NY Times: Of women, men and ballet in the 21st Century

Author: Alastair Macaulay

"Can ballet express a modern view of the sexes? In the Western contemporary world, women and men often hold equal status at work, as leaders, as voters, as breadwinners. This kind of equality, however, is precisely what ballet cannot show.

Instead, it creates an either-or dualism from the difference between man and woman. He does most of the partnering (traditionally, all of it). She rises onto point. When he does the same (seldom), the effect is comic. The foot is a relatively tiny part of the body; yet its significance becomes colossal.

The meanings that flow from ballet are not only about gender. Yet the use of pointwork places the woman on a different level of being."

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