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By Mary Simonson

Whereas woman performers within the early twentieth century have been frequently marketed as dancers, mimics, singers, or actresses, they wove jointly options and parts drawn from a wide selection of genres and media. Onstage and onscreen, performers borrowed from musical ratings and narratives, pointed out modern exhibits, movies, and occasions, and mimicked fellow performers. backstage, they experimented with cross-promotion and new advertisements concepts and applied sciences to broadcast photos and stories in their performances and lives way past the partitions of yankee theaters, cabarets, and halls. The performances and conceptions of artwork that emerged have been cutting edge, compelling, and deeply meaningful.

Body Knowledge examines those performances and the performers in the back of them, highlighting the Ziegfeld Follies and The Passing convey revues, Salome dancers, Isadora Duncan's Wagner dances, Adeline Genée and Bessie Clayton's danced histories, Hazel Mackaye and Ruth St. Denis's pageants, and Anna Pavlova's opera and picture initiatives. As a complete, it re-imagines early twentieth-century paintings and leisure as either fluid and convergent.

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Additional resources for Body Knowledge: Performance, Intermediality, and American Entertainment at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

Sample text

Similarly, the dances of Lotta Faust, Bianca Froelich, Eva Tanguay, and other popular stage Salomes were each originals, carefully authored pieces that gestured toward a wealth of influences and predecessors but also maintained their own identities, aesthetics, and meanings. Each Salome, in the end, danced her own dance. Salome On-screen In movie houses around the country, Salome and her dance were just as ubiquitous as they were on the popular stage. -based film companies; as feature films gained prominence around 1915, several studios embarked upon full-length Salome films as well.

Not only can works incorporating media, recording, and other reproduction technologies be considered performances, but these mediatized performances can also be understood as parallel to and dependent upon live performance. Indeed, as Auslander argues, the live and the mediatized are deeply symbiotic and interdependent: mediatized performance has long borrowed from live performance, and the live now increasingly incorporates aesthetics and processes associated with media, such as video feeds, an intense interest in realism, and sound processing.

Although neither narrative nor operatic tradition seem to allow any feminist wiggle room, performance offers a site of resistance and female authorship. ”7 Perhaps Salome’s platter can be left empty. Or perhaps we should simply look to other female “madwomen” who manage to escape the protective frame of masculine presence without losing access to their modes of musical transgression. Indeed, McClary goes so far as to suggest late twentieth-century performance artist Diamanda Galas as a model, pointing toward Galas’s self-authored performances of madwoman as social critic.

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