The postmodern ballerina

Ballerina

Alternately stiff and pliable, the ballerina demonstrates that which is desired, while her partner embodies the forces that pursue, guide, and manipulate the desired object.

An understanding of the ballerina-as-phallus may allow her to reconfigure her power, so that she can sustain her charisma even as she begins to determine her own fate; it may also reclaim for ballet a sensual and even sexual potency.

This according to “The ballerina’s phallic pointe” by Susan Leigh Foster, an essay included in Corporealities: Dancing knowledge, culture, and power (London: Routledge, 1996 pp. 1–24). You can see her inimitable performance of the paper here.

Below, a day in the life of a ballerina.

Related article: Ballet and sauvagerie

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