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Abstract

Dancing With Hitler: Examining the Movements of the Nazi Movement and Geopolitics of Dance

The physical location of the body combined with the political climate of a given culture plays critical role in shaping what kind of movement aesthetic is accepted by society. In examining the geopolitics of dance with a focus on Nazi Germany between the years 1930-1945, this presentation discusses what was happening to dance in Europe under Hitler’s control. From being utilized as a weapon of manipulation and propaganda, to dictating what art could be created, to forcing dancers to flee the artistic oppression and collaborate with Western dancers, there is no denying the sway geography and politics had in influencing modern dance. Dance has the power to control; and Hitler’s Nazi party was cunning in utilizing the strength of physical movements to literally mobilize an entire nation into falling under their oppression. Whether it was militaristic marching, or the infamous Nazi out-stretched arm, the movements implemented by this regime combined with inevitable geopolitical factors ultimately impacted dance as we know it today.

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