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Body KnowledgePerformance, Intermediality, and American Entertainment at the Turn of the Twentieth Century$
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Mary Simonson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199898015

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199898015.001.0001

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Dancing Pictures: Rita Sacchetto’s Tanzbilder

Dancing Pictures: Rita Sacchetto’s Tanzbilder

(p.106) 4 Dancing Pictures: Rita Sacchetto’s Tanzbilder
Body Knowledge

Mary Simonson

Oxford University Press

Dancer Rita Sacchetto’s little-known Tanzbilder (“Dance Pictures”) tend to be read as elaborate tableaux vivants. Yet close examination of several of Sacchetto’s writings and pieces, including the Botticelli-inspired Der Tanz der Simonetta and her “suffrage dance” Awakening of Woman, which referenced Grieg’s Peer Gynt suites, a Walt Whitman poem, Botticelli visual effects, and Wagnerian stage settings, reveals otherwise. Sacchetto was not interested in replicating paintings, nor translating them into dance. Rather, she adopted the representational practices and formal structures of visual art, music, poetry, and silent film in order to create danced interpretations of these works; out of these materials, she also developed an artistic theory of dance that distinguished her from her contemporary Isadora Duncan.

Keywords:   Rita Sacchetto, tanzbilder, tableaux vivants, symphonic dance, early modern dance, dance and visual art, silent film, suffrage, Awakening of Woman

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