Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/9999
Dance merges with cultural movements and ideals of health and beauty. Dance in Third Reich illustrates one aspect of the fascist politics and shows how dance became mixed up with racism and anti-Semitism. This thesis illustrates the development of American Tap Dance in xenophobic Germany with an overview of its American origin and the early history in Germany. It explores the ambivalence of the Nazi regime towards Tap Dance and depicts the racist discourse in practice, which limited the tap dancers professionally and privately. The research is based on selected film footage, pictures and journal articles from the Nazi era as well as the biographies of dancers and books related to performing arts found in the extensive archives of German dance historian Uwe Meusel.
Dance is based on constant imitation of others with an additional aspect of creating something new or better to be more spectacular and have specialties. This fusion of different elements and ideas is important to any art form for it to grow. The nazification of dance, the purge of foreign elements and the removal of competent dancers and choreographers for political reasons narrowed down the diversity of technique and expression of movement, and suppressed creativity, which lead to the decline of dance in Germany. Therefore, art should be free from national interests and ideological coloration. Rather, art should be a human urge for freedom, development and solidarity.
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