Terror without end? choreographing the Red Army Faction and Weather Underground

Kolb, Alexandra (2011) Terror without end? choreographing the Red Army Faction and Weather Underground. In: Dance and Politics. Kolb, Alexandra, ed. Peter Lang, Oxford, pp. 89-115. ISBN 9783039118489

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Official URL: http://www.peterlang.com/index.cfm?event=cmp.ccc.s...


This article uses one of Kresnik’s most famous pieces – Ulrike Meinhof (1990) – alongside the American artist David Dorfman’s Underground (2006) to examine how these choreographers tackle the highly contentious subject of anti-state terrorism. Taking recourse to Frankfurt School theorists who question the boundaries between the aesthetic and political, this paper suggests that just as terrorist acts may have theatrical properties, so certain theatre dance works aim to shock and frighten their audiences into greater awareness of social and political reality. While Kresnik openly sympathises with the aims of his protagonist and offers a grotesque and harrowing depiction of the capitalist society that Meinhof sought to undermine, Dorfman’s portrayal of historical events is more opaque – although his discourse against political apathy is clearly expressed through speech as well as bodily movement and other visual media. Moreover, while both works are ostensibly about the far-left movements of the 1960s and 1970s – the German RAF and US Weathermen respectively – both artists allude to more recent developments in their countries, namely, German re-unification and American neo-conservatism under George W. Bush.

Item Type:Book Section
Research Areas:A. > School of Media and Performing Arts > Performing Arts
ID Code:8694
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Deposited On:23 Mar 2012 09:59
Last Modified:18 Mar 2015 15:59

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