History and It's Effects
We know that Sasha began choreographing in 1983 once she made her way to New York City, but what may have triggered her inspiration for her dances? It was known that architecture and visual art were major contributors to the material aspects of her pieces, so when the review in the previous post mentioned that her style was a mix of 1930's German Expressionism mixed with elements of Pina Bausch it makes sense that history would be a factor in her inspiration.
For example, why did German expressionism even happen? Well, after World War II, visual artists were driven to create a relationship between modernity and primitivism. According to a Huffington Post article on the topic, German expressionists, "sought to fight the academic rules of the previous century" and "to turn lonely streets into a site of color, transformation, and creation." The expressionist art is dramatic, full of ferocity, and raw emotion. Here is an example of this work:
Sasha's work is very similar to that of the German expressionist: it is simple, primitive, in her use of nudity and simple structural formations. The modernism of elaborate props, costumes and huge spaces create a contrast that is dramatic, ferocious, and raw. But why would she 1930's expressionism?
In 1992, when Sasha created "dialogues," the official end of cold war was announced, Europe broke it's trade, the Supreme Court reaffirmed the right to have an abortion, the North American Trade compact was announced as well as the lifting of trade sanctions between the US and China. These are just a few of the thousands of events that occurred during 1992, but these were some of the most significant. The breaking of trade barriers and the end of cold war ("term used to describe the shifting struggle for power and prestige between the Western powers and the Communist bloc from the end of World War II until 1989. Of worldwide proportions, the conflict was tacit in the ideological differences between communism and capitalist democracy.") shows the progression of a more unified world. The freedom to create expressionist work was welcomed and it reflected on the barriers that were once there--this is ironically like the barriers that were finally eliminated after WWII in Germany and thus the German Expressionist movement.
Obviously Sasha has created numerous works since 1992, but the style of her work does remain the same. I think that even though history continues on, the types of events that happen are similar. 9/11 for example: the hatred and anger felt started and fueled the War Against Terrorism. The justification of power and the fear of terrorists is something that was and still is inspiration for art, and can be applied to Waltz's work. The uncomfortable nature of the dancing is disturbing and yet you can't tear your eyes away and want to see more. The power of the movement and the danger of the props and the unfamiliar sets are foreign, scary, and awesome; just like historical changes.
"1992 World History." http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0005274.html