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DANCING THE COLD WAR - a symposium

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f.y.i. a release about an event held by NYC's Harriman Institute and Barnard College Department of Dance.

The symposium is free and open to the public:

 

DANCING THE COLD WAR
An International Symposium
16-18 February 2017
Sponsored by the Harriman Institute and the Barnard College Department of Dance
The Cold War was fought on many fronts, with dance as a powerful weapon in its arsenal. The
ballet wars of the 1950s and 1960s, including high-profile defections, captured international
headlines, but numerous forms of dance from folk dance and modern dance to rock and roll were
drawn into an ideological struggle that pitted capitalist freedom again communist oppression.
Dancing the Cold War, a three-day international symposium sponsored by the Harriman Institute
and curated by Lynn Garafola, brings together scholars, artists, critics, and others to explore the
multiple dance encounters that took place during the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the
United States as well as the allies, clients, and surrogates of those countries in different parts of
the world. It will consider the impact of touring and the mass media in challenging ideological
certainties and the changes that transformed the Russian dance community in the immediate post-
Soviet period.


Thursday, 16 February, 1501 SIA
5:00 Opening Event
Welcome: Alexander Cooley, Director, Harriman Institute
1) Kimberly Marten (Harriman Institute): “The Cold War in a Global Context”
2) Lynn Garafola (Barnard College): “Maya Plisetskaya and Plisetskaya Dances”
3) Screening: Plisetskaya Dances (1964)
Reception


Friday, 17 February, 1512 SIA
9:00 Dance as an Ideological Weapon
Moderator: Naima Prevots (independent scholar, Washington, D.C.)
1) Eva Shan Chou (Baruch): “Soviet Ballet in Chinese Cultural Policy, 1950s”
2) Jens Richard Giersdorf (Marymount Manhattan): “East German Folk Dance as
Affirmation and Resistance”
3)) Stacey Prickett (Roehampton University, London): “Dancing National Ideologies: The
Athens Festival During the Cold War”
4) Victoria Hallinan (Boston Architectural College): “Soviet Folk Dance for an American
Audience: The 1958 Tour of the Moiseyev Dance Company”
10:45 short break
11:15 Ballet: Battlegrounds and Encounters
Moderator: Anna Kisselgoff (former Chief Dance Critic, The New York Times)
1) Stephanie Gonçalves (Université Libre de Bruxelles): “Dien-Bien-Phu, Ballet, and the
Cold War: The First Soviet Ballet Tour in Paris, May 1954"
2) Harlow Robinson (Northeastern University, Boston): “Sol Hurok and Gosconcert”
3) Janice Ross (Stanford): “Outcast as Patriot: Leonid Yakobson’s Spartacus and the
Bolshoi’s 1962 American Tour”
4) Tim Scholl (Oberlin): “Traces of the Past: Cold-War Encounters and Their Impacts on
Soviet Ballet”
Discussant: Simon Morrison (Princeton)
1:15 lunch
2:15 Global and Media Battlegrounds (I)
Moderator: Lynn Matluck Brooks (Franklin and Marshall College)
1) Julia Foulkes (New School): “West and East Side Stories: A Musical in the Cold War”
2) Victoria Phillips (Columbia): “Dancing Behind the Iron Curtain: Martha Graham on
Tour, 1962-1987”
3) Joanna Dee Das (Washington University, St. Louis): “Dance and Decolonization:
African American Choreographers in Africa During the Cold War”
3:15 break
3:45 Global and Media Battlegrounds (II)
4) Elizabeth Schwall (Northwestern): “A Spectacular Embrace: Cuba-Soviet Dance
Dialogues, 1957-1973"
5) Sergei Zhuk (Ball State University): “‘The Disco Effect’ in Cold-War Ukraine”
6) Marsha Siefert (European University, Budapest): "Anna Pavlova: The 1983 Biopic and
Cold War Ballet Films"
Discussant: Julie Malnig (Gallatin School, New York University)
5: 30 Cinematic Coda
Excerpts from Romeo and Juliet (1954), The Sleeping Beauty (1964), Katia et Volodia (1989),
and Spartacus (1970).
6:00 Friday program ends


