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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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Back Again? Valeska Gert’s Exiles

Back Again? Valeska Gert’s Exiles

(p.113) 7. Back Again? Valeska Gert’s Exiles
New German Dance Studies

Kate Elswit

University of Illinois Press

This chapter questions what exile means for an artist whose performances relied on a strategy of estrangement. In so doing, it follows Valeska Gert (1892–1978) through her American exile and back to Germany, exploring the shifting dynamics of her reception abroad and upon her return to a very changed homeland. Gert came into the public eye as a soloist in the late teens, touring mostly through Germany but also abroad during the Weimar Republic. From 1933 to 1938, Gert appeared in European cities, including London, Paris, Budapest, Krakow, and Prague, as well as in New York. In 1939 she emigrated to the United States and eventually ran one of the more successful exile cabarets in New York from 1941 to 1945, named the Beggar Bar. After the Beggar Bar closed for licensing problems, she decided to return to Germany.

Keywords:   Valeska Gert, female dancers, exile, Weimar Republic, Germany

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