From Stage to Screen: The Digital Mediatization of Ballet

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Jillian Verzywvelt


While contributing to mediatization theory by extending the scope of study, this research explores the interrelationship between digital media and ballet. Upon defining ballet as a sociocultural field, it attempts to describe how digital media influences ballet and assess: 1) how and why ballet dancers of varying degrees of involvement use different types of digital media when engaging with their activity; 2) how ballet dancers understand digital media’s influence on the development of ballet; and 3) the attitudes toward such influence that ballet dancers hold. The study first offers an outline of the history of ballet and its longstanding relationship with the media. It then provides a brief overview of mediatization and, considering the complexity of the contemporary digital media environment, isolates the influence of digital mediatization. The results suggest that digital mediatization has significantly influenced the development of ballet, affecting technical, professional, and social institutions and processes.

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Bob Schieffer College of Communication