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.

  • Fashionable Society and ballet at the King’s Theatre 1770-1800. Work on the revamp of my doctoral thesis remains ongoing (but is inching towards completion!)

Also in the pipeline:

  • 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. A small, spin-off article on the mid-19th century horseback ballerina Camille Leroux was published in Dancing Times, December 2016. An article on John Astley is currently being revised for academic publication.
  • The early Romantic ballet in Britain. A significant new project to follow on from my current book. The period I’m looking at is 1790-1830, rather than after 1830, which is usually considered to mark the beginning of ballet’s Romantic epoch. Key areas of focus include the Anacreontic ballet and the representations of zephyrs, cupids and sylphs onstage.

Other rainy day projects…

  • The Hullin family and their involvement in ballet in France and England, and specifically the “poisoning” case of Virginie Hullin.
  • 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).