Samuel Beckett and Modern Dance

  • Evelyne Clavier
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Modern European Literature book series (PMEL)

Abstract

Samuel Beckett wrote that he could not talk about dancing in his German Diaries, on 11 February 1937. However, in this chapter, I aim to prove that during his formative years his encounter with dance, an art of ‘no-word’, affected durably his aesthetics and his ethics and made him someone new: a new writer speaking of a ‘literature of no-word’ (in a letter to Axel Kaun 9/7/1937) and a new citizen aware of the dangers of body and mind control and of political manipulation of language.

There is dance in Samuel Beckett’s own work: Lucky’s dance, the dance of the old fool, a far cry from the dance of glorious bodies of the Nazis. His representation of weakness, illness, and disability on stage has had a major influence on French contemporary dance, in particular the choreographer Maguy Marin, who continues in a certain way Samuel Beckett’s political work.

References

  1. Ardenne, Paul. 2001. L’image corps: figures de l’humain dans l’art du XXe siècle. Paris: Éditions du regard.Google Scholar
  2. ———. 2009c. En attendant Godot. Paris: Les Éditions de Minuit.Google Scholar
  3. Deleuze, Gilles. 1995. The Exhausted. Trans. Anthony Uhlmann. Substance 24 (3): 3–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. ———. 2004. L’abécédaire. DVD. Paris: Éditions Montparnasse.Google Scholar
  5. Guilbert, Laure. 2000. Danser avec le IIIe Reich: les danseurs modernes sous le nazisme. Bruxelles: Editeur Complexe.Google Scholar
  6. Guilbert, Laure, and Patrick Germain-Thomas. 2015. Éditorial: Danse(s) et politique(s), un état des lieux. Recherches en danse 4: 1–18. http://danse.revues.org/1197
  7. Hubert, Marie-Claude. 1988. Influence de la danse sur certains dramaturges européens des années 50–60. Art et littérature. Actes du Congrès de la Société Française de Littérature Générale et Comparée (Aix-en-Provence 24–25– 26 septembre 1986), 333–339. Aix-en-Provence: Presse universitaire de Provence.Google Scholar
  8. Izrine, Agnès. 2002. La danse dans tous ses états. Paris: l’Arche Editeur.Google Scholar
  9. Jones, Susan. 2013. Literature, Modernism and Dance. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Jooss, Kurt. 1975. Interview by Robert Joffrey for the Re-Creation of The Green Table in Chicago. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTciXKBpNgE
  11. Knowlson, James. 1996a. Damned to Fame: The Life of Samuel Beckett. London: Bloomsbury.Google Scholar
  12. ———. 2001. Beckett in the Musée Condé 1934. Journal of Beckett Studies 11 (1): 73–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Marin, Maguy. 1981. May B. Fragment of Charles Picq and Luc Riolon in the Théâtre Municipal d’Angers Production. Filmed at the Centre Culturel de Soissons. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wf2JmCQIlvI&t=2556s
  14. ———. 1993. Interview by Jean-Claude Lallias. Théâtre Aujourd’hui 3, 77. Special issue: L’Univers scénique de Samuel Beckett. Ed. Pierre Trincal.Google Scholar
  15. ———. 2011. Samuel Beckett’s German Diaries 1936–1937. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  16. Paraskeva, Anthony. 2013. Beckett, Biomechanics and Eisenstein’s Reading of Kleist’s Marionettes. Journal of Beckett Studies 22 (2): 161–179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Silverman Zinman, Toby. 1999. La danse de Lucky dans En Attendant Godot. In Lire Beckett, ‘En attendant Godot’ et ‘Fin de partie’, ed. Didier Alexandre and Jean-Yves Debreuille, 85–101. Lyon: Les Presses universitaires de Lyon.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Evelyne Clavier
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Bordeaux-MontaignePessacFrance

Personalised recommendations