Das Pariser Opernballett auf den Salzburger Festspielen von 1953 : ein tänzerischer Umbruch in der Festspielgeschichte oder eine misslungene Tanzdiplomatie?
Title: Das Pariser Opernballett auf den Salzburger Festspielen von 1953 : ein tänzerischer Umbruch in der Festspielgeschichte oder eine misslungene Tanzdiplomatie?
Author: GOLOVLEV, Alexander
Series/Number: EUI HEC; 2017/01
The following paper attempts to show how a singular event of outstanding importance can leave a lasting imprint on strategies and effects of cultural diplomacy in a specific temporal and geographic setting. Within the history of Allied occupation of early post-war Austria, cultural policies deployed by Western Europeans outside of their hard power sphere of influence, i.e. occupation zone, have been long overshadowed by the superpower standoff and, concomitantly, by the politically determined historiography of the early Cold War. Taking the case of the Ballet de l'Opéra de Paris 1953 guest tour at the Festival of Salzburg, I investigate how this momentous appearance was prepared and negotiated with Austrian and American cultural actors, situated in a particular performative situation of the closing of this year's Festspiele and interpreted by discursively powerful critics in Salzburg and the rest of Austria. Taking the approaches of dance studies, cultural diplomacy and media history, I demonstrate how Lifar's neoclassicism proved to be a touchstone of the conflict between conservatism and modernity, nationalism and transnationality, in which outward deference to an occupation power could not mask the overall rejection of Parisian aesthetic offerings, yet simultaneuously legitimising the troupe as globally relevant cultural actors. Thus, France's dance diplomacy overture was both crowned with success, showcasing French excellence in academic dance, placed itself within several prestige policies and provoked vivid debates, defying the bipolar systems of coordinates readily applied towards Cold War and offering a multidimensional reading of cultural diplomacies' varied power relations, causes and effects.
Subject: Cultural diplomacy; Dance diplomacy; Serge Lifar; Festival of Salzburg; Allied occupation
Type of Access: openAccess