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Title: Varieties of habitus and the embodiment of ballet
Authors: Wainwright, S.P.
Williams, C.
Turner, B.S. 
Keywords: Ballet
Issue Date: Nov-2006
Citation: Wainwright, S.P.,Williams, C.,Turner, B.S. (2006-11). Varieties of habitus and the embodiment of ballet. Qualitative Research 6 (4) : 535-558. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The overall aim of our research was to produce an ethnography of ballet as a social practice. We draw upon our fieldwork at the Royal Ballet (London) where we conducted 20 in-depth interviews with ballet staff, and observed 'the company at work', in class, rehearsal, and performance. We explored dancers' (n = 9) and ex-dancers' (who are now administrators, teachers, and character dancers: n = 11) perceptions of their bodies, dancing careers, and the major changes that have occurred in the world of ballet over their professional lives. In this article, we draw upon Pierre Bourdieu's notions of habitus, physical capital and cultural capital. The main focus of our article is an extended discussion of our threefold distinction between individual habitus, institutional habitus and choreographic habitus. Although our ethnography of the body is set within the elite cultural field of professional classical ballet, we hope that our research adds to debates on the interrelationships between individuals and institutions, the body and society, and on the salience of Bourdieu's notion of habitus for understandings of the social world. © 2006 SAGE Publications.
Source Title: Qualitative Research
ISSN: 14687941
DOI: 10.1177/1468794106068023
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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