New Notions of the Body

Gallery 208

In this gallery, viewers will find the new perceptions and forms of dance through luminaries like Suzanne Perrottet and Rudolf von Laban, who were the forerunners of expressionist dance in Germany, along with Josephine Baker, Valeska Gert, Mary Wigman, and Gret Palucca. Regarding the latter, in 1927 photographer and painter Moholy-Nagy claimed enthusiastically: “We are trying to formulate a new aesthetic, and we’re still missing the elementary foundations. […] Palucca’s body, she herself, is a means of representation of the purest expression of a new culture of dance.” Jazz also arrived in Europe from the USA during this period, bringing with it particularly powerful and vibrant sounds that changed the perception of tempo.

One of the main challenges of our days in the 2020s is how to achieve balance between the body, the mind, and society. Dance is a valid metaphor of this yearning—in both the 1920s and today. It is often said that the generation of 1968 gave way to a revolution of the physical which marginalized traditional models in favor of a broader and more assertive body awareness. As we can see, the same can be said about the 1920s. Contemporary artista Rashid Johnson exhibited in this section shows the actuality of this discourse nowadays.