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date: 19 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Two masters of massed movement, Rudolf von Laban and the Third Reich, co-existed for a short period of time. Laban sought to articulate through massed movement the soul of the individual, and the Nazi regime sought to sculpt an embodiment of massed power and solidarity. This chapter examines Laban’s work in Germany with the Third Reich, juxtaposing his artistic aesthetic of mass movement choirs with the cultural and political mass movement goals of the Reich Chamber of Culture (RCoC) during the 1936 Berlin Olympics. It analyzes the cultural and political factors that contributed to Laban’s working relationship with the RCoC and its dissolution. Finally, the chapter attempts to shed some light on why the prevailing performative body culture supported the regime’s goals where Laban’s movement choirs failed, and explain the relationship between power, culture, and performance within the body.

Keywords: Laban, movement choir, Nazi, Berlin, Olympics, opening ceremony, propaganda

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