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Friday, July 31


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A review of Mark Franko's The Fascist Turn in the Dance of Serge Lifar by  George Jackson for danceviewtimes.


My reason for calling the book exhaustive is that Franko seems scrupulously thorough in discussing those aspects of the Lifar phenomenon that interest him. The focus is very much on critics and their categories for classifying dance. Franko's discussions of the hide-and-seek games aestheticians play exhausted me. Definitions are crucial for Franko's interest. Not only what is fascism but what is fascist dance? Not only what is neoclassicism but what is neoclassical ballet? Undoubtedly, attention to these and related questions is necessary, but apparently for their sake Franko gives short shrift to the crucial task of comparing Lifar with other choreographers of relevance. How do Lifar's ballets rate when measured by the standards of choreography set by his major contemporaries and immediate predecessors - Fokine, Nijinska, Massine, Balanchine, Lander, Lavrovsky and even by Derra DeMoroda, who may not have been major but headed Kraft durch Freude / Force thru Joy, the official ballet company of Germany's Nazi party? ........


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