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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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Rudolf Laban’s Dance Film Projects

Rudolf Laban’s Dance Film Projects

(p.63) 4. Rudolf Laban’s Dance Film Projects
New German Dance Studies

Susanne Franco

University of Illinois Press

Rudolf Laban was one of the leaders of Ausdruckstanz, and he has been studied as a thoughtful writer and theoretician, a talented choreographer, an inspired teacher, and a tireless organizer of schools, associations, and festivals. Less known are his mostly unrealized film projects, conceptualized for different purposes on different occasions. This chapter considers how film offered Laban yet another arena within which to promote his distinctive vision of dance. Laban was interested in using cinema as a tool to disseminate his ideas and to expand the potential audience for modern dance, ensuring its position as a respectable social practice, as a form of high art, and as a professional field. He understood the great economic potential that cinema, as a popular medium, could give to dance in supporting his enterprises. The chapter also wonders whether Laban's apparent turn away from film in the mid-1930s reflected his engagement with the National Socialist cultural bureaucracy and the opportunities it offered for his vision of mass dance.

Keywords:   Rudolf Laban, male dancers, film, dance history, mass dance, National Socialists

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