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Cooperation, Communication, and Collaboration: The Sociality of a Corps de Ballet
Dance Chronicle  (IF),  Pub Date : 2020-05-03, DOI: 10.1080/01472526.2020.1767966
Kate Mattingly, Laura Kay Young

Abstract This paper analyzes the relational and cooperative labor of a corps de ballet. In particular, attention is called to the ways the dancers’ embodied knowledge and decision-making processes constitute a vital part of a production’s impact. Two key aspects of dancers’ performances as a corps de ballet are collaboration and cooperation, which are components of eusociality, a term used to describe the highest level of organization of sociality, commonly observed in honeybees. Through embodied experiences and attention to dancers’ decision-making, we find a corps de ballet operates in ways that are similar to democratic decision-making processes in honeybee behaviors.