Saturday, 18 February, 1512 SIA
Battlegrounds and Encounters: Dancers on the Front Lines of the Cold War
9:00 Introduction: Lynn Garafola (Barnard)
Screening: Balanchine’s Western Symphony (1956)
9:45 Dancers’ Round Table
Kay Mazzo (NYCB), Suki Schorer (NYCB/SFB), Gretchen Schumacher (ABT), Suzanne
Hammons (Joffrey/SFB), Trinette Singleton (Joffrey), Sylvia Waters (Ailey), Carla Maxwell
(Limón), Carolyn Adams (Paul Taylor), Rob Kahn (Paul Taylor), Karen Brown (DTH), Charles
Reinhart (ADF), and others in conversation with Lynn Garafola, Elizabeth Kendall (Lang), and
Lauren Brown (Marymount Manhattan)
11:00 break
11:30 Dance Theatre Harlem in Russia
A conversation between Karen Brown and Elizabeth Kendall.
Russians on the American Stage: excerpts from Giselle (Natalia Makarova/Mikhail
Baryshnikov), Vestris (Baryshnikov), The Nutcracker (Baryshnikov/Gelsey Kirkland/Alexander
Minz), Prodigal Son (Baryshnikov, with Balanchine), Push Comes to Shove (Baryshnikov)
12:30 lunch
2:00 The End of the Cold War and Historical Memory
Moderator: Daria Khitrova (Harvard)
1) Irina Klyagin (Harvard Theatre Collection): Through a Glass: Researching Dance
History at the End of the Cold War”
2) Elena Kunikova (Master teacher/New York): “Russia Abroad”
3) Maria Ratanova (Harriman): "In Search of Lost Time: Restoring Memory, Reviving
Connections"
4) Charles Reinhart (Director Emeritus, American Dance Festival), in conversation with
Lynn Garafola, “New Directions in Contemporary Dance”
Discussant: Simon Morrison (Princeton)
4:00 break
4:30 Alexei Ratmansky on his Recreations of Soviet-Era Works
A conversation with critic Marina Harss.
5:30 Final Remarks

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Oh, so many juicy topics -- if anyone here is able to go, please report back!

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Yes, please report.

 

Be fascinating to see how the Cunningham European Tour of 1964 would fit into this discussion. Not funded by State Department, but helped out by Philip Johnson and Todd Bolender. Very difficult to put a spin on it, would seem to run counter, or askew, to main cold war arts narratives.

 

http://www.mercecunningham.org/blog/1964-world-tour/

Edited by Quiggin

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the following has now been released as a update for this event, not sure how much it differs from what's above but for now what follows here stands as the current program:

 

