Womanopsychotic Ballet: The Canonical Body


Womanopsychotic Ballet: The Canonical Body

Whitespace 76 East Crosscauseway

Tuesday 21st June, 4pm-5pm


Taking as its inspiration the de-institutionalisation of ballet represented by Otto Muehl’s

‘Manopsychotic Ballet’, ‘Womanopsychotic Ballet: The Canonical Body’ explores the meaning of

beauty and of the female body through the medium of dance.


Conscious of the way in which childhood ballet lessons can be used to force girls to adhere to

typical gender roles and ideas of beauty, the piece aims to reclaim ballet as a mode of expression

at the expense of its elegance. Having taken beginners’ ballet classes in the lead-up to the piece,

the performers combine their obviously rudimental knowledge of this dance form with

contemporary dance. The result is obviously stilted, heightened by the fact that the dancers also

perform at points while tied together. Rejecting the way in which meaning is mapped onto the

female body, the piece seeks to reaffirm the right of women to construct their own meaning for and

with their bodies.


With its inclusion into the art-historical canon, feminist art has itself become institutionalised and,

against this backdrop of increasing acceptance of the subject of gender, the piece asks whether

feminism can still question and reshape the boundaries of public opinion.

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