Ballet's history is not just about choreography and technique — it's also a history of nationalization, the changing ways we view the body, shifting gender norms and class struggles. Historian Jennifer Homans chronicles the art form in a cultural history, Apollo's Angels.
This interview was originally broadcast on December 13, 2010. Apollo's Angels is now available in paperback.
Critic-at-large John Powers reviews a newly-released DVD of Roberto Rossellini's 1966 film The Taking of Power by Louis XIV. Originally made for Italian television, the costume-drama follows a rocky transfer of power amidst the lavish court rituals of 17th-century France.