Kurt Jooss’ The Green Table
Expressionism can be described as a movement in the fine arts that emphasized the expression of inner experience rather than realistic portrayal, looking to obtain not objective reality, but the subjective emotions and responses that objects and events arouse in the artist. Several characteristics of expressionism are distortion, exaggeration, primitivism, and fantasy. “The Green Table,” a ballet by Kurt Jooss, 1932, is an ideal example of expressionism because it depicts the choreographer’s personal interpretation of war through the use of movement, music by Fritz Cohen and lighting by Hermann Mankard.
The Green Table is a piece of performance created mostly by Kurt Jooss, the piece lasts …show more content…
However, movement is not his only means of self-expression.
The music accompaniment to this piece comes from one or two pianos which works well with the dance so that neither one overshadows the other. There are no other instruments used, the melody of the piano changes from scene to scene in order to project Jooss’ emotional responses. During the scenes with the politicians, the air of the piano is light-hearted and almost comedic. The story begins with the politicians in masks that are arguing in a non-naturalistic way using their postures and gestures for example: standing up with masks facing the audience wearing white gloves reaching their hands out with open palms portraying careless emotion. The show ends the same way which gives an impression of Jooss trying to say that there will always be arguments between higher statuses that don’t help the general public but they use their powers for their own entertainment. The purpose of this was to show the detachment of these men from the war. They are in a safe situation, unexposed to war and death. When the scene changes and we see what’s happening in the lives of citizens, this tune is transformed into a thunderous and eerie song that haunts the audience. The reason for this change is to reveal Jooss’ feelings about the unnecessary brutality and death that always comes with a war, and how politicians don’t understand the horror
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