By Ramsay Burt
Alien our bodies is an interesting exam of dance in Germany, France, and the us through the Nineteen Twenties and Thirties. Ranging throughout ballet and glossy dance, dance within the cinema and Revue, Ramsay Burt appears on the paintings of eu, African American, and white American artists. one of the artists who function are: * Josephine Baker * Jean Borlin * George Balanchine * Jean Cocteau * Valeska Gert * Katherine Dunham * Fernand Leger * Kurt Jooss * Doris Humphrey all in favour of how artists spoke back to the alienating reports of contemporary existence, Alien our bodies specializes in problems with: * nationwide and 'racial' id * the recent areas of modernity * fascists makes use of of mass spectacles * ritual and primitivism in smooth dance * the 'New lady' and the slim glossy physique
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Extra resources for Alien Bodies: Representations of Modernity, 'Race' and Nation in Early Modern Dance
It was then, already directed against Nazism and all that’ (Huxley 1982:9). Tucholsky was also internationalist. His last piece of writing before his suicide was ‘What we are proud of in Europe’: ‘This continent is proud of itself and it can well be proud of itself. In Europe one is proud: Of being German; Of being French; Of Being English; Of not being German; Of not being French; Of not Being English’ (Tucholsky et al. 1969:13). It was growing alarm about the increasing dangers of extreme right-wing nationalism that led to so many artists and intellectuals espousing a left-wing anti-fascist internationalism both in Europe and, as we shall see in Chapter 6, in the United States.
There are other more serious moments when the dancers look like a crowd in a German expressionist film— Metropolis or The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari. In packed groups, like loose’ rugby scrums, dancers take up the angular arm gestures that are indicated in Léger’s designs and in photographs of the original production. Millicent Hodson calls these ‘cubist gestures’ as Léger was a Cubist painter, but the effect is highly Expressionist. The groups resemble photographs of Dalcroze and Laban movement choirs.
The breakdown of their discussions precipitates the outbreak of a war. In the next few scenes the men say farewell to their loved ones, there is a battle, the women left behind grieve, a female saboteur works behind the lines while in the background of each scene the figure of Death (initially played by Jooss himself) lurks waiting to take away a victim, making each one dance with him in a different way. Finally he leads all his captives in a dance of death after which the Gentlemen in Black ominously reappear to repeat the opening scene.