Title

The Romantic Ballerinas: What are Guillotines Compared to Tutus and Pointe Shoes?

Format

Oral Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Belt Schumacher

Abstract/Artist Statement

The Romantic Movement of the nineteenth century revolutionized the art form of ballet in France, and subsequently the. social standing of women. Originally a counter movement to postrevolutionary Classicism, the Romantic Movement changed the ideals of male and female roles in ballet. In-depth analyses of Pas de Quatre and Swan Lake reveal a fundamental trend of the Romantic Movement: women's centrality. This happened in part because of a change in the level of difficulty of ballet during the Romantic period. New techniques were invented to show off a dancer's ability, specifically the development of pointe work for women and more liberating costumes. Because the newly developed methods highlighted the movement and grace of women, a progressive movement began where .the women were centralized and the male role declined (at least on stage). Contrary to prominent dance scholars such as Christy Adair, my research proves that women significantly dominated Romantic ballet as interpreters, creators, and admirers. After dancing ballet for eleven years, I always wondered about the perception of women ballerinas. There is so much hard work and sacrifice behind the scenes, much different from the glamorous performances on the stage. Because the Romantic Movement was so influential, I wanted to explore women's newfound independence through re-stagings of the ballets today and resources commenting on the social situation of women in this time period.

Location

Wendell Phillips Center, Room 145

Start Date

3-5-2008 9:00 AM

End Date

3-5-2008 12:30 PM

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May 3rd, 9:00 AM May 3rd, 12:30 PM

The Romantic Ballerinas: What are Guillotines Compared to Tutus and Pointe Shoes?

Wendell Phillips Center, Room 145

The Romantic Movement of the nineteenth century revolutionized the art form of ballet in France, and subsequently the. social standing of women. Originally a counter movement to postrevolutionary Classicism, the Romantic Movement changed the ideals of male and female roles in ballet. In-depth analyses of Pas de Quatre and Swan Lake reveal a fundamental trend of the Romantic Movement: women's centrality. This happened in part because of a change in the level of difficulty of ballet during the Romantic period. New techniques were invented to show off a dancer's ability, specifically the development of pointe work for women and more liberating costumes. Because the newly developed methods highlighted the movement and grace of women, a progressive movement began where .the women were centralized and the male role declined (at least on stage). Contrary to prominent dance scholars such as Christy Adair, my research proves that women significantly dominated Romantic ballet as interpreters, creators, and admirers. After dancing ballet for eleven years, I always wondered about the perception of women ballerinas. There is so much hard work and sacrifice behind the scenes, much different from the glamorous performances on the stage. Because the Romantic Movement was so influential, I wanted to explore women's newfound independence through re-stagings of the ballets today and resources commenting on the social situation of women in this time period.