United States Information Agency: The USIA performs the publ

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United States Information Agency: The USIA performs the publ

Postby admin » Thu Jun 08, 2017 10:19 pm

United States Information Agency: The USIA performs the public diplomacy function of U.S. foreign policy through its USIS posts, exchange activities, information programs, and international broadcasting.
by Nancy Snow
August 1, 1997



Key Points

• The USIA performs the public diplomacy function of U.S. foreign policy through its USIS posts, exchange activities, information programs, and international broadcasting.

• The agency’s primary public diplomacy mission in the post-cold war world is to influence foreign audiences by promoting the private sector interests of U.S. corporations seeking increased market share overseas.

The United States Information Agency (USIA) is a foreign affairs agency in the executive branch of the U.S. government. The agency is responsible for explaining and supporting U.S. foreign policy, interests, and values abroad through diplomatic posts known as the U.S. Information Service (USIS), exchange activities such as the Fulbright and International Visitor programs, information programs, and international broadcasting. In April 1997 the Clinton administration announced a plan to integrate the USIA into the State Department in response to congressional Republican pressure to streamline U.S. foreign policy bureaucracy. Under this plan the USIA is scheduled to be officially embodied with the State Department by October 1, 1999.

The agency’s legislative mandates are delineated in the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 and the Fulbright-Hays Act of 1961, which were enacted to promote mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and other countries. In 1994 Congress enacted the International Broadcasting Act, which consolidated all nonmilitary U.S. government international broadcasting under the USIA. This includes the Voice of America, Radio and TV Marti, Worldnet television, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and Radio Free Asia. Most controversial among these is Radio Marti, which went on the air in 1985 and is considered to be completely under the influence of Mas Canosa and the ultra-conservative Cuban American National Foundation (CANF). TV Marti is effectively jammed by the Castro regime despite a U.S. taxpayer investment of more than $100 million. Its transmission signal comes from a balloon above the Florida Keys that also operates radar to track U.S.-bound drug flights. When TV Marti’s signal goes on, the drug smuggling radar goes off. Radio/TV Marti is scheduled to be moved to Miami in 1997, thereby allowing Mas Canosa and the CANF to increase their control over the broadcasting.

Until the 1990s the mission and function of the USIA was considered inseparable from cold war geopolitics, whose main purpose was “to win the battle of men’s minds” against Soviet propaganda. In a 1993 address former national security adviser Anthony Lake signaled the start of a new rationale. Lake announced that “the successor to a doctrine of containment must be a strategy of enlargement—enlargement of the world’s free community of market democracies.”

The USIA began its post-cold war free market mission in the mid-1980s by funding the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE).
Since ratification of NAFTA in 1993 and with U.S.-Soviet tensions no longer a viable rationale for its continued existence, the agency has embraced trade and economics as its primary mission. The “Clinton doctrine” firmly established economic policy as the heart of U.S. foreign policy. Under USIA Director Joseph Duffey, the agency responsible for “telling America’s story to the world” began a new post-cold war mission of commercial engagement. “One of the most important areas for enhanced agency activity is that of business, trade, and economics. More and more, we are teaching others not only about the principles of free markets but the very mechanisms that make free markets and open trade possible,” Duffey told the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics, and International Operations in 1993.

Agency objectives are increasingly linked to economic liberalization. For 1998, the USIA lists its foreign policy goals as: NATO expansion (which is expected to create a boom market for U.S. arms makers); the promotion of human rights and democracy through democratic and market reforms in the former Soviet Union and Eastern and Central Europe; anticrime and antiterrorism information along with advisory programs for radio broadcast in cooperation with the Department of Justice and the FBI; collaboration with the Drug Enforcement Administration to create public affairs programming; protection of intellectual property rights with a long-term goal targeting China; and trade and economics through a focus on trade liberalization and deregulation, economic cooperation, and building confidence in and support for NAFTA and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Problems with Current U.S. Policy

Key Problems

• The USIA downplays, almost ignores, its critically important second mandate to explain the rest of the world to the American public.

• The USIA acted as America’s press agent for the Clinton administration’s effort, in collusion with Fortune 500 companies, to urge NAFTA passage in Congress, disregarding the concerns raised by the anti-NAFTA coalition.

• The USIA has built ties to the U.S. business community through several deal-making conferences that link U.S. businesses to their overseas target markets.

The USIA’s primary mandate is to influence foreign audiences about U.S.-style democracy and markets. Its lesser known second mandate, often downplayed if not ignored, is to explain what the rest of the world is about to the American public and “to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.” This secondary role is stipulated by Fulbright-Hays and Smith-Mundt legislation and is carried out through USIA’s educational and cultural exchange programs. Under the principle of mutual understanding, post-World War II government-funded educational exchanges like the Fulbright program were designed, according to Senator J. William Fulbright, to provide “some hope that the human race wouldn’t commit suicide.”

