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Adolph Bolm’s Cinematic Ballet

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The Spirit of the Factory

This article is an attempt to place Adolph Bolm’s ballet, The Spirit of the Factory, staged at the Hollywood Bowl with a cast of sixty dancers into the context of the choreographer’s oeuvre and explain how an avant-garde ballet, danced to dissonant accompaniment, could have been so well received by American audiences in the 1930s. A “neo-constructivist” work that was uniquely Hollywood in its inception, with a dual connection to film and the particular atmosphere of the resplendent outdoor Hollywood Bowl, how such a work came to be raises many questions about the sources that inspired Bolm.

Affiliations: 1: Department of DanceCalifornia State UniversityLong; 2: Institute of Modern Russian


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