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Choreography InvisibleThe Disappearing Work of Dance$
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Anna Pakes

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780199988211

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199988211.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 November 2021

Drowning in Swan Lakes

Drowning in Swan Lakes

(p.183) 8 Drowning in Swan Lakes
Choreography Invisible

Anna Pakes

Oxford University Press

The chapter continues the discussion of dance identity, examining the problem posed by a specific case, the ballet Swan Lake. This ballet is often invoked in the existing philosophical literature on identity but arguably with insufficient attention paid to its historical genesis and development. The chapter argues that nineteenth-century ballet ‘classics’ are not central or paradigm cases of choreographic works in the modern sense. It also makes the case that the variously authored, individual productions titled Swan Lake are works in their own right rather than tokens of some overarching work-type. If there is an overarching Swan Lake type, then this is a very “thin” entity on which it is problematic to model an account of the identity conditions of later works, since that misrepresents their identity constraints. The discussion illustrates how identity issues—and work ontology more generally—are intertwined with historically contingent conceptualisations and practices.

Keywords:   dance identity, Swan Lake, Marius Petipa, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, ballet classics, dance reworking, work versions

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