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Honest Bodies: Revolutionary Modernism in the Dances of Anna Sokolow

Book talk by Hannah Kosstrin, Assistant Professor of Dance, Ohio State University

Photo for Honest Bodies: Revolutionary Modernism in

Left: The cover of Hannah Kosstrin's new book (Photo: Oxford University Press) Right: Anna Sokolow performs in 1945 (Photo: Sokolow Dance Foundation)

Dr. Kosstrin will discuss methods of transnational dance analysis, based on her groundbreaking book exploring the work of American dancer and choreographer Anna Sokolow (1910-2000). Sokolow taught and choreographed for major companies in the US, Mexico and Israel, including Martha Graham and Batsheva.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018
10:00 AM
Glorya Kaufman Hall, Room 230
120 Westwood Plaza
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Sponsored by the UCLA Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance. Co-sponsored by the UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies, Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies, and Center for Near Eastern Studies.

RSVP HERE (Eventbrite) 

About the Book 

Honest Bodies: Revolutionary Modernism in the Dances of Anna Sokolow (Oxford University Press, 2017) illustrates the ways in which the choreography of Anna Sokolow circulated American modernism among Jewish and communist channels of the international Left from the 1930s-1960s in the United States, Mexico, and Israel. Drawing upon extensive archival materials, interviews, and theories from dance, Jewish, and gender studies, this book illuminates Sokolow's statements for workers' rights, anti-racism, and the human condition through her choreography for social change.

In 1953, Sokolow was invited to Israel to work with Inbal Dance Company. Following that, she choreographed for the major dance companies in Israel including Batsheva, Kibbutz Dance Company, and Lyric Theatre. She visited Mexico and Israel frequently to teach and to choreograph.

Hannah Kosstrin firmly situates Sokolow in the pantheon of choreographic innovators, while, at the same time, revealing how Sokolow's Jewishness was the unifying factor coupling communism, modernism, and gender in her work. Rigorously argued, beautifully illustrated, and paying keen attention to the bodily archive, this book is a bold addition to the field of dance studies - Rebekah Kowal, co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Politics


About the Author

Hannah Kosstrin is a dance historian whose work engages dance, Jewish, and gender studies. Her research and teaching interests include dance histories of the United States, Israel and the Jewish diaspora, Latin America, Europe, South Asia, and the African diaspora; gender and queer theory; nationalism and diaspora studies; Laban movement notation and analysis; and digital humanities. Kosstrin’s work appears in Dance Research Journal, Dance Chronicle, The International Journal of Screendance, Dance on Its Own Terms: Histories and Methodologies (ed. Bales and Eliot, Oxford UP, 2013), and Queer Dance: Meanings and Makings (ed. Croft, Oxford UP, 2017). Kosstrin is Treasurer of the Dance Studies Association, and a member of the Society of Dance History Scholars Editorial Board and the Dance Notation Bureau Professional Advisory Committee. She holds BA and MA degrees in dance from Goucher College and Ohio State, a PhD in Dance Studies with a minor field in women’s history from Ohio State, and Labanotation Teacher Certification from the Dance Notation Bureau. She joined the Ohio State faculty in 2014, and previously taught at Reed College, Wittenberg University, and Ohio University Pickerington Center.

Sponsor(s): Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies, Center for Near Eastern Studies, World Arts & Cultures/Dance