The lecture enquires into the dynamics through which, in 1930s Sicily, an ancient Greek theater came to catalyze fairly mismatched dance cultures into a productive exchange. The INDA-Istituto Nazionale Dramma Antico had been restaging Greek tragedies for years when the fascist regime came to interfere with their artistic agenda. For the nationalist propaganda, the spectacularizing of Italy’s classical past was of the outmost importance, but ancient dances turned out to be more awkward to translate than ancient texts. Despite the all-Italian image projected on the spectacles, INDA looked abroad for dance vocabularies that satisfied their own dramaturgical requirements yet also, at least putatively, the fascist ideologies regarding group movement and female bodies. The choice fell on the Hellerau Laxenburg Schule, a flagship institution for eurhythmics based near Vienna. This collaboration produced an unlikely hybrid of philhellenic aesthetics, fascist ideologies, and essentially subversive dance practices. In retrospect, the results strike us as being classicist yet modernist, ideological yet progressive, nationalistic yet cosmopolitan, philological yet visionary—that is, ultimately, above these very divisions.

Laura Gianvittorio-Ungar works on ancient performance at the University of Vienna and the ÖAW. She has edited volumes on ancient dance, Choreutika (Fabrizio Serra 2017) and Choreonarratives (Brill 2021), and published widely on Greek theater —most recently, Narratives at Play (Brill 2024).


Start: 06.05.2024, 18:15
Ende: 06.05.2024, 19:15




ifk Internationales Forschungszentrum Kulturwissenschaften | Kunstuniversität Linz in Wien
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Freier Eintritt
Hellenizing Dance. Greek Theater and Ausdruckstanz in Fascist Italy


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Stefanie Obermeir

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