chapter  17
13 Pages

Ruth Page, feminine subjectivity, and generic subversion

ByJoellen A. Meglin

This chapter addresses the question of how, given such obstacles, the dance historian can locate a woman's distinct subject position, or subjectivity, in a particular ballet. It presents the case study of Ruth Page, a Chicago choreographer and artistic director who was prolific in the period 1926–1971, whose co-choreographed two ballets: An American Pattern and Frankie and Johnny. The chapter explores how widening the canon with the paradigm of feminine subjectivity could, ultimately, expand the relevance of ballet as an art form. The paradigm of feminine subjectivity and generic subversion can help critics, scholars, and dance aficionados to evaluate the ballet in a more informed manner. Precisely because women's work has been relegated to the margins of the danse d'école and institutionalised dance, women hold a stake in generic subversion. In order to recover women's choreographic achievements on the periphery of the danse d'école, the dance historian must exert special efforts.