Ballet, from Property to Art

In this chapter, I reflect on ballet using two lenses of property (ballet-as-property) and inheritance (the Manor House of Ballet). I draw on Dr Cheryl Harris's seminal paper 'Whiteness as Property' to explore how ballet could be seen as being treated as the property of a few rather than an art form in its own right. I suggest that being liberated into being 'an art form' offers ballet a rich future that avoids the decay of protectionism. <blockquote>Akinleye, A.(2021) Ballet, from property to art, in Akinleye (ed.) (re:)claiming ballet London: Intellect books pp.21-35</blockquote> <a href="https://www.intellectbooks.com/re-claiming-ballet#_Toc37997432">Visit the Publisher</a>
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In this chapter, I reflect on ballet using two lenses of property (ballet-as-property) and inheritance (the Manor House of Ballet). I draw on Dr Cheryl Harris’s seminal paper ‘Whiteness as Property’ to explore how ballet could be seen as being treated as the property of a few rather than an art form in its own right. I suggest that being liberated into being ‘an art form’ offers ballet a rich future that avoids the decay of protectionism.

Citation: Akinleye, A.(2021) Ballet, from property to art, in Akinleye (ed.) (re:)claiming ballet London: Intellect books pp.21-35

Contents for context within book: 

(editor Adesola Akinleye)

Introduction: Regarding claiming ballet / reclaiming ballet

Part One – Histories

Chapter 1: Ballet, from property to Art – Adesola Akinleye

Chapter 2: Should there be a Female ballet canon? Seven Radical Acts of Inclusion – Julia Gleich and Molly Faulkner

Chapter 3: Arabesque en Noir: The Persistent Presence of Black Dancers in the American Ballet World – Joselli Audain Deans 

Chapter 4: Portrayals of Black people from the African Diaspora in western narrative ballets – Sandie Bourne

Part Two – Knowledges  

Chapter 5: The traces of my ballet body – Mary Savva  

Chapter 6: Ballet Beyond Boundaries – Personal History. Brenda Dixson Gottschild  

Chapter 7:“Auftanzen statt Aufgeben” and The Anti Fascist Ballet School -Elizabeth Ward 

Chapter 8: Dancing Across Historically Racist Borders – Kehinde Ishangi 

Part Three – Resiliences  

Chapter 9: Dance Theatre of Harlem’s radicalization of ballet in 1970s & 1980s – Theresa Ruth Howard  

Chapter 10: Personal testimony as social resilience – Theara J. Ward 

Chapter 11: “Can you feel it?”: Pioneering Pedagogies that Challenge Ballet’s Authoritarian Traditions – Jessica Zeller 

Chapter 12: The Ever After of Ballet – Selby Wynn Schwartz 

Chapter 13: Ballethnic Dance Company Builds Community: Urban Nutcracker leads the way – Nena Gilreath

Part four – Consciousnesses 

Chapter 14: The Counterpoint Project – When Life Doesn’t Imitate Art –  Endalyn Taylor

Chapter 15: Ballet’s Binary Genders in a Rainbow-Spectrum World:

A call for progressive pedagogies – Melonie B. Murray  

Chapter 16: Dancing through Black British ballet: Conversations with dancers – Adesola Akinleye and Tia-Monique Uzor 

Chapter 17: Ballet Aesthetics of Trauma, Development, and Functionality – Luc Vanier & Elizabeth Johnson 

About the contributors 

Index