chapter  1
27 Pages

Reworking the ballet: (En)countering the canon

What cultural and artistic period reworks The Nutcracker as a 1960s comic book, characterises Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty as a drug addict, and replays Swan Lake as a homoerotic love story?1 Choreographers have increasingly presented cherished ballets from the past in maverick and radical ways, challenging the edifice of received meanings. In this chapter I outline choreographic reworkings of canonical ballets, considering how they might be accounted for within the context of the current milieu, and establish the critical frame within which reworkings exist and can be discussed, for I am interested to know how we experience reworkings and how we come to ‘understand,’ or ‘make sense of ’, reworkings when they are discussed as reworkings.