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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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Lola Montez and Spanish Dance in the 19th Century

Lola Montez and Spanish Dance in the 19th Century

(p.31) 2. Lola Montez and Spanish Dance in the 19th Century
New German Dance Studies

Claudia Jeschke

University of Illinois Press

This chapter narrates the career of Lola Montez (c. 1820–1861), a performer who trafficked in staging the Spanish dancer as a figure of otherness on the stages of nineteenth-century Europe. It addresses both performative qualities and written discourse, in particular Montez's own writings, as strategies for self-fashioning. Here, discourse itself gains a performative potential, pronouncing into being a successful persona that relied on a variety of marketing tactics. The chapter casts new light on dance history by exploring how a dilettante female performer used constructions of gender and alterity to forge a star identity for herself. It argues that Montez was uniquely aware of the discourses surrounding the profession of dance in the nineteenth century, and manipulated them to her own advantage.

Keywords:   Lola Montez, Spanish dance, otherness, self-fashioning, discourse, dance history, female dancers, gender, alterity

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