About Patricia Beaman

New York, New York

Patricia Beaman (CBA ’19) is University Professor at Wesleyan University and teaches dance history at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. As a Baroque, Neo-Baroque, and contemporary dancer, she has performed and choreographed in the United States, Europe, and beyond. Her past research includes exploring the juxtaposition of the formulaic similarities
between 18th century French theatrical dance and those of analytic Postmodern dance of the 1960s. Currently, Beaman is investigating French colonialist appropriation inherent in aristocratic Baroque opéra-ballets. She is the author of World Dance Cultures: From Ritual to Spectacle (Routledge Press, 2018).

Androgynes, Amazons, Turks, and Incans: Presenting the “Other” in Baroque Ballet

Beaman’s writing project, titled Androgynes, Amazons, Turks, and Incans: Presenting the “Other” in Baroque Ballet, targets cultural appropriation of indigenous peoples and non-Christians in 17th and 18th century opéra-ballets. Rejecting Greco-Roman mythology, French monarchs Louis XII, XIV, and XV all chose to mine Turkish, Persian, and New World cultures for the basis of their aristocratic ballets. As a result, France’s colonialist power was reified through the cultural appropriation and interpretation of foreign ethnicities featured in these seminal Baroque entertainments.