Ballet and Taiji in Practice

A Comparative Autoethnography of Movement Systems

Robert Mitchell

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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Theater, Ballett


Starting from the unmistakable contrast of two socially developed »movement systems«, the aesthetic performing art of classical ballet vis-à-vis the internal martial art of taijiquan (aka tai chi), Robert Mitchell plunges into the depths of what it means to practise these two ways of moving, identifying commonalities and differences. This sociological study focuses especially on what these practices entail for the settings in which they are taught. Drawing on the author's experience as a professional ballet dancer, the study has been over thirty years in the making, utilising (auto-)ethnographic methods to approach its subject matter from diverse angles.



Dance, Martial Arts, Practice Theory, Body, Sociology of Culture, Ethnography, Sociology, Dance Studies