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date: 05 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the dance pieces created in Germany in the 1920s by Rudolf Laban (1879–1958), one of the leaders of Ausdruckstanz, as “recreated” by Valerie Preston-Dunlop from the late 1980s to 2014. Until Preston-Dunlop’s recreations, Laban’s most important legacy was considered his conceptual thinking on dance and movement, rather than the dance repertoire he created between 1912 and 1936, which has left only a few traces. Preston-Dunlop, who was a pioneer in combining archival research and public dissemination of Laban’s work through numerous publications, made her recreations a central tool to introduce this repertoire to new generations of students and a large audience, but simultaneously applied to them a very specific interpretation of their political and ideological substance. This chapter explores the articulation of bodily memories and historical narratives in both Preston-Dunlop’s recreations and in Laban’s historiography that has troubled our understanding of his thought and ideology.

Keywords: Ausdruckstanz, Rudolf Laban, Valerie Preston-Dunlop, canonicity, recreation, archive, cultural memory, archaeochorelogy, choreology

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