Department of Dance

Visiting address
014 Michaelis, Froebel

Phone: +44 (0)20 8392 3245


I danced with The Royal Ballet from 1963 to 1971 and worked with some of the 20th century's foremost ballet choreographers, including Frederick Ashton, Bronislava Nijinska and Kenneth MacMillan. Subsequently entering higher education I achieved a PhD in 2000 focusing on the dance movement style of Frederick Ashton.

I  have also written several substantial articles including one on ballet competitions, in which I consider whether the dancing, as performed in the competition, is merely judged for its technical content in contrast to its artistic elements; if the former is the case, the dancing is not judged as art but only for its biomechanical content. I published a book on Ashton's choreographic style: Frederick Ashton's Ballets: Style, Performance, Choreography in 2012.

More recentlyt published a chapter on Frederick Ashton's The Dream. This was published in Germany in   Shakespeare and Music and in 2017 I editied, together with Larraine Nicholas, the 2nd edition of Rethinking Dance History


Dancer with The Royal Ballet 1963-1971
BA degree (Honours) in Humanities Open University
MA degree University of Surrey
PhD University of Surrey at Roehampton

Research interests

Geraldine's main research interests are in ballet, in particular dealing with the philosophical issues of identity and style. Other areas include training and its relationhsip to choreographed dance, as well as the contribution of other, plastic artists to dance. Currently, she is working on a book which takes the Sadler's Wells/Royal Ballet School as its starting point, using it to explore the perception of ballet in 1950s and 1960s England. This has prompted her to explore such divers fields as children's balle fiction and the representation of ballet in the films of the 1950s.

Professional affiliations

Geraldine is a Member of the officers panel of Dance Research and also sits as a member of the board of Sidelines which is part of Research in Dance Education.

She is also a member of the charity wing of Akram Khan's company AKCT.

Consultancy work

Examining Experience
I examine both BA and MA dissertations, essays and practical work and I have also marked both MAs and PhDs for external universities.

External examiner for the Royal Academy of Dance on the Professional Dancers Teaching Course during 2005 and 2006 and external examiner for several PhDs. External examiner for BA diploma in dance at Truro College Plymouth University


Advising the Royal Opera House on their 75th Anniversary programme.

For the 2004-5 season, I lectured on 'The Ashton Exchange', the first academic series in dance to be held at the Royal Opera House and I have written programme notes for both the Royal Ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet.

I also worked in conjunction with English National Ballet and the V&A on the Ballets Russes days at the V&A.


I teach on both the BA and MA courses mainly in the areas of history, analysis and philosophical/theoretical issues, though from time to time, I also teach some practical repertory sessions. I tutor dissertations for both the BA and MA and also have a significant number of PhD students.

Subject Area
My specific expertise is in ballet though I also deal with other dance genres. In particular, I am a specialist in choreographic analysis and on the relationship between technique and style. Issues of identity and authenticity are also areas that I am particularly interested in. In the book that I have just completed, these two areas are discussed in some detail in the first chapter.


Research outputs

  1. Giselle and the Gothic: Contesting the Romantic Idealisation of the Woman

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  2. Rethinking Dance History 2nd edition

    Research output: Book/ReportAnthology

  3. Fixed and Immutable: Ballet and Power From The Red Shoes to Black Swan

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

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