Honest Bodies: Revolutionary Modernism in the Dances of Anna Sokolow

Hannah Kosstrin

Assistant Professor Hannah Kosstrin’s work on dance, Jewish and gender studies led to the recent publication of her book, Honest Bodies: Revolutionary Modernism in the Dances of Anna Sokolow (Oxford University Press, 2017). It is the first book of its kind to offer such an extensive analysis of Sokolow’s choreography including photos, film, live performances and critical reviews from international sources. Sokolow’s choreography was known for crisscrossing global social movements and Kosstrin’s book sheds political light on Sokolow’s life and career through the lens of her Jewishness, leftist ideals and gender. According to Kosstrin, her book “examines the transnational circulation of American modernism through Anna Sokolow’s choreography among the communist and Jewish currents of the international Left from the 1930s to 1960s in the United States, Mexico and Israel.”

Readers will be enlightened by Kosstrin’s collection of archival materials and interviews recounting Sokolow’s passionate choreography for social change, especially workers’ rights, anti-racism and the human condition, all the while she was dancing and teaching for Martha Graham.

"Adventurous and path-breaking, Honest Bodies charts new territory in the re-consideration of choreographer Anna Sokolow's life and work, both in the contexts of American modernism and the transnational Left. Hannah Kosstrin firmly situates Sokolow in the pantheon of choreographic innovators, while, at the same time, revealing how Sokolow's Jewishness was the unifying factor coupling communism, modernism, and gender in her work. Rigorously argued, beautifully illustrated, and paying keen attention to the bodily archive, this book is a bold addition to the field of dance studies."
     - Rebekah Kowal, co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Politics

Honest Bodies: Revolutionary Modernism in the Dances of Anna Sokolow

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