Nancy Isenberg (CBA ’17), professor of English Literature at the Università di Roma Tre until her recent retirement, has worked at the State Archives in Florence reconstructing flood-damaged manuscript collections, covered feminist issues as a journalist, collaborated with the Rome Opera House publications department, and been active in international scholarly projects, networks, and associations. Currently, she divides her research interests between women writers in European cultural history and connections between Shakespeare and ballet. She has published studies on dance in Shakespeare’s world and works, ballet appropriations of Romeo and Juliet, Taming of the Shrew, Hamlet and Othello, and most recently, the chapter on “Ballet” in the Cambridge Guide to Shakespeare’s Worlds (2016). Her work on literary ballets outside the Shakespeare canon includes ballet appropriations of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Virginia Woolf’s Orlando and the fairy tale Cinderella.
The Shakespeare-Ballet Exchange: Common roots, Shared conventions, Reciprocal Influences
At the Center for Ballet and the Arts, Isenberg will focus on a book project on connections between Shakespeare and ballet, exploring the rich, complex, and long-standing reciprocal influences of these two performative and narrative genres throughout their histories. With a focus on culture and politics, the book reflects the strong attraction of the ballet world to Shakespeare, and discusses how Shakespeare contributes to making ballet relevant to contemporary audiences.