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Rudolf von Laban, Reactionary Modernist
28 October 2020 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
The German Modern Dance aesthetic was formulated and choreographed by Rudolf von Laban, with the help of his student Mary Wigman. Laban created a powerful and long-lasting international network of schools, performance groups, notation and therapy organisations. There is hardly a university in the UK and the US that hasn’t integrated part of Laban’s dance philosophy, his terminology and his aesthetics into academic discourse. These are the commonly acknowledged facts and that is also where agreement ends.
There is no other comparable or equally powerful modern dance philosophy that covers all aspect of life with the same ambition, with such far-reaching claims. Yet Laban, like Wigman, became an enthusiastic supporter of the Third Reich and both shaped dance politics and practices within the Nazi system.
How can such a deeply problematic yet influential dance philosophy and aesthetic be reassessed, rethought and then rewritten? What are the ethical legacies of Laban’s system? Emigration, for a long time, has represented the cleansing process that enables and legitimises the continued propagation of Laban’s theories. Should we accept that approach?
These are the complex and thought-provoking issues that Dr. Marion Kant and Dr. Clare Lidbury will grapple with in this session.
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This event is organized by Insiders/Outsiders.
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