By Joseph Horowitz
Many years of conflict and revolution in Europe compelled an "intellectual migration" over the last century, moving millions of artists and thinkers to the USA. for plenty of of Europe's most advantageous acting artists, the US proved to be a vacation spot either unusual and opportune. that includes the tales of George Balanchine, Kurt Weill, Fritz Lang, Billy Wilder, Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, etc, Artists in Exile explores the effect that those recognized beginners had on American tradition, and that the USA had on them.
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Additional resources for Artists in Exile: How Refugees from Twentieth-Century War and Revolution Transformed the American Performing Arts
Another telegram arrived: from Sergey Diaghilev. He urgently needed a choreographer for his Ballets Russes. He had scouted Balanchivadze. He wanted to know if Balanchivadze could work quickly. Balanchivadze said he could. And so, at the age of twenty-one, George Balanchine—as he would now be known—became ballet master for the premier ballet company in the world. Like Balanchine, Diaghilev was a Russian exile of notably ﬂuid identity. He had last visited his homeland in 1914. His Ballets Russes, created in 1911, had never appeared in Russia.
Certainly, the examples of cultural exchange to be found in the pages that follow document a twofold posture of openness and retention, a percolating mixture of new ways and old. But the deepest cultural exchange pervading the American experience is one to which Adorno was not attuned: the complex transaction of the African-American. Because they mainly arrived T H E O D O R A D O R N O , T H AT N O I S I E S T INTRODUCTION 19 as slaves, because their skin color rendered them separate and suspect, black Americans necessarily maintained a cultural distance even as they infused American culture.
Rather, he improvised a new ballet using the untried materials at hand. When seventeen young women—and no men—showed up at the ﬁrst School of American Ballet rehearsal, he began by distributing all of them in crossing diagonals. When, subsequently, he had nine or six dancers to work with, he used nine or six dancers. When a dancer tripped and fell, he used that, too. The result was Serenade, set to Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings. His ﬁ rst ballet created in the United States, it remains in the repertoire as a signature Balanchine achievement.