Neoclassical gestures : music-dance collaborations between the two world wars
- "Eighteenth-century music is, in one sense, all dance music." Igor Stravinsky's words remind us that the sublimation of social dance into art music constitutes the lynchpin of classical forms that he, like many other neoclassical composers, returned to after the First World War. After Theodor W. Adorno positioned Stravinsky as a regressive antipode to Schoenberg the Progressive, aligning the former's music with reactionary, even fascist ideological tendencies, "neoclassicism" has had to shoulder disparate meanings and derogatory connotations. The term's checkered reception history, which includes classical appropriations by totalitarian art, brings together culture, politics and aesthetics in volatile constellations with one another. An event-based, dance-centered approach to studying what I call neoclassical gestures -- musical, choreographic and political elements that refer backward and outward through the amalgamation of past and present cultural allusion -- presents an opportunity to move beyond the historical moment of Adorno's polemic by contextualizing neoclassicism's community-forming potential while, at the same time, emphasizing its stylistic and ideological heterogeneity. My dissertation both broadens and qualifies the phenomenon of neoclassicism in music by investigating three interwar ballet productions: Francis Poulenc's Les Biches (1924), Kurt Weill's Die sieben Todsünden (1933), and Constant Lambert's Horoscope (1938). Designed to explore diverse European neoclassicisms through the lens of music-dance relationships, these case studies seek to capture the shifting perspectives and social factors that defined the cultural landscape during this period. Of key significance to this intermedial analysis is the mutable role played by irony. By showing how the diverse uses of popular dance by interwar composers went hand in hand with classical emulation and aspirations toward classicality, this dissertation establishes the terms for a reconciliation between neoclassical repertoire and the modernist canon.
|Type of resource
|electronic; electronic resource; remote
|1 online resource.
|Stanford University, Department of Music.
|Schultz, Anna C
|Schultz, Anna C
|Statement of responsibility
|Submitted to the Department of Music.
|Thesis (Ph.D.)--Stanford University, 2015.
- © 2015 by Anna Vinson Wittstruck
- This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).
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