Event Title

Ballet: Social Dance or Social Control?

Location

CSU 201

Start Date

11-4-2017 10:00 AM

End Date

11-4-2017 11:00 AM

Student's Major

Theatre and Dance

Student's College

Arts and Humanities

Mentor's Name

Julie Kerr-Berry

Mentor's Department

Theatre and Dance

Mentor's College

Arts and Humanities

Description

This paper examines the employment of ballet as an instrument of social control by governments during times of conflict. Ballet's inception under Louis XIV is first emphasized as essential to understanding the body politics behind the art form and how they resulted in ballet's potential to influence the masses. Ballet is then discussed in regards to the Fronde civil wars during the reign of King Louis XIV, to WWII through the lens of the British home front, and to the Cold War through the actions of the U.S. government. All three examples demonstrate the utilization of ballet with the intention of inspiring nationalism and unification among citizens, which is achieved via ballet's codified structure and capacity for narrative. As a result, Frederick Ashton and George Balanchine serve as key figures that aid in the development of the arguments surrounding Britain during WWII and the U.S. during the Cold War due to their artistic enlistment by their respective governments. The larger implications of this paper support how art reflects particular social and political climates, which is still relevant today.

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Apr 11th, 10:00 AM Apr 11th, 11:00 AM

Ballet: Social Dance or Social Control?

CSU 201

This paper examines the employment of ballet as an instrument of social control by governments during times of conflict. Ballet's inception under Louis XIV is first emphasized as essential to understanding the body politics behind the art form and how they resulted in ballet's potential to influence the masses. Ballet is then discussed in regards to the Fronde civil wars during the reign of King Louis XIV, to WWII through the lens of the British home front, and to the Cold War through the actions of the U.S. government. All three examples demonstrate the utilization of ballet with the intention of inspiring nationalism and unification among citizens, which is achieved via ballet's codified structure and capacity for narrative. As a result, Frederick Ashton and George Balanchine serve as key figures that aid in the development of the arguments surrounding Britain during WWII and the U.S. during the Cold War due to their artistic enlistment by their respective governments. The larger implications of this paper support how art reflects particular social and political climates, which is still relevant today.

Recommended Citation

Bornholdt, Autumn. "Ballet: Social Dance or Social Control?." Undergraduate Research Symposium, Mankato, MN, April 11, 2017.
http://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/urs/2017/oral-session-01/2