Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects


Theatre and Dance

Document Type



The goal of my thesis is to challenge the conventions of classical ballet and fully grasp storytelling within contemporary ballet in a way that appeals to modern audiences. I used postpositivist research, historiography, and dance ethnography as modes of research to uncover common themes and trends of traditional ballet, which led to a deeper understanding of contemporary ballet and the modes choreographers and educators use to challenge classical ballet stereotypes. My methodology was to identify common themes from folklore, classical ballet, and traditional storytelling. I have studied traditional folklore and fairytales and have evaluated and reviewed the thematic content of the same themes within classical ballet. I also conducted an analysis of works by contemporary choreographers who are deconstructing, retelling, and reworking traditional tales in new ways. This research has allowed me to evaluate traditional values and thematic content found in these stories on a deeper level and to understand American cultural and social evolution.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Anna Patsfall, Amanda Clark, Dr. Chris Keller



Included in

Dance Commons