DANCING THE COLD WAR
An International Symposium
16-18 February 2017
Sponsored by the Harriman Institute and the Barnard College Department of Dance
The Cold War was fought on many fronts, with dance as a powerful weapon in its arsenal. The
ballet wars of the 1950s and 1960s, including high-profile defections, captured international
headlines, but numerous forms of dance from folk dance and modern dance to rock and roll were
drawn into an ideological struggle that pitted capitalist freedom again communist oppression.
Dancing the Cold War, a three-day international symposium sponsored by the Harriman Institute
and curated by Lynn Garafola, brings together scholars, artists, critics, and others to explore the
multiple dance encounters that took place during the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the
United States as well as the allies, clients, and surrogates of those countries in different parts of
the world. It will consider the impact of touring and the mass media in challenging ideological
certainties and the changes that transformed the Russian dance community in the immediate post-
Soviet period.
Thursday, 16 February, 1501 SIA
4:45 Dancing the Cold War: Images from the Collection of Robert Greskovic
5:00 Opening Event
Welcome: Alexander Cooley, Director, Harriman Institute
1) Kimberly Marten (Harriman Institute): “The Cold War in a Global Context”
2) Lynn Garafola (Barnard College): “Maya Plisetskaya and Plisetskaya Dances”
3) Screening: Plisetskaya Dances (1964)
Reception
Friday, 17 February, 1512 SIA
8:45 Dancing the Cold War: Images from the Collection of Robert Greskovic
9:00 Dance as an Ideological Weapon
Moderator: Naima Prevots (independent scholar, Washington, D.C.)
1) Eva Shan Chou (Baruch): “Soviet Ballet in Chinese Cultural Policy, 1950s”
2) Jens Richard Giersdorf (Marymount Manhattan): “East German Folk Dance as
Affirmation and Resistance”
3)) Stacey Prickett (Roehampton University, London): “Dancing National Ideologies: The
Athens Festival During the Cold War”
4) Victoria Hallinan (Boston Architectural College): “Soviet Folk Dance for an American
Audience: The 1958 Tour of the Moiseyev Dance Company”
10:45 short break
11:15 Ballet: Battlegrounds and Encounters
Moderator: Anna Kisselgoff (former Chief Dance Critic, The New York Times)
1) Stephanie Gonçalves (Université Libre de Bruxelles): “Dien-Bien-Phu, Ballet, and the
Cold War: The First Soviet Ballet Tour in Paris, May 1954"
2) Harlow Robinson (Northeastern University, Boston): “Sol Hurok and Gosconcert”
3) Janice Ross (Stanford): “Outcast as Patriot: Leonid Yakobson’s Spartacus and the
Bolshoi’s 1962 American Tour”
4) Tim Scholl (Oberlin): “Traces of the Past: Cold-War Encounters and Their Impacts on
Soviet Ballet”
Discussant: Simon Morrison (Princeton)
1:15 lunch
2:15 Global and Media Battlegrounds (I)
Moderator: Lynn Matluck Brooks (Franklin and Marshall College)
1) Julia Foulkes (New School): “West and East Side Stories: A Musical in the Cold War”
2) Victoria Phillips (Columbia): “Dancing Behind the Iron Curtain: Martha Graham on
Tour, 1962-1987”
3) Joanna Dee Das (Washington University, St. Louis): “Dance and Decolonization:
African American Choreographers in Africa During the Cold War”
3:15 break
3:45 Global and Media Battlegrounds (II)
4) Elizabeth Schwall (Northwestern): “A Spectacular Embrace: Cuba-Soviet Dance
Dialogues, 1957-1973"
5) Sergei Zhuk (Ball State University): “‘The Disco Effect’ in Cold-War Ukraine”
6) Marsha Siefert (European University, Budapest): "Anna Pavlova: The 1983 Biopic and
Cold War Ballet Films"
Discussant: Julie Malnig (Gallatin School, New York University)
5: 30 Cinematic Coda
Excerpts from Romeo and Juliet (1954), The Sleeping Beauty (1964), Katia et Volodia (1989),
and Spartacus (1970).
6:00 Friday program ends
Saturday, 18 February, 1512 SIA
Battlegrounds and Encounters: Dancers on the Front Lines of the Cold War
9:00 Introduction: Lynn Garafola (Barnard)
Screening: Balanchine’s Western Symphony (1956)
9:45 Dancers’ Round Table
Kay Mazzo (NYCB/Ballets USA), Suki Schorer (NYCB/SFB), Gretchen Schumacher (ABT),
Suzanne Hammons (Joffrey/SFB), Trinette Singleton (Joffrey), Sylvia Waters (Ailey), Linda
Hodes (Graham), Carla Maxwell (Limón), Carolyn Adams (Taylor), Rob Kahn (Taylor), Karen
Brown (DTH), and Charles Reinhart (ADF) in conversation with Lynn Garafola (Barnard) and
Elizabeth Kendall (Lang).
11:00 break
11:30 Dance Theatre Harlem in Russia
A conversation between Karen Brown and Elizabeth Kendall.
Russians on the American Stage: excerpts from Giselle (Natalia Makarova/Mikhail
Baryshnikov), Vestris (Baryshnikov), The Nutcracker (Baryshnikov/Gelsey Kirkland/Alexander
Minz), Prodigal Son (Baryshnikov, with Balanchine), Push Comes to Shove (Baryshnikov)
12:30 lunch
2:00 The End of the Cold War and Historical Memory
Moderator: Daria Khitrova (Harvard)
1) Irina Klyagin (Harvard Theatre Collection): “Through a Glass: Researching Dance
History at the End of the Cold War”
2) Maria Ratanova (Harriman): "In Search of Lost Time: Restoring Memory, Reviving
Connections"
3) 2) Elena Kunikova (Master teacher/New York), in conversation with Lynn Garafola,
“Dancing Russia Abroad”
4) Charles Reinhart (Director Emeritus, American Dance Festival), in conversation with
Lynn Garafola, “New Directions in Contemporary Dance”
Discussant: Simon Morrison (Princeton)
4:00 break
4:30 Alexei Ratmansky on his Recreations of Soviet-Era Works
A conversation with critic Marina Harss.
5:30 Final Remarks

