observing the pirouette

Collection of images while wandering around thinking about the pirouette as a bodily symbol / signifier. What affect comes from the body moving in a pirouette? The body is embodying the role of the ballerina, and is therefore governed by the structure of classical choreography and all that that signifies.

Classical dance is an extremely gendered institution: very rarely are choreographers female, with such a high demand for spaces, and female dancers feel disposable and in flux, while male vision continues to overbear and see dance institutions.

“What the history of British classical dance overwhelmingly demonstrates is that while women may run ballet schools and become ballet company administrators and directors, they are rarely, if ever, invited to the choreographic high table. They are permitted responsibility, in other words, but not creative power. The consequence in recent years has been a succession of works, some forgettable, some memorably fine, but all bearing a recognisably male creative stamp.” – Luke Jennings The Guardian.

The pirouette is / was / has been a human fascination, praised for bodily control, though almost all human body’s can’t perform it. For me this evokes the same notions as Da Vinci’s vitruvian man. Simply they both undemocratically triumph / commemorate the perfected human body. How so is the pirouette / the vitruvian reflected in architecture? How so are the buildings we pass every day subconsciously emitting the same ideals as the movement of the pirouette?

Abstracted from the ground; gravity defeating, opaque walls, a triumph of design – but design for what other than aesthetic / vitruvian wonder…design for who other than trophy seeking (invariably male) eyes, and what do they mean to us, the spectator?

Bearing in mind Lepecki (from last post): ‘This is where the inescapable topography fantasy of modernity informs its choreopolitical formation: for modernity imagines its topography as already abstracted from its grounding’.





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