‘...sure to delight every ballet fan.’ Consuming ballet culture through girls’ periodical Girl, 1952 to 1960

Gibson, Mel (2023) ‘...sure to delight every ballet fan.’ Consuming ballet culture through girls’ periodical Girl, 1952 to 1960. Film, Fashion & Consumption, 12 (1). pp. 11-32. ISSN 2044-2823

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1386/ffc_00050_1


This article focuses on the ways that ballet was presented for girl readers to consume in Girl (Hulton Press 1952-1964). Girl was a weekly publication, part of girls’ periodical culture in Britain, which was thriving in the 1950s and 1960s. The ballet content it contained was one aspect of the growing British cultural engagement with ballet in the mid-twentieth century. This broader engagement took several forms, including watching films and attending performances. In addition, for younger participants, especially girls, this may have been accompanied by participation in ballet classes and reading about ballet in both fiction and non-fiction. Girl encompasses all these forms of engagement with ballet through key fictional comic strip ‘Belle of the Ballet’, photographs of performances, pin-ups featuring dancers and paintings about ballet, articles, and non-fiction companion volumes. Arnold Haskell, who was significant in changing how ballet was understood in Britain, was also involved with content in Girl. This connection resulted in readers having the opportunity to compete for an annual ballet scholarship and participate in ballet lessons. In exploring ballet in Girl, the article draws together considerations of how ballet practice, costume, other media involving ballet and dancers’ street clothes were portrayed, and the ways that class, ballet, and girls’ culture were intertwined.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Comics, ballet, girlhood, class, readers, consumption, film, costume
Subjects: L900 Others in Social studies
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2023 08:46
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2023 10:30
URI: https://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/51485

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