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The Embodied Conservatism of Rudolf Laban, 1919–1926
Dance Research Journal  (IF),  Pub Date : 2019-08-14, DOI: 10.1017/s0149767719000160
Ana Isabel Keilson

This article examines Rudolf Laban's theory of dance as it developed in his written and stage works from 1919 to 1926. Specifically, it shows how Laban defined dance as a form of positive liberty, which provided the anchor of what I label as his “embodied conservatism,” a conceptual and practical orientation of movement toward the goal of reshaping society according to principles of harmony as universal law. Bridging the history of dance with the history of political thought, I argue that Laban's theory of dance offered a theory of politics in response to social and political fracture during the Weimar Republic.