By Karl Toepfer

Empire of Ecstasy deals a singular interpretation of the explosion of German physique tradition among the 2 wars—nudism and nude dancing, gymnastics and dance education, dance images and feedback, and various genres of functionality from solo dancing to mass flow choirs. Karl Toepfer offers this dynamic topic as an essential and traditionally targeted development of "modern identity."

the trendy physique, radiating freedom and tool, seemed to Weimar artists and intelligentsia to be the resource of a transgressive strength, in addition to the signal and manifestation of robust, mysterious "inner" stipulations. Toepfer indicates how this view of the trendy physique sought to increase the cultured adventure past the bounds imposed by way of rationalized lifestyles and to go beyond those limits looking for ecstasy. With the aid of a lot unpublished or long-forgotten archival fabric (including many little-known photographs), he investigates the method of making an "empire" of appropriative impulses towards ecstasy.

Toepfer offers the paintings of such famous figures as Rudolf Laban, Mary Wigman, and Oskar Schlemmer, in addition to less-known yet both interesting physique tradition practitioners. His publication is sure to turn into required studying for historians of dance, physique tradition, and modernism.

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Empire of Ecstasy: Nudity and Movement in German Body Culture, 1910–1935 (Weimar and Now: German Cultural Criticism) by Karl Toepfer


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