A Queer History of the Ballet by Peter Stoneley

By Peter Stoneley

Queers in ballet!? This surprising improvement is printed by way of Mr. Stoneley during this very fascinating e-book at the mystery tradition of ballet. As a gay choreographer, i used to be happy and relieved to have the elephant within the room stated. - 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 e-book may be an incredible addition to any library of queer experiences, dance reports, and modern functionality historical past 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 through these within the dance international. A Queer historical past of the Ballet makes a speciality of how, as makers and as audiences, queer women and men have helped to boost a few 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 method of conjuring homosexuality - of allowing some extent of expression and visibility for those that have been in a different way declared unlawful and obscene.

This ebook offers a chain 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 United States;

the queer makes use of of the prima ballerina;

Genet's writings for and approximately ballet.

Stoneley ends with a attention of ways 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 historical past.

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He falls in love with a young cavalier with ‘the darkest and most beautiful eyes’. There is reassurance from the start, though, that this cavalier is in fact a woman, the Mademoiselle de Maupin of the title. The supposed young man has ‘something gentle and undulating about his gait and movements’, and ‘many women would envy him his hands and feet’. Gautier is not interested in the idea of homosexuality. He and his hero are obsessed with womanliness in male attire. This uncertain image serves as an opportunity for restating the differences between the sexes: ‘Would God put such long fringes of brown silk on the wretched eyelids of a man?

Véron, on the other hand, shortened the dancers’ skirts. He also reduced their wages and made the warm-up room or foyer de la danse into a place where the most important subscribers could meet with the dancers. 5 Robert le Diable was part of a larger process of change, as opera and ballet ceased to provide elaborations of ancien régime values, and began to offer the kind of sensations that enabled the Opéra to compete as popular entertainment. The loss of royal patronage enabled a new experimentalism (though, with prostitution légère, the new spirit brought new oppressions).

Her Wilis are a tribe of girls who died before their love was consummated. Each night they rise from their graves, tortured by desire and seeking fulfilment. They linger in dark parts of the woods, waiting for young men whom they will dance to death. But Gautier’s libretto offers slightly conflicting explanations of the Wilis. He explains that they love to dance because they died before their marriages could take place. In this account, dancing stands in as an obvious euphemism for the pleasures of the marriage bed.

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