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Dance and Politics

Edited By Alexandra Kolb

This is the first anthology to explore the fertile intersection of dance and political studies. It offers new perspectives on the connections of dance to governmental, state and party politics, war, nationalism, activism, terrorism, human rights, political ideologies and cultural policy. This cutting-edge book features previously unpublished work by leading scholars of dance, theatre, politics, and management, alongside renowned contemporary choreographers, who propose innovative ways of looking at twentieth- and twenty-first-century dance.
Topics covered range across the political spectrum: from dance tendencies under fascism to the use of choreography for revolutionary socialist ends; from the capacity of dance to reflect the modern market economy to its function in campaigns for peace and justice. The book also contains a comprehensive introduction to the relations between dance and politics.
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4 Terror without End? Choreographing the Red Army Faction and Weather Underground

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Introduction

One night in 1990, I was startled from my sleep by the screeching tyres and wailing of fire engines rushing out of the station across the road.1 The shrieking noise was incessant. Shortly afterwards, the car of a friend who lived just a few blocks away towards the river Rhine was being searched. What had happened? A high-ranking manager and politician, Karsten Rohwedder, who lived in a villa on the river, had been cold-bloodedly murdered, hit by bullets fired through his windows from the allotments below. A letter that was later found claimed that a deceased member of the left-wing terrorist organisation, the Red Army Faction (RAF) was responsible. If the murder was indeed executed by this group, as the evidence suggests, it was done by its third generation: the RAF, operating between 1968 and 1998, was an offshoot of the 1960s student protest movement that shook a number of leading industrial countries including the US, Germany and France.

While examinations of 1960s and 1970s left-wing extremism have invariably focused on the national specifics of the phenomenon, it was a truly global affair and often rooted in student movements. In his comparative case study of American and German youth rebellions, Jeremy Varon (2004) points out the many commonalities between the events in these ← 91 | 92 → countries. With radical force and the optimism of youth, American and German students in the 1960s lined the streets and barricaded universities to challenge political and cultural authority,...

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