The Contemporary Ballet: The Objectification Of The American Ballet Dance

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Even though people always tend to attribute “authentic” knowledge of a practice or product by tracing its culture, in the currently globalizing world where the cultures are overlapped and intertwine with one another, the criteria is ineffective due to the difficulty of ascribing the practice to a specific culture; hence, the notion of cultural authenticity is no longer legitimate. The cross-cultural origins and further developments of the Contemporary Ballet illustrate that to simply consider this dance form authentically American is inappropriate, whereby demonstrates the high degree of illegitimacy in the pursuit of cultural authenticity. Most choreographers and ballet dancers in the world, especially those of America, consider contemporary…show more content…
The notion of cultural authenticity, in seeking to solidify cultural form, authenticate some forms over others. Yet the contemporary ballet dance as an art form is remarkably dynamic and constantly interacting with other art forms in the globalizing world. The objectification of the contemporary ballet as authentically American will lead to the condemnation of innovation in the aesthetics of the dance style, and the suppress of artistic creativity in the name of a well-intentioned yet misplaced cultural authentication. To prevent the ossification of the contemporary ballet, Kevin McKenzie, the current artistic director of the American Ballet Theatre, once said in an interview, “The great art forms will always adapt and absorb whatever cultural influences are around it, and ballet is no exception. It absorbs influences from all other forms, without losing its own language and identity.” His words are strongly proved in the evolution of the contemporary ballet dance performances in American, in which not only the dancing movements absorbs a large number of new constituents from different cultures such as the lion and dragon dance from China, but the stage settings and costumes are changing significantly during the past decades. For example, the Alonzo King 's LINES Ballet Company in San Francisco performed a contemporary ballet dance show utilizing the ancient Egyptian pictographs as its background scenario last year, which wouldn’t have come true if the notion of cultural authenticity is legitimatized. That authentication process freezes the dynamism of culture denotes the high degree of illegitimacy of pursuing cultural

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