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Vanderbilt partnership with Nashville Ballet examines changing ideas of masculinity and gender

Posted by on Wednesday, June 24, 2020 in News & Events.

Original story by Jun. 24, 2020

A spring 2020 seminar immersed students in a unique academic experience examining gender stereotypes, masculinity and identity through the lens of dance as part of a special partnership between the Nashville Ballet and Vanderbilt University.

The class asked students to think not only about the gender norms constructed in ballet, but also to consider how ideas about gender are shaped by assumptions about race, sexuality, class and dis/ability.

“This intersectional perspective allows for a better understanding of the complex history of ballet as an art form that has privileged certain bodies over others,” said Claire Sisco King, associate professor and director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Communication Studies.

The students observed rehearsals and performances for the Nashville Ballet’s annual series Attitude: Other Voices, which used this season to appraise gender through the lens of four different pieces. Students studied the creative process between choreographers and dancers as well as learned how the choreographers, costume designer and others translate ideas and questions about gender into performance. . . . Read the full story here.