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Dance on Its Own TermsHistories and Methodologies$
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Melanie Bales and Karen Eliot

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199939985

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199939985.001.0001

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Touchstones of Tradition and Innovation

Touchstones of Tradition and Innovation


(p.175) 7 Touchstones of Tradition and Innovation
Dance on Its Own Terms

Melanie Bales

Oxford University Press

“Touchstones of Tradition and Innovation: Pas de Deux by Petipa, Balanchine and Forsythe” closely juxtaposes three duets from different centuries and styles, though each is located within the ballet idiom. A comparative analysis forces inquiries into the codes and values of the balletic form itself, with a consideration of those values as they emerge through the steps and choreographic structures of the dances, the identities of the choreographers and the sociopolitical climate surrounding the creation of each work. The three examples are signposts by which to see the effects of time upon a classical tradition, and they demonstrate how both individual artists and collective choices have shaped that tradition.

Keywords:   ballet, pas de deux, petipa, balanchine, forsythe, comparative analysis, choreographers, classical tradition

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