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January 4, 2018
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v2.1 Reference

The Evolving Feminine Ballet Body

Dance has become increasingly visible within contemporary culture: just think of reality TV shows featuring this art form. This shift brings the ballet body into renewed focus. Historically both celebrated and critiqued for its thin, flexible, and highly feminized aesthetic, the ballet body now takes on new and complex meanings at the intersections of performance art, popular culture, and fitness. The Evolving Feminine Ballet Body provides a local perspective to enrich the broader cultural narratives of ballet through historical, socio-cultural, political, and artistic lenses, redefining what many consider to be "high art." Scholars in gender studies, folklore, popular culture, and cultural studies will be interested in this collection, as well as those involved in the dance world.

Contributors: Kelsie Acton, Marianne I. Clark, Kate Z. Davies, Lindsay Eales, Pirkko Markula, Carolyn Millar, Jodie Vandekerkhove

About the Authors

A dancer and instructor, Pirkko Markula is Professor of socio-cultural studies of physical activity at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.


"Editors and contributors examine perceptions of femininity through the magnifying lens of classical dance. They are not ballet critics; they number dancers, instructors and sociologists. Yet the conclusions are stark.... "The Evolving Feminine Ballet Body" is fresh and compelling." [Full article at]—Holly Doan, Blacklock's Reporter

"In this unique text, Markula and Clark have edited a collection of essays that explore the transformation of the ballet body alongside an inquiry into the history and meaning of ballet. In addition to being dancers themselves, the contributors are scholars from a range of backgrounds, including gender studies, occupational therapy, and kinesiology.... Of particular interest is the book's emphasis on the different ways ballet dancers experience their bodies.... A fascinating work." C. Hauff, CHOICE Magazine, November 2018—C. Hauff, CHOICE Magazine

9781772123340 : the-evolving-feminine-ballet-body-markula-clark-acton
Paperback / softback
228 Pages
$27.99 USD

Other Titles by Pirkko Markula

The Creation of iGiselle

edited by Nora Stovel, with contributions byVadim Bulitko, Wayne DeFehr, Christina Gier, Pirkko Markula, Mark Morris, Sergio Poo Hernandez, Emilie St. Hilaire, Laura Sydora
Jan 2019 - The University of Alberta Press, an imprint of University of Alberta Press
$34.99 USD - Paperback / softback