Published Book Chapter: Mercier, J. (2022) ‘Pink Feathers in the Ballet Closet: Three Gay Remakes of Swan Lake (1995-2005)’ in Risner, D. & Watson, B. (eds) Masculinity, Intersectionality and Identity: Why Boys (Don’t) Dance. Palgrave MacMillan: Cham, Switzerland.
Link to Book: https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-030-90000-7
This chapter explores the tension at the intersection of the classical ballet and gay cultures. Situated between 1995-2005, this research examines three ‘gay remakes’ of Swan Lake: Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake (1995), Javier de Frutos’s Hypochondriac Bird (1998) and Raimund Hoghe’s Swan Lake, 4 Acts (2005). Central to this study is a critique of ballet’s exclusionary hetero-centrism – “the ballet closet” – exemplified by the image of the classical ballet pas de deux. From this critique I apply a queer lens to compare how these three artists have choreographed their emergence from this ballet closet, to understand some of the wider questions being asked at this time around gay desire, masculinity and shame both within classical ballet and in the wider context of identity politics.