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The Lure of Perfection : Fashion and Ballet, 1780-1830 - Judith Bennahum

The Lure of Perfection

Fashion and Ballet, 1780-1830

Paperback Published: 18th November 2004
ISBN: 9780415970389
Number Of Pages: 304

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THE LURE OF PERFECTION: FASHION AND BALLET, 1780-1830 offers a unique look at how ballet influenced contemporary fashion and women's body image, and how street fashions in turn were reflected by the costumes worn by ballet dancers. Through years of research, the author has traced the interplay between fashion, social trends, and the development of dance. During the 18th century, women literally took up twice as much space as men; their billowing dresses ballooned out from their figures, sometimes a full 55 inches, to display costly jewelry and fine brocade work; similar costumes appeared on stage. But clothing also limited her movement; it literally disabled them, making the dances themselves little more than tableaux. Movement was further inhibited by high shoes and tight corsets; thus the image of the rigidly straight, long-lined dancer is as much a product of clothing as aesthetics. However, with changing times came new trends. An increased interest in natural movement and the common folk led to less-restrictive clothing. As viewers demanded more virtuosic dancers, women literally danced their way to freedom.
THE LURE OF PERFECTION will interest students of dance and cultural history, and women's studies. It is a fascinating, well-researched look at the interplay of fashion, dance, and culture-still very much a part of our world today.

Industry Reviews

""Simply through scrupulous descriptions of what people wore, (Bennahum) brings social and theatrical milieus alive." ." -The Village Voice, 6/5/2005

Acknowledgmentsp. xvii
Introductionp. 1
Setting the Stagep. 9
Reformers and Philosophes as Forerunners of the Revolution in Fashionp. 35
The Moderate and the Outrageousp. 65
Neoclassicismp. 93
The Consulate (1799-1804) and the Empire (1804-1815) of Napoléonp. 117
Restoration-One Bourbon Returns!p. 147
Pale Goddesses on the Street During the Romantic Movementp. 165
The Kingdom of the Operap. 179
The Turning Pointp. 207
The Dark Side of Whitep. 221
Conclusionp. 239
Endnotesp. 247
Bibliographyp. 263
Indexp. 273
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780415970389
ISBN-10: 0415970385
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 18th November 2004
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.23 x 15.24  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.41
Edition Number: 1