room in a sequence combining a gliding step, a leap, an intermediate step, and another leap. When Violette Verdy had done this, he called her back and had her try it again, telling her that she must push forward on the glide, not rest on it. Miss Verdy, who was dressed in a bright-blue sweater and black tights, with her golden hair in a shining topknot, nodded eagerly as she listened.