The opening point for this discussion is the First International Competition of Artistic Dance in Warsaw. More than a hundred dancers convened in 1933 for a dance festival and competition: roughly half came from Poland, while the remainder came from across Europe and as far afield as Egypt, India, and Indonesia. Taking Warsaw 1933 as a starting point, this conference looks at the range of dance practices in interwar Europe, with an accent on the countries that have until now been underrepresented in general dance history.
Within this conference, we would like to question both the historical and aesthetical context of early modern dance as well as its social and political implications. We are interested in understanding how dance is involved in the process of identity shaping but also how it complicates clear-cut, especially national identities. Therefore we propose to look at modernism in dance from transnational perspective.
In this context we want to propose some questions in order to initiate a new debate on modernist practice and heritage:
- How did dance, both social and theatrical, contribute to nation-building?
- How did dance from Central and Eastern Europe participate in European and global dance exchange during those years?
- What was the impact of the emigration of the young generation of East-European dancers and choreographers (mainly women) on dance development outside of Europe?
- How non-European dance practices influenced dance practices in Central and Eastern Europe?