The purpose of the dissertation is to bring to light and focus upon, through a number of disparate investigations, the socio-cultural ideology and practices expressed in some of the dance events which constitute an echo of the cry implied by the most canonized ballet of the 1900s, Le Sacre du Printemps choreographed in 1913 by Vaslav Nijinsky. The study commences with a discussion, which aims to define key concepts such as "reconstruction" and "original".
The main part of the text in Part 1 is devoted to the problems relating to Millicent Hod-son's and Kenneth Archer's reconstruction in 1987 of the "forgotten" milestone in western dance, Le Sacre du Printemps. The choice of methods by the reconstuctionists raises questions of scientific legitimacy in western historiography.
Key concepts for Hodson and Archer are "lost" and "found". What is it that the recon-structionists have found in their effort to fill a void in the history of dance? Through the study of the Hodson's and Archer's method of reconstruction and other reconstructions in contrast with a few newly created versions of Le Sacre du Printemps the importance of the dance being perpetuated is confirmed. But that also leads to the insight that a dance event is not isolated from a contemporary context.
Part 2 deals with relations to "the primitive" in dance history. Here we touch on questions concerning alienation or our view of what can be regarded as "the other", but also our need for hierarchies. This division of "we" and "them" functions as a dramatic formula through hundreds of years of western dance and at the same time describes an aspect of colonialism. Our relationship to this "the primitive", the other, shifts over the years and in the world of dance these questions constitute a reflection of our diffuse or repressed inner self or, more simply, an expression of our dreams and fantasies.
In Part 3 Le Sacre du Printemps is placed in contexts and is summarised under the hea-ding "the New Spirituality." The ritual theme of the dances constitutes the foundation of an analysis of the new "scientific" relationship to religion, philosophy and psychology in the early 1900s.
The view of the artist as a genius is related to Nietzsche's thesis "god is dead" and to the contemporary need for creating new divisions between "we" and "them". In this phase we are dealing with the human subconscious. The rite, and the spiritual power it suggests, are the springboard for a kind of "mass psychosis" which enables Le Sacre du Printemps to be described as a conceptual entity for various political statements. This possibility has been exploited not least by the female choreographers, primarily by their further development of the tradition within modern dance that had already begun with the first female pioneers of the dance.
Stockholm: Stift. för utgivning av teatervetenskapliga studier , 2000. , 220 p.
reconstruction, original, hierarchies, dance history, colonialism, primitive, the other, rite.