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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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Was bleibt? The Politics of East German Dance

Was bleibt? The Politics of East German Dance

(p.130) 8. Was bleibt? The Politics of East German Dance
New German Dance Studies

Marion Kant

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines how dancers during the years immediately following World War II negotiated the terrain of divided Germany. It argues that the careers of Mary Wigman, Gret Palucca, Marianne Vogelsang, Jean Weidt, and Fritz Böhme prove that there was no Stunde Null in dance—there was no successful de-nazification process. Nazified dance concepts—together with their proponents— continued well into the 1950s until a new generation gradually emerged to face the burden of the Nazi past with its ideological baggage; some carry that baggage of their teachers to the present day. The two most thoughtful, reflective, synthetic, and least ruthless artists, Vogelsang and Weidt, failed. Dance had no intellectual apparatus comparable to literature, music, or theater and remained one of the most impoverished arts in East Germany.

Keywords:   female dancers, postwar Germany, East Germany, Mary Wigman, Marianne Vogelsang, Gret Palucca, Jean Weidt, Fritz Böhme

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