Saturday, June 04, 2011

Roll over Beethoven, usw.

An interesting article at the Guardian on the now fifty-year-old dance known as the Twist led me to something unknown to me until now: the musical monstrosity that conscripted Friedrich Liszt's Liebestraum kicking and screaming into the twisting craze.

The horror....

More amusing was the way that twisting was analysed with great seriousness, as Time magazine noted in 1962:

If he could hear what has happened to his schöne, weltbekannte melody, Papa Liszt no doubt would be writhing, not twisting. And he would have plenty of company—solid German doctors who warn against "accelerating one's hips and legs in opposite directions," parents and churchmen who deplore "the overt sexual implications of the dance." But some German intellectuals defend the twist. It is, says one Munich psychiatrist, "a proper cure for working off frustrations." And a psychiatrist in Berlin, where the cold war takes the rap for all sorts of aberrations, sees it as a byproduct of an anxious age. ''The twist craze," says he, "can be attributed to Atomangst".

I suspect a twisting revival can't be too far, then, over the German cultural horizon.

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