Abstract

When Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes first emerged on the pre-war London stage, it was greeted as the herald of an artistic revolution. T.S. Eliot—one of the most outspoken, if often ambivalent, commentators on modern dance—paradoxically sought to approach such radical new aesthetic forms through the notion of “tradition.” Ballet in particular performs a dual function within his poetic oeuvre: it is emblematic of both the collapse of human community within modernist spaces, yet also simultaneously represents the possibility of reintegration through transnational modes of experience. It exemplifies, for Eliot, the interpenetration of all expression, suggesting “not only the pastness of the past, but … its presence.”

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1464
Print ISSN
0022-281X
Pages
pp. 158-177
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-11
Open Access
No
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