By Peter Stoneley
Queers in ballet!? This surprising improvement is published through Mr. Stoneley during this very fascinating booklet at the mystery tradition of ballet. As a gay choreographer, i used to be happy and relieved to have the elephant within the room said. - Mark Morris
''Peter Stoneley sheds welcome gentle on an open mystery: that ballet has lengthy replied to and encouraged homosexual male tradition. Of use to students and scholars alike, this ebook may be a major addition to any library of queer experiences, dance reviews, and modern functionality background and theory.'' - Thomas DeFrantz, Massachusetts Institute of know-how
There has lengthy been a well-liked notion of a connection among ballet and homosexuality, a connection that, for strategic purposes, has usually been denied by way of these within the dance global. A Queer heritage of the Ballet makes a speciality of how, as makers and as audiences, queer women and men have helped to strengthen a number of the texts, photographs, and legends of ballet. additional, the booklet explores the ways that, from the 19th century into the 20th, ballet has been a method of conjuring homosexuality - of permitting some extent of expression and visibility for those that have been another way declared unlawful and obscene.
This booklet offers a chain of historic case stories, 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 US;
the queer makes use of of the prima ballerina;
Genet's writings for and approximately ballet.
Stoneley ends with a attention of the way ballet's queer culture has been memorialised by way of such modern dance-makers as Neumeier, Bausch, Bourne and Preljocaj.
This vigorous, obtainable examine will entice scholars, students and basic readers with an curiosity in dance, and in queer historical past.
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Extra resources for A Queer History of the Ballet
He began writing fairy stories in the 1880s, and he pushed the genre in a more speciﬁcally aestheticised and homoeroticised direction. One of his protagonists is pictured lying on ‘the soft cushions of his embroidered couch . . wildeyed and open-mouthed, like a woodland Faun, or some young animal of the forest newly snared by the hunters’. 33 Wilde also introduces same-sex desire into the fairy story by overlaying the narrative with references to classical culture. His ‘Young King’ gazes for hours, ‘as one in a trance, at a Greek gem carved with the ﬁgure of Adonis’; the same character spends a whole night ‘noting the effect of moonlight on a silver image of Endymion’, and is also seen kissing a statue of ‘the Bithynian slave of Hadrian’ (the Bithynian slave was Antinous, famed for his beauty and loved by Hadrian).
But the desires that he expressed in his ﬁction and his diaries remained semi-formed. He existed in a sexual limbo, in which he was primarily drawn to his own sex, but in a way that was vague and emotional. One of his closest male friends, Edvard Collin, saw this 39 NUNS AND FAIRIES very clearly. He refused to allow Andersen to refer to him with the familiar ‘du’, because it would have set up a relationship that would have made Collin himself uncomfortable. Collin explained: ‘He dreamed of ﬁnding in me a “romantic friend”; but I would have been no good at that at all’.
The circumstantial and hearsay connections might seem numerous to us, but at what point in history did this equivalence emerge as part of the cultural imagination? The use of ‘fairy’ as a term for homosexual men is dated to the late nineteenth century. At that time, editors of the ‘muck-raking’ press of New York realised that sensational accounts of homosexual subcultures sold newspapers. So readers were told of men who wore make-up and items of women’s clothing, and who were designated ‘fairies’.
A Queer History of the Ballet by Peter Stoneley