The Role Of Dance In Kurt Cohen's The Green Table Dance

Decent Essays

Choreographers use the medium of movement (dance) to express a message to the audience. The message can range from a story to social or political expression. One of the most famous politically-driven dances was The Green Table choreographed by Kurt Jooss through his company Ballets Jooss in 1932. The background music was composed by Frederic Cohen. The Green Table was an anti-war dance choreographed in Germany, in a period between the great world wars. This paper will explore the choreographer’s point of view and the social or political message expressed in the Green Table dance, analyze the political message and Laban effort elements in the beginning of the second scene and finally, explore a personal narrative of a political statement by the author. The role of the Green Table dance was to educate the viewers of the cycle of war, show the audience events that occur during a war and showcase that Death is the only winner during any war and gains satisfaction only by gaining more victims. Siegel describes this idea as, “. . . The only winner is Death, the impartial arbiter of all quarrels, who has no favorites and plays to all the tunes.” (16). Jooss’ idea of death was inspired by the dance macabre that took place during the medieval times and hence the similarities in costumes between the two characters. The Green Table begins with ten characters dressed in suits and grotesque-looking masks. These characters depict world leaders as the cause of the many wars in the world.

Get Access