By Ramsay Burt
Alien our bodies is an engaging exam of dance in Germany, France, and the U.S. through the Nineteen Twenties and Nineteen Thirties. Ranging throughout ballet and smooth 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 eager about how artists spoke back to the alienating reports 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 glossy dance * the 'New lady' and the slim glossy physique
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Extra info for Alien Bodies: Representations of Modernity, 'Race' and Nation in Early Modern Dance
I used to make use of all sorts of tricks in order to draw their attention, as they paid very little attention to me because I was simply dressed. I was dressed quietly in order not to be recognised. One day I was following a cocotte when I noticed a young man staring at me. He was in a carriage with his wife and his two children. He recognised me and I felt terribly humiliated, so I turned blushing. But I continued my chase. (Nijinsky 1937:31) The sense of shame that Nijinsky (1889–1950) expresses so infectiously in his journals, from which this extract comes, has tended to be read by dance historians in terms of the fragility of Nijinsky’s mental health.
In 1922, the year of the ballet, Le Corbusier and Jeanneret exhibited designs for a ‘Ville Contemporaine’ capable of housing three million people which they controversially proposed should be built on a site on the Parisian left bank made by demolishing existing housing there. Planning the modern city, Le Corbusier argued, necessitates such drastic measures. ‘[To] desire to rebuild a great city in a modern way is to engage in a formidable battle… in order, as it were, to hold a wild beast at bay.
All of a sudden a man appears. Tall, straight-backed, lean. Ineluctable like the will to rhythm in the hands of the conducteur. A man alone, on his skates. Like the actors in ancient Greece in their buskins. The end of the red scarf at his neck flutters, like the flame of a candle that is shaken…. He is the leader of the skating dance. He captures in his swirling motion the metallic glare of the fairground organ, and all the Choreographing the disturbing new spaces of modernity 37 movement. His bones vibrate like an instrument.