Classical

By Philp, Richard | Dance Magazine, January 1997 | Go to article overview

Classical


Philp, Richard, Dance Magazine


Is classical dance an endangered species? Given the relatively healthy state of ballet and other forms of dance in communities across America, is the immediate future of classical dance even an issue? Concern over this question has generated a symposium this month in Lausanne, Switzerland, called, "What is the future for classical dance?" It poses some interesting ideas worth exploring.

What do we mean when we talk about classical ballet? Strictly speaking, in Western dance, the classical period refers to the second half of the nineteenth century when such works a, Petipa's The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and The Nut-cracker e created in Russia. The classical period follows the Romantic (epitomized by Filippo Taglioni's La Sylphide and the Coralli/Perrot Giselle) and precedes the neoclassical (Balanchine's Agon, for example). The basic vocabulary of steps used in Western classical dance, however, has a heritage that goes back almost 500 years and incorporates forms that originated in Italy and France. Today, a classical ballet company is composed of dancers trained in the classical tradition and performs some of the great ballets of the past; and new works tend to utilize the classical technique. Good classical training is widely available, and many excellent American schools produce first-rate dancers who perform in companies around the world.

What is constant in all of this is that classical implies a high standard that is widely accepted. Some may disagree on the importance of classical dance - some of our greatest artists, such as Martha Graham, have done so. Ultimately, however, even Graham's modernist movement - which she called contemporary - eventually included training in classical dance. Paul Taylor is another who still complains when his modem dance works are called ballets. We may reasonably ask in Taylor's case why so many of his works such as Aureole and Company B, built on modern technique, are among the most successful additions to classical ballet company repertoires? The answer is that changes in taste and expectations are taking place.

That leads us back to the question, Where is classical dance headed? In Western culture, the word modem is often used in a context of rejection of traditional forms, of revolution. But history shows us that today's revolution becomes tomorrow's established order - the old order is replaced with the new. To survive, the old must absorb the new - the best of the new, one hopes. If this doesn't happen, the result is stagnation and death. Only an unreasonable person would insist that dance forms are permanent, fixed against all change, that the inevitability of change is bad in itself

In the short term, the current trend in Western classical dance seems to be toward a healthy fusion of ballet with various forms, especially modem, while trying to maintain the high standard of classical training as a solid base. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Classical
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.