By Ramsay Burt
Alien our bodies is an interesting exam of dance in Germany, France, and the U.S. throughout the Twenties and Thirties. Ranging throughout ballet and glossy dance, dance within the cinema and Revue, Ramsay Burt appears to be like on the paintings of ecu, African American, and white American artists. one of the artists who characteristic are: * Josephine Baker * Jean Borlin * George Balanchine * Jean Cocteau * Valeska Gert * Katherine Dunham * Fernand Leger * Kurt Jooss * Doris Humphrey interested in how artists spoke back to the alienating stories of recent lifestyles, Alien our bodies makes a speciality of problems with: * nationwide and 'racial' id * the hot areas of modernity * fascists makes use of of mass spectacles * ritual and primitivism in sleek dance * the 'New girl' and the narrow sleek physique
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Additional info for Alien Bodies: Representations of Modernity, 'Race' and Nation in Early Modern Dance
Chroniclers of la vie élegante’, the dandy life—artists like Eugène Lami, Constantin Guys and Gavarini—in fact depicted laundresses and ballet dancers as well as milliners and café singers. (Lipton 1982:279–80) And so, of course, did Degas. In this context then it is not surprising that dance, whose primary means of expression is the body in space and time, should become such a frequent subject for the depiction of the disturbing new spaces and rhythms of modernity. Degas’ drawings and paintings of ballet dancers, together with scenes of dance halls in Montmartre by French painters including Henri Toulouse-Lautrec (1864–1901) and Auguste Renoir (1841–1919) are the forerunners of similar subjects in early twentiethcentury paintings by Pablo Picasso (1881–1973), Ludwig Kirchner (1880–1938) and Otto Dix (1891–1969)2 in which the threatening Otherness (for the male spectator) of female dancers and prostitutes comes to stand for an increasingly paranoid, middle-class, masculine vision of metropolitan life.
It was built round a fantasy on work which showed money being earned without work. Greed, covetousness, adoration of three idols: Choreographing the disturbing new spaces of modernity 41 dollars, depravity and deceit. The whole wild orgy found no solution and ended in madness. The music was a caricature of jazz. (Laban 1975:43–5) In the piece Laban set out to show: the violent storm and evil spirits of our time. What the revues and films of our days made out to be charming and chic, sophisticated and smart, what people took for terribly sweet and amusing, I portrayed here with its true bitter aftertaste, with its obnoxious flavour and its degrading nastiness.
All the artist does is make a montage of them. Such music will move us as much as Bach and Beethoven moved others. (Gert 1990:44) It was the avant-garde (for Gert the Berlin Dadaists, for Nijinska the Russian CuboFuturists) who had put the speed and violence of modernity as exemplified by cars and aeroplanes onto the artistic agenda. The obvious difference between Nijinska and Gert’s approach to these are that Nijinska abstracts them into an impersonal, dynamic expression, while Gert sees modern life as the sounds and movements of people and machines montaged together.
Alien Bodies: Representations of Modernity, 'Race' and Nation in Early Modern Dance by Ramsay Burt