Current research interests

The projects listed below reflect my particular focus on British dance history and my ongoing interest in the decades from 1770-1830. The gendering of ballet and ballet spectatorship, the parameters of “Romantic” ballet, and the influence of moral panic on the representation and patronage of ballet in Britain are key interests for me.

  • Ballet and balleticised performance at Astley’s Circus, including John Astley’s ‘dancing’ on horseback and the introduction of ballets performed on the Astleys’ proscenium stage, c.1780-1800. Work undertaken intermittently since 2016 (due to serious illness affecting family) focuses on the contribution of ballet to the Astleys’ reformation of circus as cosmopolitan entertainment. A small, spin-off article on the mid-19th century horseback ballerina Camille Leroux was published in Dancing Times,┬áDecember 2016.
  • The Hullin family and their involvement in ballet in France and England, and specifically the “poisoning” case of Virginie Hullin.
  • (In collaboration with Gillian Russell) The social and material life of Eva Maria Garrick, nee Veigel (also identified as “La Violette”), wife of English actor and theatre manager David Garrick.
  • Moral rehabilitation of ballet by reformers within the Church of England between 1850 and 1890. Figures of interest include the Rev. Stewart Headlam, Rev. Hugh Reginald Haweis and his wife Mary Haweis, and Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll).