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date: 21 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter demonstrates how twentieth-century choreographies that reference the Classics embody changing images and ideas of gender and sexual dissidence. Analyses of Isadora Duncan’s dancing, Vaslav Nijinsky’s Afternoon of a Faun, George Balanchine’s Apollo, Martha Graham’s Errand into the Maze, and Mark Morris’s Dido and Aeneas link onstage images to offstage contexts for non-normative conceptions of gender and sexuality. The chapter furthers a dialogue between classical reception studies and dance studies by periodizing twentieth-century choreography of the Classics and by arguing for the significance of the Classics for stagings of dissident gender and sexuality in modern dance and twentieth-century ballet. In this way, the reception of the Classics among modern choreographers departs from the reception of the Classics among theater artists.

Keywords: classical reception studies, dance studies, modern dance, twentieth-century ballet, Isadora Duncan, Vaslav Nijinsky, George Balanchine, Martha Graham, Mark Morris

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