Assistant Professor and Interim Director of Dance Olivia Sabee has been named a fellow-in-residence by the Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University (CBA), an international institute for scholars and artists of ballet and its related arts and sciences.
Now in its fifth year, the fellowship program provides recipients with material support and dedicated time and space to pursue scholarly projects related to ballet.
This summer at the CBA, Sabee will work on a chapter for her book manuscript, Language, Narrative, and the Corps de Ballet, which analyzes the role of balletic ensemble dancing in France from the late Enlightenment through the July Monarchy by examining dance treatises, criticism, libretti, literary and theatrical texts, and other archival materials.
"The chapter deals with ballet master Arthur Saint-Léon's frustrations with French ensemble dancing in the 1850s and two models for it that he upholds as excellent: the Viennese children's ballets and the corps de ballet at the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos in Lisbon," says Sabee, who also recently received a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.
"I'm looking forward to having dedicated time to devote to writing," Sabee adds, "as well as the opportunity to access archival materials and rare books in the Jerome Robbins Dance Division at the New York Public Library."
Sabee holds a B.A. in French from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in French from Johns Hopkins University. Her research interests include 18th and 19th century French and Italian Ballet and her most recent article, "Théophile Gautier's Ballet d'Action: Rewriting Dance History through Criticism," appeared in Dance Chronicle. Sabee also directs Agora Dance, a Washington, D.C.-based contemporary dance company.