Talking Pointes... Rethinking 19th Century Dance

2011 | XXXI

Conversations 2011

Guest Editors: Sarah Davies Cordova and Stephanie Schroedter

Dates are tricky, difficult, rather categorical. Centuries too. They set arbitrary boundaries to which trends, movements, and lives do not conform very easily. And perhaps no century has more enervated historians than the 19th century. Where should it begin and what might figure its ending? Was it imbued with nostalgia or was it radicalized by its newly mobile citizenry? As we look back at the 19th century – at a time when we ask whether 2011 marks the start of the 21st century with all the various movements that have agitated peoples, placed bodies at the forefront of political stage(in)s, and determined displacements and migrations – a date falls as the year’s random memorial counterpart: 1811 and we wonder about the footprints left then on the historical landscape and what effects they might have generated for dance historians to ponder. read more