Performing Paris (1885-1935): The Belle Epoque (1885-1914) & The Jazz Age (1918-1935)
Glittering, hedonistic, and liberating; Paris during the Belle Epoque and the Jazz Age was the city where the world went, where everything was happening, and where life was lived to its fullest. Paris received and entertained the world, becoming a stage for a society of performances, performers, personalities and spectators. Mixing high and low life, private gestures and public actions, Paris was a cauldron of creativity, challenges and revolutionary cultural changes. This class will explore the intersection of culture and performance history during these two major periods of change and developing modernity.
We will look at such various art and cultural forms as: Art Deco, café-society, salons, music halls and reviews, theatre, opera, dance, American jazz, early modern dance, ballet, painting, and design. We will also encounter a wide range of talented performers, creative artists, and personalities both European and American, who gave such life and vitality to the years between 1885-1935 in Paris.
Why Paris? What did it represent? And how does it fit into our understanding of performances as they evolved in the first decades of the twentieth century?
William Eddelman, Associate Professor Emeritus of Theatre History and Design, Stanford University, is a specialist in international theatrical design. During his teaching career at Stanford University, he combined both the creative and academic worlds through practical stage design work and classroom teachings. His courses included theatre, art and cultural history, costume and scenic design, dramatic literature, theatre aesthetics and politics, opera, musical theatre, and the psychology of clothes. He taught at the Stanford Berlin Center, has led study tours to northern Italy, and designed professional productions in the San Francisco Bay Area.
He is currently working on two major projects: a research library and collection in international theatrical design for the Achenbach Graphic Arts Foundation of the San Francisco Fine Arts Museums, and a special research project for the Prague Quadrennials – held every four years in the Czech Republic – that showcase international exhibitions of theatrical design.