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Fellow Seminar

23 January 2020

Dr. Angelina Georgieva will present her research proposal on the topic: "Dance Modernism between the Two World Wars: the Bulgarian Case" on 23 January 2020 (Thursday) at 16:30h at CAS conference hall.


Modernist dance emerged at the beginning of the 20th century as an international phenomenon predominantly in Europe and USA in response to the experience of modernity. It was characterized by a break with the centuries' long tradition of classical ballet, subjectivization of movement language as well as by the insistence on the autonomy of dance as an art form, independent from music and narrative. The interwar years, especially 1923-1933, were a period of rapid development and dissemination of new dance practices. This was the time when it was introduced also in Bulgarian cultural context firstly by guest-tours of European performers, mainly representatives of new German modern dance (known as expressive dance, or Ausdruckstanz). New dance form was developed on local ground by dance artists who gained their education abroad, mainly in Germany, in the broad network of schools established by German modern dance pioneers Rudolf von Laban, Mary Wigman and her students. The interwar decades became the most prolific period of modern dance in Bulgarian artistic context.

The main interest of my research lies in the questions of what defines Bulgarian dance modernism as such, what are its specific modernist traits and how are they related to general ideas and notions of Bulgarian aesthetic modernism in the interwar period and to European modern dance. It focuses on the artistic practices and aesthetic positions of dancers and choreographers Lidia Valkova and Maria Dimova as its main exponents.
The presentation will address the challenges in the dance historiographical research and will discuss methodological approaches in conceptualizing modern dance developments in Bulgaria with focus on the discourse on the "essence" of dance, the relationship between tradition and modernity, body imagery in dance and its political implications.

Angelina Georgieva graduated in Theatre Studies from the National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts in Sofia where she completed her PhD and since 2016 has been Assistant Professor. Her research interests are focused on contemporary performance and playwriting, dance studies and criticism. Since 2019 she has been editor-in-chief of a specialized yearly Magazine for Dance. She works also in the sphere of cultural management as collaborator of several international theatre and dance festivals in Bulgaria.

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