Dr. Melissa R. Klapper is Professor of History and Director of Women’s & Gender Studies at Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ. Her new book is a social history of Ballet in America. Ballet Class takes a new approach to the very popular subject of ballet and helps ground an art form often perceived to be elite in the experiences of regular, everyday people who spent time in barre-lined studios across the United States. Drawing on a wide variety of materials, including children’s books, memoirs by professional dancers and choreographers, pedagogy manuals, and dance periodicals, in addition to archival collections and oral histories, this path-breaking study provides a deeply-researched national perspective on the history and significance of recreational ballet class in the United States and its influence on many facets of children’s lives, including gender norms, consumerism, body image, children’s literature, extracurricular activities, and popular culture. A book signing will follow.
Author Melissa Klapper
Thursday, April 23, 2020, 7:00 pm