Dance and dancers in the Victorian and Edwardian music hall ballet

Carter, Alexandra (2005) Dance and dancers in the Victorian and Edwardian music hall ballet. Music in Nineteenth-Century Britain . Ashgate, Aldershot. ISBN 0754637360

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Abstract

The work addresses a significant gap in British dance history between the Romantic period and the advent of the Ballets Russes. The only other author who deals with this period is Guest (1982) but this text differs significantly by addressing the following research questions (i) the relationships of the ballets to their social, economic and artistic context (ii) the lives and working conditions of all of the dancers rather than merely the principals (iii) how a 'voice' might be ascribed to the 'silent' majority who make their livelihoods in dance/the performing arts (iv) using theories of gender how links might be established between the ballets and the sexual psyche of the period and (v) by including a 'fictional' chapter based on extant sources, how debates from new historiography might be deployed to guide and inform the research. Furthermore, the research establishes a link between this period and the so-called 'birth' of British ballet, thus destabilising the accepted chronology. As well as offering a new reading of this historical continuum, the book fills a void in history and, as such, necessitated meticulous primary source research. Details of the ballet productions were gleaned in a conventional manner from theatre programmes, general articles, reviews, etc. However, because the research was concerned with the image, or public perceptions of the dance and dancers, biography, autobiography, poetry, fiction, songs and visual material of the period were all open to critical scrutiny in order to construct a new history of the period.

Item Type:Book
Research Areas:School of Media and Performing Arts > Performing Arts
ID Code:711
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Deposited On:09 Dec 2008 12:24
Last Modified:10 Mar 2014 06:20

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