Performing Communism in the American Dance: Culture, Politics and the New Dance Group

Phillips, Victoria

In 1931 the Workers Cultural Federation declared: ‘‘Art is a weapon.’’ Within six months the New Dance Group (NDG) premiered in New York City. The following year it appeared as a member of the Worker's Dance League and deployed the slogan ‘‘The Dance is a Weapon of the Class Struggle.’’ The NDG program notes explained: ‘‘The working class is growing in number, growing in strength, and growing in knowledge. It is simultaneously developing itself and its weapons. One of its most important weapons is our modern revolutionary dance.’’ The NDG and WDL dancers brought Communist propaganda tools to cultural projects.

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American Communist History

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November 9, 2015