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Beth Dean: Aspects of the Work of an Australian “Ethnic Dancer”
Dance Chronicle  (IF),  Pub Date : 2021-10-22, DOI: 10.1080/01472526.2021.1976703
Jeanette Mollenhauer


Australian dancer Beth Dean was classically trained but belonged to the “ethnic dance” tradition in which performers interpreted the dances of “primitive” others for the concert stage; her career reflected the trends in dance scholarship and practice of her era. This article compares her textual and performative works with other writers and practitioners in Australia and the rest of the world. It identifies Dean’s belief in an evolution of dance from primitive to classical, her positioning of classical ballet at the pinnacle of an imaginary hierarchy of dance, and her affirmation of universalist notions about dance.