‘There was never anythin’ like this!!!’ Valeska Gert's performances in the context of Weimar culture

Kolb, Alexandra (2007) ‘There was never anythin’ like this!!!’ Valeska Gert's performances in the context of Weimar culture. The European Legacy, 12 (3) . pp. 293-309. ISSN 1084-8770 [Article] (doi:10.1080/10848770701286976)

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This paper explores Valeska Gert’s contributions to dance against the backdrop of Weimar Germany. The first section considers the themes of her choreographies. Eschewing both idealism and abstraction, her work presented a gritty account of the realities of contemporary quotidian life, often featuring outcasts from bourgeois society. It also reflected a growing German interest in aspects of American culture, including sport and multi-ethnicity. Whereas many expressive dancers offered bucolic images of nature, Gert fully embraced modernity, including the process of urbanisation and technological developments. The paper’s second section turns to stylistic features of Gert’s dance, using an analysis of Alfred Meyer’s poem about the dancer as a springboard for discussion. Consideration is given to the montage-like structure of many of Gert’s works,
her invocation of elements of ‘lower’ culture such as the street ballad, and her association with the carnival
and grotesque. Her frequently shocking body images are viewed as subverting social conventions, in particular
by presenting a radical take on femininity.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Media and Performing Arts > Performing Arts
Item ID: 9000
Depositing User: Alexandra Kolb
Date Deposited: 17 May 2012 10:06
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2022 02:03
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/9000

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