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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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Moving against Disappearance

Moving against Disappearance

East German Bodies in Contemporary Choreography

(p.165) 10. Moving against Disappearance
New German Dance Studies

Jens Richard Giersdorf

University of Illinois Press

Nearly a year after the fall of the Berlin Wall, East Germany was subsumed into the West German national structure. As a result, the distinct political systems, institutions, and cultures that characterized East Germany have nearly completely vanished. In some instances, this history was actively—and physically—eradicated by the unified Germany. This chapter works against the disappearance of East German culture by reconstructing the physicality of the walk across the border on the day of the opening of the Berlin Wall and two choreographic works depicting East German identities on stage. The initial re-creation of the choreography of a pedestrian movement provides a social, political, and methodological context that relates the two dance productions to the social movement of East German citizens. Both works take stances on the political situation in East Germany during and after the opening of the Berlin Wall in 1989, although one is by a West German artist, Sasha Waltz, and the other by East German choreographer Jo Fabian.

Keywords:   East Germany, choreographers, dance, Sasha Waltz, Jo Fabian, East Germans, dance productions, social movement

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