Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 14 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

In the 1930s, “Jewish dance” emerged in the United States as a category that drifted between ethnic and modern dance. Although some Jewish choreographers were able to transcend their ethnicity through the universalism of modern dance, others, like Belle Didjah and Dvora Lapson, were ghettoized by their overtly Jewish characterizations of Hasidic Jews or exotic Jewesses. Despite their exclusion from modern-dance history, Didjah and Lapson identified with modern dance, reinvented cultural traditions and rituals for the stage, and used the solo form to imagine expanded roles for women. Although some of their dances emphasized Jewish difference over assimilation, they aimed to make a place for Jewish expression on the American concert stage, and to expand possibilities for constructing Jewish-American identities through a mode of performance that was both ethnic and modern.

Keywords: dance, Jewish identity, Jewish dance, Jewishness, ethnic dance, modern dance, Dvora Lapson, Belle Didjah, Rebecca Rossen, ethnography, Hasidic dance, orientalism, United States

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.