Theatre and Dance
The 1920’s, most affectionately known as “The Roaring Twenties,” was a time of dramatic social and political change. Economic growth pushed Americans into an unfamiliar consumer society where people bought the same goods, heard the same songs, danced the same dances, and used the same slang. Prohibition laws led to the underground sale of alcohol in speakeasies where new freedoms were found through communities uniting in music and dance. Here we saw the emergence of flappers. Unlike the generations that came before, these women were seen performing unladylike actions, such as drinking and smoking, while embracing their sexuality. While not all women were flappers, the culture and politics of the era provided new freedoms enjoyed by all females. My research examines the connections between dance and society in the 1920s to uncover how one affected the other. I have delineated the roles which women took on before and after the first world war to discover how they affected society and how dance played a role in their liberation. I then utilized this research to influence my choreography and discover how looking to history for inspiration can create new and interesting movements and topics still relevant today.
Advisor(s) or Committee Chair
Amanda Clark, Anna Patsfall
Dance | Performance Studies | Women's Studies
Terry, Jillian, "She's the Jazz: An Exploration of Dance and Society in the Age of the Flapper" (2019). Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects. Paper 811.