• 13 to 29 March 2019
  • Paul Mellon Centre

The Ballet of Nations: Dance, Art and History

In Spring 2019, the digital journal British Art Studies publishes Theatres of War, a multi-media collaboration consisting of a film made by Impermanence Dance Theatre and a linked exhibition curated by Grace Brockington. Both aspects of the project take their inspiration from the illustrated book The Ballet of the Nations (1915) – a pacifist allegory by Vernon Lee (alias Violet Paget) with a ‘Pictorial Commentary’ by Maxwell Armfield. The book vividly evokes the political and theatrical culture of the day, while raising questions about war, aesthetics and their interconnections which still seem current.

To mark the launch of Theatres of War, BAS will convene a symposium exploring the dynamics between dance, art and historical research, and featuring contributions from practitioners and scholars across multiple fields. We invite 15-minute presentations that discuss specific projects (historical or contemporary), as well as larger methodological and critical questions. To express an interest in participating, please send a paragraph of up to 300 words outlining the main themes/ questions/ material to be explored in your presentation, together with a brief bio to Thomas Knowles (tknowles@paul-mellon-centre.ac.uk) by 29th March 2019. 

The symposium will take place on 22nd May 2019 at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, London, followed by an evening screening of the The Ballet of the Nations film at Birkbeck’s Cinema.

Image: Photo by Ella Margolin. “Behind the scenes: Ballet of the Nations", 2018.