Converging Movements: Modern Dance and Jewish Culture at the 92nd Street Y

Author: Naomi M. Jackson
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press (2000)

Hardcover: 288 pages
Language: English
ISBN13: 978-0-8195-6419-1

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The Y located at 92nd Street and Lexington Avenue in New York City is the largest and oldest continuously operating YM-YWHA in the US. Many of the most important figures in modern dance premiered on its stage, but until now no one has thought to ask why this should have been so. As Naomi Jackson shows in Converging Movements, the Y’s particular conception of Jewishness laid the groundwork for the establishment of a center for dance in the 1930s.

William Kolodney, who served as the Y’s education director from 1934 until 1969, expanded its educational and arts programming to include a great deal of nonsectarian material, and as Jackson shows, modern dance epitomized Kolodney’s humanistic ideals regarding the uplifting role of the arts.