In distinction to many extant histories of ballet, The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Ballet prioritizes connections between ballet communities as it interweaves chapters by scholars, critics, choreographers, and working professional dancers. The book looks at the many ways ballet functions as a global practice in the 21st century, providing new perspectives on ballet's past, present, and future. As an effort to dismantle the linearity of academic canons, the fifty-three chapters within provide multiple entry points for readers to engage in balletic discourse. With an emphasis on composition and process alongside dances created, and the assertion that contemporary ballet is a definitive era, the book carves out space for critical inquiry. Many of the chapters consider whether or not ballet can reconcile its past and actually become present, while others see ballet as flexible and willing to be remolded at the hands of those with tools to do so.
About the Author
Kathrina Farrugia-Kriel is Head of Research at the Royal Academy of Dance. Farrugia-Kriel is editor of Focus on Education, and her books include Princess Poutiatine and the Art of Ballet in Malta (2020), and her essays have been published in Dance Chronicle, the South African Dance Journal, TheSunday Times of Malta, and in The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare and Dance. Farrugia-Kriel has organized conferences in London, Paris, and New York, and steered three dance symposia in Australia. Jill Nunes Jensen is on faculty at Loyola Marymount University. Her research serves as the primary scholarship on Alonzo King LINES Ballet and is published in When Men Dance, Dance Chronicle, Theatre Survey, Perspectives on American Dance: The Twentieth Century, and Re-thinking Dance History, 2ndEdition. As co-editor for Conversations: Network of Pointes with Kathrina Farrugia-Kriel (2015) the idea to curate a special topics conference on contemporary ballet was catalyzed (New York, 2016) and ultimately this anthology. Nunes Jensen has been an invited speaker on AKLB and ContemporaryBallet, most recently at the San Francisco Ballet and Duke University.