Dying for the Cause: Choreographing the Myths of Ulrike Meinhof and Wolfgang Grams

By Alexandra Kolb.

Published by The Arts Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper analyses contemporary choreographic responses to the left-wing terrorist organisation Red Army Faction. It uses the Austrian Johann Kresnik’s ‘Ulrike Meinhof’ (1990/2006) alongside the Czech Pavel Mikuláštík’s ‘Tatort: The Seven Deaths of Wolfgang G.’ (1994) to examine how these choreographers tackle the highly contentious subject of violent anti-state activism in their country of residence, Germany. The works centre on (in)famous members of the organisation, who died early deaths, highlighting the ideological and physical confrontation between the anarchist terrorists and police powers. The choreographies, however, apply different artistic strategies in re-evaluating RAF history and its fatal consequences from a left-wing perspective.

Keywords: Dance, Choreography, Terrorism, Red Army Faction, Johann Kresnik, Pavel Mikuláštík

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp.275-284. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 604.325KB).

Dr. Alexandra Kolb

Senior Lecturer (from Feb. 2010) and Chair of Dance Studies, School of Physical Education, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

Alexandra Kolb is Senior Lecturer and Chair of Dance Studies at Otago University in New Zealand, having received her doctorate from Cambridge. She trained professionally in dance in Düsseldorf and at John Neumeier’s Academy of the Hamburg Ballet. Prior to her time at Otago, she was in charge of the Academic Studies department at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds (UK). She is the author of Performing Femininity: Dance and Literature in German Modernism (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2009) and the editor of Dance and Politics (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2010). She has contributed to a range of international journals, including Discourses in Dance, Journal of European Studies and About Performance, and her dance reviews have appeared in Theatreview.

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