EVENT VIDEO. Dancing the Cold War: An International Symposium

Thursday, February 16, 2017 to Saturday, February 18, 2017
1512 & 1501 International Affairs Building (420 West 118th St)

Please join us for a three-day symposium sponsored by the Harriman Institute and the Barnard College Department of Dance.

The Cold War was fought on many fronts, with dance as a powerful weapon in its arsenal.  The ballet wars of the 1950s and 1960s, including high-profile defections, captured international headlines, but numerous forms of dance from folk dance and modern dance to rock and roll were drawn into an ideological struggle that pitted capitalist freedom again communist oppression.  Dancing the Cold War, a three-day international symposium sponsored by the Harriman Institute and curated by Lynn Garafola, brings together scholars, artists, critics, and others to explore the multiple dance encounters that took place during the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States as well as the allies, clients, and surrogates of those countries in different parts of the world.  It will consider the impact of touring and the mass media in challenging ideological certainties and the changes that transformed the Russian dance community in the immediate post-Soviet period.

Read Columbia Spectator report (Lexa Armnstrong, February 22, 2017)


Thursday, February 16, 2017
Room 1501 International Affairs Building

4:45pm - Dancing the Cold War: Images from the Collection of Robert Greskovic

5:00pm - Opening Event

Welcome: Alexander Cooley (Harriman Institute/Barnard College)

Kimberly Marten (Harriman Institute): “The Cold War in a Global Context”

Lynn Garafola (Barnard College): “Maya Plisetskaya and Plisetskaya Dances

Screening: Plisetskaya Dances (1964)

Friday, February 17, 2017
Room 1512 International Affairs Building

8:45am - Dancing the Cold War: Images from the Collection of Robert Greskovic

9:00am - Dance as an Idealogical Weapon

Moderator: Naima Prevots (independent scholar, Washington, D.C.)

Eva Shan Chou (Baruch): “Soviet Ballet in Chinese Cultural Policy, 1950s”

Jens Richard Giersdorf (Marymount Manhattan): “East German Folk Dance as Affirmation and Resistance”

Stacey Prickett (Roehampton University, London): “Dancing National Ideologies: The Athens Festival During the Cold War”

Victoria Hallinan (Boston Architectural College): “Soviet Folk Dance for an American Audience: The 1958 Tour of the Moiseyev Dance Company”

10:45am - short break

11:15am - Ballet: Battlegrounds and Encounters

Moderator: Anna Kisselgoff (former Chief Dance Critic, The New York Times)

Stephanie Gonçalves (Université Libre de Bruxelles): “Dien-Bien-Phu, Ballet, and the Cold War: The First Soviet Ballet Tour in Paris, May 1954"

Harlow Robinson (Northeastern University, Boston): “Sol Hurok and Gosconcert”

Janice Ross (Stanford): “Outcast as Patriot: Leonid Yakobson’s Spartacus and the Bolshoi’s 1962 American Tour”

Tim Scholl (Oberlin): “Traces of the Past: Cold-War Encounters and Their Impacts on Soviet Ballet”
Discussant: Simon Morrison (Princeton)

1:15pm - lunch break 

2:15pm - Global and Media Battlegrounds (I)

Moderator: Lynn Matluck Brooks (Franklin and Marshall College)

Julia Foulkes (New School): “West and East Side Stories: A Musical in the Cold War”

Victoria Phillips (Columbia): “Dancing Behind the Iron Curtain: Martha Graham? on Tour, 1962-1987”

Joanna Dee Das (Washington University, St. Louis): “Dance and Decolonization: African American Choreographers in Africa During the Cold War”

3:15 - short break

3:45pm - Global and Media Battlegrounds (II)

Elizabeth Schwall (Northwestern): “A Spectacular Embrace: Cuba-Soviet Dance Dialogues, 1957-1973"

Sergei Zhuk (Ball State University): “‘The Disco Effect’ in Cold-War Ukraine”

Marsha Siefert (Central European University, Budapest): "Anna Pavlova: The 1983 Biopic and Cold War Ballet Films"

Discussant: Julie Malnig (Gallatin School, New York University)

5:30pm - Cinematic Coda

Excerpts from Romeo and Juliet (1954), The Sleeping Beauty (1964), Katia et Volodia (1989), and Spartacus (1970).

6:00pm - Friday program ends

Saturday, February 18, 2017
Room 1501 International Affairs Building NOTE ROOM CHANGE

9:00am - Battlegrounds and Encounters: Dancers on the Front Lines of the Cold War

Introduction: Lynn Garafola (Barnard)

Screening: Balanchine’s Western Symphony (1956)
Archival footage courtesy of the Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

9:45am - Dancers' Round Table

Allegra Kent (NYCB), Kay Mazzo (NYCB/Ballets USA), Suki Schorer (NYCB/SFB), Gretchen Schumacher (ABT), Suzanne Hammons (Joffrey/SFB), Trinette Singleton (Joffrey), Sylvia Waters (Ailey), Linda Hodes (Graham) Carla Maxwell (Limón), Carolyn Adams (Taylor), Rob Kahn (Taylor), Karen Brown (DTH), David LaMarche (DTH), and Charles Reinhart (ADF) in conversation with Lynn Garafola (Barnard) and Elizabeth Kendall (Lang) 

11:00am - short break

11:30am - Dance Theater of Harlem in Russia

Elizabeth Kendall in conversation with Karen Brown and David LaMarche.

12:00pm - Russians on the American Stage

Excerpts from Giselle (Natalia Makarova/Mikhail Baryshnikov), Vestris (Baryshnikov), The Nutcracker (Baryshnikov/Gelsey Kirkland/Alexander Minz), Prodigal Son (Baryshnikov, with Balanchine), Push Comes to Shove (Baryshnikov)

12:30pm - lunch break

2:00pm - The End of the Cold War and Historical Memory

Moderator: Daria Khitrova (Harvard)

Irina Klyagin (Harvard Theatre Collection): "Through a Glass: Researching Dance History at the End of the Cold War”

Maria Ratanova (Harriman Institute): "In Search of Lost Time: Restoring Memory, Reviving Connections"

Elena Kunikova (Master teacher/New York): in conversation with Lynn Garafola, "Dancing Russia Abroad"

Charles Reinhart (Director Emeritus, American Dance Festival), in conversation with Lynn Garafola (Barnard): "New Directions in Contemporary Dance"

Discussant: Simon Morrison (Princeton)

4:00pm - short break

4:30pm - Alexei Ratmansky on his Recreations of Soviet-Era Works

A conversation with critic Marina Harss

5:30pm - Final Remarks

Lynn Garafola's Introduction
Dancers' Roundtable 1
Dancers' Roundtable 2
The End of the Cold War and Historical Memory (1)
The End of the Cold War and Historical Memory (2)
Alexei Ratmansky on his Recreations of Soviet-Era Works