On Saturday 12 August, Associate Professor Tony Moore (School of Media, Film and Journalism), was part of a symposium ‘Leap into the Modern: Dance Culture in Australia from the 1930s' at the National Gallery of Victoria discussing the creative and historical context of modern dance in Australia from the 1930s to the present day.
Associate Professor Moore presented a talk ‘Bohemians at the Barricades: The Angry Young Modernists of Australia’s 1930s' illustrated with excerpts from his ABC documentary ‘Bohemian Rhapsody', that features interviews with Albert Tucker, Geoffrey Dutton, Mirka Mora, Vic O’Connor. His talk traced the hardening of the romantic artistic bohemia inherited from the 19th century into highly politicised cultural avant-gardes in response to the shock of the Great Depression, growing social division and accelerating urban modernity. During the 1930s, a carnivalesque joi-de-vivre and performance of creative freedom made way for passionate intensity, as angry young modernists took sides to wage culture wars – not just against an out of touch establishment, but against each other, over the vital question of who controls art.
The symposium was attended by dance practitioners, performers, academics, students and the public. Keynote presentations were delivered from dance artists, local and international practitioners, academics and critics. Highlights included oral histories, recorded presentations, film and performance. It was convened by Professor Rachel Fensham, University of Melbourne and Dr Jordan Beth Vincent, Deakin University, and gathered a dynamic interdisciplinary field of researchers who have made contributions to researching this history, as well as individuals who carry the living legacy of modern dance in either their own histories or ongoing work as artists and curators.
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