Rodney Stenning Edgecombe lectures English literature at the University of Cape Town, and holds one of its Distinguished Teacher Awards. He took his MA with distinction at Rhodes University, where he won the Royal Society of St George Prize for English, and his PhD at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was awarded the Members’ English Prize, 1978/1979. He has published 11 books-the most recent being on Thomas Hood-and 332 articles on topics that range from Shakespeare to nineteenth-century ballet and opera.
Rodney Stenning Edgecombe looks for a new genre within ballet itself, making connections between other musical forms and such works as The Merry Widow, which was part of The Australian Ballet’s 2011 season. Reaching back into the history of ballet and opera, he proposes a new term, ‘Ballet Lyrique’.
Whereas literary scholars have a platform for publishing small or isolated findings, neither the ballet nor the musical world offers a comparable vehicle for such items. English literature scholar, Rodney Edgecombe shares some his minor but interesting discoveries about music for ballet.
Once character, emotion and action are added to abstractly satisfying movement, some questions may arise: "What and how does dance mean?" "Must it necessarily turn to mime, and strive for ‘verbal’ representations without words?" Music scholar, Rodney Stenning Edgecombe, explores this fission by discussing the key terms that became current over time, starting with Noverre’s scène d’action, and ending with Gorsky’s mimodrama.
Music scholar and passionate balletomane, Rodney Edgecombe makes a thorough analysis of Murphy's The Story of Clara with comparisons to previous choreographic versions of The Nutcracker.
Rodney Edgecombe, an English literature scholar with a passion for dance, speculates on the origins and influences of the "classical" suite in the world of classical ballet.