An Exploratory Study of Regendering Contemporary Ballet
Regendered movement refers to a process where choreographic material is created or adapted with the intention that it may be performed by either male or female dancers with little or no change to the original steps. This practice-led research project investigated the choreographer’s creative process for regendering contemporary ballet choreography and the dancers’ experiences of the rehearsal process and performance, and audience perception of meaning in the ballets. The research project sought to investigate the “in-born” and “natural” gender binaries of classical ballet by applying gender theory (Butler 1990, 2004; Polhemus 1993; Wulff 2008) and feminist critique of classical ballet (Daly 1987; Copeland 1993; Anderson 1997; Banes 1998). A mixed method, studio-based action research methodology was employed. Recent critical debate on gender in dance (Macaulay 2010, 2013; Jennings 2013, 2014), existing contemporary ballet, and its impact on the creative process of the choreographer are discussed.
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