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Gender And The Kinesics Of Yangbanxi Ballet

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on yangbanxi ballets, because it is in ballet that one can find the kinesic systems carrying the greatest weight of semiotic meaning and therefore potentially being of greater significance for illuminating issues of gender and sexuality in Cultural Revolution public culture. In order to bring some depth and detail to analysis of the yangbanxi ballets, the chapter analyses a single scene from The Red Detachment of Women, though it also refers to other scenes from that ballet and to The White-haired Girl. The chapter describes The Red Detachment of Women because its theme of women soldiers joining the revolution and proving their mettle offers more scope for kinetic action that challenges dance and gender conventions than the plot of The White-haired Girl, which more closely mirrors the stereotyped tradition of female victim rescued by heroic male lover.

Keywords: Cultural Revolution; gender conventions; kinesic systems; The Red Detachment of Women; The White-haired Girl; Yangbanxi ballets



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