Through several phases of the culture wars, ballet has served as a canary in the coal mine, its intense and exposed physicality highlighting all the issues surrounding sexuality, gender and power that have currently become our unhealthily narcissistic preoccupation.
Perhaps the warnings started with the phenomenon of Vaslav Nijinsky. Against the defined masculinity and femininity of the Edwardian era, he stood out as seductively androgynous and effeminate as well as staggeringly charismatic – a godlike hero unashamed to represent le spectre de la rose.
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