Karl Toepfer Publishes Article in “On Stage Alone”

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Oda Schottmueller performing one of her solo mask dances in Berlin, ca. 1938.

Congratulations“Solo Dancing in Central Europe and Early Modernism,” in On Stage Alone, edited by Claudia Gitelman and Barbara Palfy, University Press of Florida, 2013.

This article discusses different kinds of solo dance and dancers in Central Europe from about 1905 to 1940 and describes the remarkable inventiveness of dancers in developing a mode of dance performance that is now very rare and difficult to master in our time.


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Karl Toepfer Publishes Article in “Metropolenzauber. Sexuelle Moderne und urbaner Wahnsinn”

Congratulations to Karl Toepfer on the publication of: “Perverse Erotik und die Vision der ekstatischen Stadt” (translated into German by Dorothea Loebbermann), in Metropolenzauber. Sexuelle Moderne und urbaner Wahnsinn, edited by Gabriele Tietze and Dorothea Dornhof, Vienna: Bohlau 2014.

This article discusses different approaches to research on perverse sexuality during the Weimar Republic and the discovery that accurate, comprehensive knowledge of the this subject depended on participation in rather than detachment from the forms of behavior the researchers explored.


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“Hero und Leander,” photo by Manasse, Vienna (1930), from Erich Wulffen, Die Erotik in der Photographie, Berlin: Verlag für Kulturforschung (1931), 11. This voluptuously staged photo of a scene from ancient Greek myth nevertheless exudes a seductive aura of modernity as it contrasts the reclining or “defeated” male figure with the rising or “yearning” female figure, reversing the conventional or “classical” representation of “active” male identity contrasted with “passive” female identity. However, the image also suggests that female ascent comes at the sacrifice of male beauty. Unlike much Nacktkultur photography and indeed some artworks of the pre-War era, the staged photography of the Weimar Republic tends to show little, if any, inclination to represent “Adam and Eve” couples who are equal in their emanation of power.

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Karl Toepfer Reviews “New German Dance Studies”

Congratulations Karl Toepfer on the publication of his review!

“The Movement of History in the Movement of Bodies” (review of New German Dance Studies, edited by Susan Manning and Lucia Ruprecht) at H-Net 2014.


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Karl Toepfer Publishes Article in “Costume as Cinematic Spectacle”

Alla Nazimova as Salome in the film Salome (1922)

Alla Nazimova as Salome in the film Salome (1922)

Congratulations, Karl Toepfer for your recent publication: “Dance, Fashion and Music Hall Scenes in European Silent Films of the 1920s,” Costume as Cinematic Spectacle, edited by Marta Uhlirova, London: Koening, 2014.

This article discusses the conventions and innovations in the use of costumes to construct dance scenes in European silent films of the 1920s; the article also shows how cinematic techniques operate in relation to choreography and costume choices. The book as a whole contains numerous fascinating articles about costume and fashion in the movies, accompanied by an abundance of luxurious illustrations.


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Karl Toepfer Interviewed on BBC’s “WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?”


In September 2013, Professor Karl Toepfer appeared in an episode of the BBC television series Who Do You Think You Are? with the pop singer Marianne Faithfull, whose mother was Eva von Sacher-Masoch, a dancer in Berlin in the early 1930s. Much of the episode was filmed in Berlin, where Professor Toepfer shared information about Eva von Sacher-Masoch’s dance work that Ms. Faithfull had not previously known.


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