A Little About Vintage Pointe…

“An After-Dinner Episode”, Puck (New York), 3 December 1890, artwork by Syd. B. Griffin.

Vintage Pointe is simply me, Caitlyn Lehmann BA (Hons) MA PhD. I’m a cultural historian specialising in the reception and development of ballet during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. And while I have a particular interest in British ballet history, I undertake research across various aspects and periods of dance on commission.

For some years now I’ve been a regular writer for The Australian Ballet, contributing specialist research-based programme articles and online content. I also dabble in dance journalism, penning articles and interviewing for dance publications such as Dance Australia, and serving as Australian dance critic for the UK’s Dancing Times. 

Alongside these activities, I’m affiliated with University of Melbourne as a Research Assistant, previously working for the wonderfully incisive Professor Gillian Russell and currently privileged to be working with Professor Clara Tuite in the School of Culture and Communication (SCC), Faculty of Arts.

However, while I keep a toehold in academia, I continue to undertake a significant portion of research as an independent scholar. This is why you’ll find invitations to contribute via Ko-fi throughout my website. If you enjoy reading my posts or find material that is of interest, please consider making a small ‘coffee’ donation.

More quirky highlights along the way have included being a (minor!) research contributor to the 2015 BBC documentary The King Who Invented Ballet. Another was curating my first exhibition of historical dance prints in March 2017 for an open-house exhibition titled ‘From Court to Kitsch: Images of Ballet from the 17th to 20th Century

I’ve been a speaker for Melbourne’s Bastille Day Festival Festival, and at the Melbourne Arts Centre for Theatre Heritage Australia. In 2020 it was a special pleasure to be invited to present at the ‘Ballerina’ symposium hosted by The Museum at FIT in New York, held to accompany the Museum’s exhibition of the same name. Please enjoy the recorded presentation – the link is below.

Currently, while Covid rages, I’m rewriting my doctoral thesis as a monograph to be published by Routledge. It’s just the project to keep me busy while I wait for borders to reopen and to get my Covid jab … and once those things happen, there’s a Houghton Library Research Fellowship on ice for me in Boston!

Balletomanicism aside, I’m also a ‘fessed up plants, parrot and Pilates enthusiast. And, yes, I fear I do have a bent for alliteration…

Carlotta Zambelli and Mlle Mante (dressed in travesti) for Les Ronde des Saisons, Paris Opera Ballet, c.1905.

 

Presentations

‘Turbans, Tulle and Taglioni’s Influence on Fashion, 1830-1845,’ The Museum at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology), New York USA, 6 March 2020. Watch here.

‘Hoofing It! Ballet on Saddle and Stage at Astley’s Circus,’ Arts Centre Melbourne, 15 June, 2019.

‘Ravishing! Dance in Belle Epoque Paris, 1885-1909,’ Bastille Day French Festival, Meat Market, Melbourne, 14 July 2018.

‘Sylphs and Spiders: The Balletic Entanglements of Lola Montez,’ Castlemaine Historical Society, August 2017.

”Hoofing it!’ Dance on Saddle and Stage at Astley’s Amphitheatre, 1780-1800,’ English and Theatre Studies Seminar, University of Melbourne, May 2017

From Saddle to Stage: Ballet at Astley’s Amphitheatre, 1780-1800,’ 19th Annual Oxford Dance Symposium, New College, Oxford, March 2017

Airy Delights: Ballet, Balloonmania and Celebrity in Late Eighteenth-Century London,’ 16th Annual Oxford Dance Symposium, New College, Oxford, 2014

Opera girls in English discourse, 1750-1789,’ 14th Annual Oxford Dance Symposium, New College, Oxford, 2012