Is this a Petipa dance we are watching?

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To answer this question, I focus on dance movement style in one particular Petipa ballet; but in doing so, I seek to go further and to raise a more fundamental issue, namely, how we should distinguish between classroom technique and art? Petipa dances present a specific example of the problem that arises when choreographers draw on the classroom lexicon, or danse d’école, as a basis for their choreography – something that leads dancers and rehearsal directors to conflate the values of the classroom with those of the dance. Using a dance from The Sleeping Beauty (1890) as a framework, I explore the issue of dance art and the question of what, if anything, links performance of classroom technique with performance of the art work?

© 2019, Edinburgh University Press. This is an author produced version of a paper published in DANCE RESEARCH uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self- archiving policy. The final published version (version of record) is available online at the link. Some minor differences between this version and the final published version may remain. We suggest you refer to the final published version should you wish to cite from it.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-238
Number of pages19
JournalDance Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019


  • Petipa style, Dance art, classroom technique, Performance style, Schooling, The Sleeping Beauty.

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