The Masculine Other: Choreographing for the Asian Male Ballet Dancer
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Series/Report no.:2017 Edward F. Hayes Graduate Research Forum. 31st
Classical ballet tends to foreground images of women who are ethereal and lithe, and men who are chivalrous partners and virtuosic athletes. And yet male dancers are often subject to scrutiny in which their masculinity is questioned and their sexuality is assumed to be homosexual. In response, ballet choreographies often emphasize heterosexual relationships and incredible feats of athleticism in attempts to counter such rhetoric through hyper-masculinization. However, what of queer dancers or men who present non-normative gender identities? Or Asian men, who have been historically effeminized through Orientalist discourse? This paper endeavors to consider and develop choreographic strategies that have the potential to allow for alternative performances of masculinity in a classical ballet context, where highly specified gender roles and movement vocabularies designated for men and women have ossified into tradition. Drawing largely upon the work of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari and their concepts of deterritorialization and reterritorialization, paired with Jane M. Bacon and Vida Midgelow’s Critical Articulations Process (CAP), I argue for a development of choreographic methods that can encompass a wider range of masculinities, allowing for a variety of artistic expressions and a restructuring of ballet pedagogy to encourage inclusivity.
The Arts: 2nd Place (The Ohio State University Edward F. Hayes Graduate Research Forum)
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