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Orientalism and the Trope of the Other in Ballet:

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Sarah Smith

on 7 May 2014

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Transcript of Orientalism and the Trope of the Other in Ballet:

Orientalism and the Other in Ballet:
A Postcolonial Reading of Marius Petipa's Ballets

Typical features of Orientalism in ballet
Choreography
Music
Costume and Set Design
Assertion of colonial power? Or artistic/creative innovation?
Orientalism in Russia
complicated due to Russia's position as both a European and an Asian country
public sense of shared Orient heritage v. goverment
Peter the Great and Catherine the Great
Russian literature
Said and Russian Orientalism
Said's Orientalism
"The Orient was almost a European invention, and had been since antiquity a place of romance, exotic beings, haunting memories and landscapes, remarkable experiences."

"The Orient is an integral part of European material civilization and culture. Orientalism expresses and represents that part culturally and ideologically as a mode of discourse."

Le Corsaire (1858)
The Pharaoh's Daughter (1862)
La Bayadere (1877)
Conclusion
Discussion of Russian Orientalism is wayy complicated and involves looking at the history, politics, and geography of Russia itself
Orientalism is seen in Petipa's ballets through costuming, plot, choreography
Attempts to de-Orientalize these ballets have been limited at best
The Nutcracker (1892)
Sources
Chakravorty, Pallabi. "From Interculturalism to Historicism: Reflections on Classical Indian Dance." Dance Research Journal 32 no. 2 (2000). 108-119.
Fisher, Jennifer. "'Arabian Coffee' in the Land of the Sweets." Dance Research Journal vol. 35 no. 2 and vol. 36 no. 1 (2003/2004). 146-163.
Lozynsky, Artem. "Orientalism and the Ballets Russes." Situations vol. 1 (2007). 82-96.
Polonsky, Rachel. "The Paradoxes of Russian Orientalism." The Times Literary Supplement, 9 September 2011, accessed 25 April 2014. www.the-tls.co.uk/tls/public/article771912.ece
Rockwell, John. "Ancient Egyptians, in an Opium Dream." The New York Times, 30 July 2005, accessed 26 April 2014.
Said, Edward. "Orientalism." The Edward Said Reader. Edited by Moustafa Bayoumi and Andrew Rubin. New York: Random House, Inc. 2000.
Siegel, Marci B. "Shades of a Kingdom." The Hudson Review vol. 33 no. 3 (1980). 409-414.
Warren, Vincent. "Yearning or the Spiritual Ideal: The Influence of India on Western Dance, 1626-2003." Dance Research Journal vol 38 no. 1 (2006) 97-114.
West, Martha Ullman. "Orientalism in Ballet." Chronicle of Higher Education vol. 34 no. 16 (2007), 12-13.
Wiley, Roland John. "A Context for Petipa." Dance Research vol. 21 no. 1 (2003) 42-52.
Marius Petipa
began Russian career as a dancer, eventually moved up to director of the Imperial Ballet
"always a servant of the crown"
Based on the 1814 poem "The Corsair by Byron
Pirate Conrad and slave girl Medora fall in love
Young Englishmen take shelter in a pyramid where they dream that pharaoh's daughter's mummy has come to life
Love triangle between warrior Solor, temple dancer Nikiya, and the High Brahmin turns tragic
It's Christmas! Clara's toys come to life and she's transported to a fantastical dream land
Full transcript