Don't Act, Just Dance

Don't Act, Just Dance

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At some point in their career, nearly all the dancers who worked with George Balanchine were told a€œdona€™t act, dear; just dance.a€ The dancers understood this as a warning against melodramatic over-interpretation and an assurance that they had all the tools they needed to do justice to the stepsa€”but its implication that to dance is already to act in a manner both complete and sufficient resonates beyond stage and studio. Drawing on fresh archival material, Dona€™t Act, Just Dance places dance at the center of the story of the relationship between Cold War art and politics. Catherine Gunther Kodat takes Balanchinea€™s catch phrase as an invitation to explore the politics of Cold War culturea€”in particular, to examine the assumptions underlying the role of a€œapoliticala€ modernism in U.S. cultural diplomacy. Through close, theoretically informed readings of selected important worksa€”Marianne Moorea€™s a€œCombat Cultural, a€ dances by George Balanchine, Merce Cunningham, and Yuri Grigorovich, Stanley Kubricka€™s Spartacus, and John Adamsa€™s Nixon in Chinaa€”Kodat questions several commonly-held beliefs about the purpose and meaning of modernist cultural productions during the Cold War. Rather than read the dance through a received understanding of Cold War culture, Dona€™t Act, Just Dance reads Cold War culture through the dance, and in doing so establishes a new understanding of the politics of modernism in the arts of the period.Gregorya#39;s admirable essay grants the poem a certain seriousness of purpose. However, in describing it asoneof a group of poems in which a€œhigh and low [ brow values] interpenetrateto createathicker versionof reality thaneither cananbsp;...


Title:Don't Act, Just Dance
Author: Catherine Gunther Kodat
Publisher:Rutgers University Press - 2014-12-26
ISBN-13:

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