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New German Dance Studies$
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Susan Manning and Lucia Ruprecht

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036767

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036767.001.0001

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Warfare over Realism

Warfare over Realism

Tanztheater in East Germany, 1966–1989

(p.147) 9. Warfare over Realism
New German Dance Studies

Franz Anton Cramer

University of Illinois Press

This chapter describes the development of East German dance after the proclamation of national independence in 1949. This development was constructed within a larger debate about realism and the role of art-making in a socialist state. The importance of these questions inspired leading authors to attempt to define the meaning of realism in dance over a period of twenty years. These ideologies evolved along with the broader political and economic situation in the German Democratic Republic. The chapter focuses on the significant 1966 founding of the Tanztheater company at East Berlin's Komische Oper and the role played by its artistic director and chief choreographer, Tom Schilling. The unstable legacy of his work reveals that the question of how to create dances that are both politically effective as well as successful works of art has yet to be resolved.

Keywords:   Tom Schilling, Tanztheater, East German dance, realism, art-making, dance

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