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A critical comparative study of career transition policy, practice and experiences for ballet company dancers and musical theatre independent dancers

Harper, Simon (2012)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

The critical, comparative study investigated similarities and differences in professional ballet company dancers' and musical theatre independent dancers' experiences of career transition and similarities and differences in dancers’, employers’ and dancers’ support agencies’ perceptions of career transition support systems (CTSS). The original study was the first to compare dancers’ career transitions from two contrasting arenas. As a former independent dancer, currently employed in a ballet company, I noticed differences in the dissemination of CTSS. Dancers’ career transitions are under-researched, particularly the transitions of musical theatre dancers. (Levine, 2004, Jeffri & Throsby, 2006, Carroll et al, 2009, Roncaglia, 2010). By drawing parallels between an adaptation to transition model (Schlossberg, 1981) and a sport career termination model (Taylor & Ogilvie, 1994), a conceptual framework was modified and operationalised for the current study. A critical, interpretative paradigm and mixed-method approach, facilitated the examination through open-ended questionnaires sent to twenty five retired company dancers and twenty five retired independent dancers. Semi-structured interviews were initiated with three retired company and three retired independent dancers, one company dancers’ employer, one independent dancers’ employer and two Directors of dancers’ support agencies. Content analysis of triangulated quantitative and qualitative data highlighted dancers concerns at transition, particularly psychological,financial and educational issues.

Type of Work:M.Phil. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Benn, Tansin and Dagkas, Symeon
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:School of Education
Subjects:L Education (General)
NX Arts in general
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:3669
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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