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Dancing Argentine Modernity: Imagined Indigenous Bodies on the Buenos Aires Concert Stage (1915–1966)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 August 2016

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Abstract

This article argues that the unrealized ballet Caaporá (1915), conceived for choreography by Vaslav Nijinsky, and Oscar Araiz's La consagración de la primavera (1966, The Rite of Spring) fundamentally shaped the establishment and reimagination of concert dance as a site of modernity in Argentina. Both works danced modernity through imagined pre-Columbian indigenous myths choreographed in Euro-American concert dance forms. In Argentina, “unmarked” ballet and modern dance forms signaled a universalized cultural advancement aligned with the West, while indigenous myths staged “marked” Latin American origins that held racial difference at a distance from the modern present. Caaporá and Consagración negotiated the “marked” and the “unmarked” toward different ends. While Caaporá strove to “Argentinize” European ballet at the turn of the century, Consagración marked the move to claim concert dance as Argentine at midcentury. By focusing on the role of indigenism in these two works, this article contributes to scholarship on the modernist negotiation of the marked and unmarked in Latin American concert dance as a strategy for staging—and transcending—the nation.


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Copyright © Congress on Research in Dance 2016 

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