2012 Student Research Conference:
25th Annual Student Research Conference

Ballet from a Positive Feminist Perspective
Julie A. Wikle
Dr. Heather Cianciola, Faculty Mentor

Dance as an art form has introduced women into the artistic world more readily than many other art forms and in many ways has created more gender-equality than other artistic endeavors. Commonly, feminist criticism of ballet has been negative, focusing on the art forms male gaze aspect, the pressure for bodily perfection, and the stereotypical depiction of feminine fragility in the graceful movements. Recently, however, feminists have begun to think about ballet in a more positive light, and in this oral presentation, I too will use feminist ideas to join in the discussion of the positive aspects of ballet. Issues I will explore include the portrayal of the female body, a comparison of the dance techniques used by male and female dancers, and the role of choreographers and famous women figures in ballet. Just as feminists reexamine traditional gender practices, I will reexamine widely-accepted feminist views on ballet.

Keywords: Ballet, feminist criticism, male gaze, female body, dance techniques, famous women in ballet, feminine fragility

Topic(s):Women's and Gender Studies
Art - Art History

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 106-4
Location: VH 1228
Time: 8:45

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