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Dancing Women

Female Bodies On Stage

Dancing Women by Sally Banes
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This work recasts canonical dance since the early 19th century in terms of a feminist perspective. Setting the creation of specific dances in socio-political and cultural contexts, it shows that choreographers have created representations of women that are shaped by - and that in part shape - society's continuing debates about sexuality and female identity. The book provides a series of re-readings of the canon, from Romantic ballet and Russian ballet to modern ballet and modern dance. It examines the icon status of "dancing divas" from Marie Taglioni, Isadora Duncan and Josephine Baker to Madonna and investigates women's images in genres of dance such as vaudeville and burlesque, the musical, exhibition ballroom dancing, and music videos. Using an interpretive strategy different from that of other feminist dance historians, who have stressed either victimization or celebration of women, the author uncovers a complex range of cultural representations of gender identities.
Routledge; January 1998
299 pages; ISBN 9780203344347
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Title: Dancing Women
Author: Sally Banes