Drawing out the Connections between the Past and the Present
• The Lost Dances of Egon Schiele (2002), a video-dance,
was created by the contemporary British choreographer
Lea Anderson and Kevin McKiernan.
• Performed by The Featherstonehaughs (pronounced
Fanshaws: Frank Bock, Stephen Kirkham, Rem Lee,
Eddie Nixon, Dan O’Neill, Luca Silvestrini.
• Music: Steve Blake; Lighting: Simon Corder; Costumes:
Sandy Powell, Photographer: Chris Nash.
• Anderson appropriates Schiele’s painterly images and
makes them her own.
• Her mode of re-working the genre generates new
manifestations in postmodern culture.
• Anderson combines the conventions he used with her
• She represents Schiele’s models while re-constructing an
artistic structure within which they could be performed.
• Was regarded by art historians as a
major exponent of Viennese
Expressionism (Kallir, 1981, Comini,
• He produced an oeuvre of painting
and drawings ranging from landscapes
to provocative nudes.
Egon Schiele (1890-1918(
A Point of Departure
• Between British postmodernism of late 20th century and
Viennese Expressionism of early 20th century.
• The work challenges modernist art while, at the same
time, creating a link with the past by addressing and
recalling it visually.
• From a historical point of view, does the return to a
model of art from the past supports the development of a
new practice or challenge it?
For My Art and for My
Loved Ones, 1912.
Chris Nash, detail from the
Chris Nash, detail from the
Self-Portrait in Lavender
Chris Nash, detail fro the
Speaking of her attempt to reproduce Schiele’s Sketch
Books, Anderson says:
“…I suddenly thought, I wonder what it would
be like if I just reconstruct the ‘Lost Dances’ of
(in Robertson, 1998, p. 19.)
• Make present again – by means of one kind of
• Stands for something or someone absent – rests on a
principle of substitution. In theory it covers the entire field
The Chain of Gazes
• The association between representation and power is
embedded in referential representation: the powerful
female spectator’s look avoid what Maulvey refers to as
‘masculinisation’ of spectatorship (in Doan, 1982).
• The shift from the object to the subject of representation -
the way Anderson transforms Schiele’s Expressionist art.
Complexity of Representation
• Anderson: “every single position comes from a
painting or sketch of his.”
in Hutera, 1998.
• The traces of the past are represented as a duality
between 2 layers of time.
• Field of power – every point of view is a relative one.
• The dance works with two distinctive sets of images and
the space between them.
Representation – An Active Force
• The dance not only focuses audiences attention on
Schiele’s art, but to Anderson as an author.
• Anderson operates representations through
manipulations of theoretical discourses borrowed from
visual art (way of looking, artist and model, naked and
• The play emphasizes the distance between the
artists and challenges the impossibility of
representation in modernist culture (Connor,
• The application of imitation and pastiche is a
critical device that deconstructs the conventional
meaning of Schiele’s art.
• The web-like structure demonstrates a new
practice in which the arts to penetrate and enrich
Barthes, Roland. “Diderot, Brecht, Eisenstein” in Revue d’Esthétique, Vol. 26,
1973, pp. 185-191.
Briginshaw, Valerie. Lea Anderson Talks to Valerie Briginshaw about Flesh
and Blood. Dance Matters 13, Summer 1995, pp. 4-8.
Burt, Ramsay. Re-Presentations of Re-Presentations. Dance Theatre Journal
14:2, 1998, pp. 30-33.
Comini, Alessandra. The Fantastic Art of Vienna. New York: Alfred A. Knopf,
Connor, Steven. Postmodernist Culture: An Introduction to Theories of the
Contemporary. Oxford: Blackwell, 1997.
Doane, Mary Ann. “Film and the Masquerade: Theorising the Female
Spectator”. Screen 23:3-4, Sept-Oct 1982, pp. 74-88.
Dodds, Sherril. “‘Perfect Moments, Immaculately Framed’: Lea Anderson and
the Television Text”. Border Tension: Dance & Discourse. Proceedings of the
Fifth Study of Dance Conference, Guildford, University of Surrey, 1995.
Hargreaves, Martin. “Profile Lea Anderson”. Dance Theatre Journal, 18:3,
2002, pp. 16-19.
Hutcheon, Linda. Modelling the Postmodern: Parody and Politics. A Poetics of
Postmodernism: History, Theory, Fiction. London: Routledge, 1989, pp. 22-36.
Hutera, Donald. “The Boys get into a Viennese Whirl”. The Times, 10 February
1998, p. 34.
Jordan, Stephanie. The Cholmondeleys, Spring '88. Dance Theatre Journal
6:2, Fall 1988, p. 27.
Kallir, Jane. Austria’s Expressionism. New York: Rizzoli, Galerie St. Etienne,
Prendergast, Christopher. The Triangle of Representation. New York:
Columbia University Press, 2000.
Robertson, Allen. “G’day Schiele!” Time Out, 31 December – 7 January 1998,
Anderson, Lea and McKeirnan, Kevin. The Lost Dances of Egon Schiele, BBC
and the Arts Council of England, 2002.