 

Dancing the Cold War takes place in Columbia's International Affairs Building (420 West 118th Street), the Thursday and Saturday sessions in Room 1501, the Friday sessions in Room 1512.  Like all Harriman events, Dancing the Cold War is free and open to the public.
 

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NYC-area people -- please go to this, and report back.  I cannot be there, but it is a great, great schedule.  Many people who really know their stuff, talking about a period as it transitions from lived experience to history.

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Oh, I'm so jealous of New Yorkers!  This sounds so interesting; so sorry I won't be able to cut school to come!

 

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I was only able to get for a bit of Friday...  The room was packed,more people than chairs... And afraid I did not take notes...  Here are some random memories/thoughts...

 

One thing I wondered was perhaps addressed during sessions I missed:  under Stalin, it could be fatal to have Western connections... The exchanges started in the neighborhood of three years after Stalin's death... Was there a reluctance to be associated with a venture like this?  Perhaps the new regime might also turn against those with Western connections?   The bribes that were required in the USSR to get the exchanges to happen... Were some of these also to smooth over that reluctance?

 

A theme seemed to be that the exchanges had much more impact on dance on the Western side of the Iron Curtain than on the Eastern side.  But I am not sure I entirely agree...   Sylvie Guillem, perhaps too late to be considered Cold War, but I believe she influenced the look of Russian dancers today... Their extreme flexibility... and the popularity of In the middle somewhat elevated..

 

There was some talk of the cultural  exchange in Cuba and how the Cubans were resisant feeling they had their own distinct technique not requiring Russian patronizing... But there was no discussion of the details of this technique.  I find it interesting because  it often seems to me that the Cuban dancers more resemble the old soviet dancers than their Russian counterparts do.

 

Ulanova was surprisingly old when she finally got to dance in the US?  I didn't realize how long it took Hurok to bring The Bolshoi to the US.  And the world nearly got DeNiro playing Hurok in a biopic.

 

Russian Dancers were expected to bring back "thank you" gifts for those bureaucrats who got them in the tour... But they had very little money with which to purchase these gifts.  It was not quite explained how they managed on their piitance of a per diem to purchase the gifts.  

 

I wondered why Merce Cunningham was not included... It seems he was not considered a gifted public speaker... But John Cage would have done this well for him, no?  And on the Modern Art front the US State Dept was covertly funding abstract painting from the avant garde, why was dance exported more conservative?

 

There was also talk of Ailey, Dunham & Primus in Africa.   In some countries the local tribes distrusted Primus, thinking she was there to steal their dances, in others the colonial overlords feared she was fanning patriotic flames.  I wanted to ask if dances were handed down as legacy in Africa as they are in some Native American tribes but time was limited and the room was packed with noted critics, authors & scholars, so.. not sure if questions from general public would have been welcomed.

Edited by Amy Reusch
Input device not cooperative & typos needed fixing

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