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Conference Papers Year : 2023

The Three Revolutions, Algiers 1973: How Soviet Azerbaidjan exported modern ballet in revolutionary Algeria

Abstract

In 1973, a couple of dancers and choreographers from the State Opera and Ballet Theatre of Soviet Azerbaijan, Rafiga Akhundova and Maksud Mamedov, signed the choreography of the ballet Les 3 R, to a music written by the Soviet Azerbaijani composer and former Ministry of culture of Soviet Azerbaijan Republic, Rauf Gadzhiev. The ballet was performed in the main hall of Algiers during the festivities commemorating the revolution of November 1, 1954, i.e. the launch of the insurrection against colonial France. As suggested by the title, namely the three Revolutions – industrial, agricultural, cultural- that embodied the political project of postcolonial Boumediene’s Algeria, the argument of the ballet, initially programmed for the Algerian National Day, was about recent Algerian history and about politics. Moreover, the artistic trajectory of the two choreographers suggests that the aesthetics of the ballet itself participated in the idea of revolution, or at least that it belonged to modern dance, originated in the Western world while taking inspiration from extra European cultures. The history of this ballet thus highlights the artistic cooperation that started in the 1960s between the Soviet Union and Algeria, with the South Caucasus Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan mediating between Soviet Russian culture and newly decolonized Algeria. The paper explores the growing tensions with the notions of Pan-Africanism and revolution, that were floundering at the end of the decade of the 1970s and questions its effects on gender and body culture in Algerian post-colonial society.
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Dates and versions

hal-04384900 , version 1 (10-01-2024)

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  • HAL Id : hal-04384900 , version 1

Cite

Nathalie Moine. The Three Revolutions, Algiers 1973: How Soviet Azerbaidjan exported modern ballet in revolutionary Algeria. Beyond Moscow. Rethinking the International and Transnational Dimensions of the Soviet Republics, Riccardo Mario Cucciolla (Università di Napoli L'Orientale) and Alexander Voronovici (Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena), Sep 2023, Procida, Naples, Italy. ⟨hal-04384900⟩

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