Ana Abad Carlés

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Choreographers, Directors and Pedagogues: Women's Contributions to the Development of Ballet and the paradigm shifts in the 21st Century.

[Coreógrafas, directoras y pedagogas: la contribución de la mujer al desarrollo del ballet y los cambios de paradigmas en la transición al s. XXI]
Doctoral Thesis for the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, 23rd January 2013

Cum Laude Award

The doctoral thesis aims at examining the role of women in ballet throughout its history and at presenting the possible changes that may have happened in this role during the 20th century, focusing on the last decades of that century and the beginning of the new millennium.

In its first part, this research looks into reinstating in the historical discourse the different female figures that, in various geographical centres and especially during the 20th century, had an active role in the development of schools, companies and choreographic styles and that were acknowledged as creators and leaders in the sector during their time. Once this has been accomplished, the artistic legacies identified for each one of these women is evaluated within their own historical and artistic contexts and, when possible, assessed in today's context.

In its second part, and once it appears evident that there seems to have been a gradual disappearance of women from positions of power and creation, the research moves into finding the reasons behind this situation, as it appears to have affected women in ballet, and dance in general, during the last decades.

Fotos: Cortesía de Enrique Honorio Destaville

Female Ballet Choreographers: Reviewing a Choreographic Tradition

For my MA in Ballet Studies Dissertation at Roehampton University, I chose a topic that would help me understand my own experience as a woman in dance.

The dissertation was awarded a First Class grade:

"An excellent piece of work which introduces new material and demostrates a firm grasp of the theoretical background, such as it is. The thesis presents new theoretical material in an area that has been somewhat neglected by the dance world to date." (Comments by first marker)

"The material on Charrat is particularly rewarding, and perhaps the student should be encouraged to try and publish this section of her dissertation. Perhaps too she will endeavour to bring to the attention of a grant-giving body the need to translate and publish Nijinska's documents." (Comments by external examiner)

The dissertation concentrated on female ballet choreographers, on their careers, contributions and, most importantly, on the apparent neglect many of them seemed to have suffered in the pages of history.

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