President Carter attempted to highlight the second mandate by directing the USIA to “undertake no activities which are covert, manipulative, or propagandistic.” Carter redesignated the USIA as the U.S. International Communications Agency (USICA) to signal something more than a one-way propaganda agency. Such efforts were short-lived. In 1981, former Reagan fundraiser (and later USIA Director) Charles Z. Wick reemphasized USIA’s propaganda function but now labeled the agency’s activities with the innocuous term “public diplomacy.” Under Wick, the agency compiled a black list of U.S. citizens whose views diverged from Reagan’s in order to purge such views from USIA publicity. Wick also launched the Project Truth campaign (authorized by the National Security Council) to refute Soviet disinformation. He also hired veteran CIA official Walter Raymond to coordinate democracy-building efforts in Eastern European countries. Under Wick, the agency’s budget mushroomed by 42% in its first fiscal year, stabilizing by 1989 at approximately one billion dollars, where it remains. Except for a passing reference to mutual understanding, the Bush administration reinforced one-way information to assist other countries in understanding and supporting the American capitalist way of life.

Under Clinton’s tutelage, international exchange and public diplomacy have become useful tools to promote free-market economies, free trade, American competitiveness, and U.S.-style democratization. This mini-Commerce Department approach is in marked contrast to “warmer” cold war days under Carter when cultural affairs were designed to reflect the soft or nonadversarial dimension of international relations and foreign policy. Unfettered by bottom-line pressures, the interaction of individuals across cultures could stand on its own merits as a powerful educational tool. Now there is a hard sell behind America’s storytelling.

Nowhere is the selling of America’s story more prominently displayed than in USIA’s assistance in the successful passage and continued promotion of NAFTA.
In Mexico, the USIA proclaimed that it worked to show the most influential segments of Mexican society that U.S. interests in Mexico ran much deeper than mere profit margins. The USIA reasoned that “by nurturing American interest in and respect for Mexican intellectual and cultural values and accomplishments, we could build a social base for economic and political cooperation while disarming Mexico’s greatest potential opposition to NAFTA.” The USIA thus became an instrument to promote NAFTA both in Mexico and in the U.S. through targeted International Visitor Programs that brought key Mexicans to the U.S. and key U.S. citizens to Mexico to meet with pro-NAFTA sectors. In a six-week period during October and November 1993, USIS-Mexico received six congressional delegations.

As a propaganda organization for NAFTA, the agency may have benefited from efforts made by Director Duffey’s superlobbyist wife, Anne Wexler. Her firm, the Wexler Group, spearheaded the U.S. Fortune 500 lobby called USA*NAFTA in its national campaign to convince the American people that NAFTA meant more American jobs and at higher wages. Voice of America (VOA) editorials extolled the job-creation magic of NAFTA, which has not lived up to its Cinderella predictions. All this intense lobbying relegated to footnote status the voices of other Americans with dissenting stories to tell about NAFTA.

From its inception, USIA’s second mandate, to teach Americans about other countries, has been circumscribed by the Smith-Mundt prohibition, which bans USIA employees from targeting a U.S. audience through the VOA or other information and from broadcasting programs designed for an overseas audience.

While anyone with a modem can gain access to the USIA and its VOA website, this 1948 ban continues due to congressional pressure, particularly from Foreign Relations Committee chair Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC), who frets about propaganda being used for domestic purposes, and from the U.S. broadcast lobby, which wants no competition from government-owned broadcasts like the BBC in Britain. Such a ban clearly violates the First Amendment rights of U.S. citizens and makes it impossible for the American public to express its opposition to or support for taxpayer-funded USIA programs.

Despite this domestic ban, the U.S. business community has been targeted during the Clinton years by USIA-sponsored conferences designed to build commercial ties between the U.S. and countries like South Africa and the former Soviet Union. Such conferences, which bring together USIA and Commerce Department officials, business investors, and members of Congress, call into question the agency’s stated principle of mutual understanding. By overemphasizing U.S. business and commercial values instead of more broadly shared goals of cultural diversity and free expression, USIA’s message comes across as narrow and exploitative to many people around the world whose aspirations are quite different.

Toward a New Foreign Policy

Key Recommendations

• The USIA should work with its supporters to raise the profile of its second mandate by overturning the obsolete Smith-Mundt ban on domestic dissemination of agency materials.

• If the agency continues to function as a cultural Commerce Department, it should be abolished.

• When the USIA is reorganized into the State Department, it should develop programs to promote true mutual understanding among the world’s peoples rather than narrowly cast its energies on U.S. business interests overseas.

The plan to collapse the USIA within the State Department does not solve the fundamental problems that mark this information agency. If the USIA is to survive reorganization into the State Department, it must rekindle its second mandate to increase mutual understanding and start to paint a picture of America with a broader brush. Agency documents link America’s success to USIA’s ability “to convince other peoples of the benefits of open markets… and the soundness of U.S. policies on other economic issues.”

USIA’s model of democracy and the free market is promoted as the superpower version of globalization, packaged and ready for shipping to the rest of the world. In this version, foreign capital flows freely while the movement of the world’s poor is strictly monitored and controlled. But such a package projects an image of America which speaks first and foremost for the Fortune 500 corporations, its primary beneficiaries, with little interest or respect for workers and communities in other countries and cultures.

It is the Commerce Department’s role, not USIA’s function, to sell America to the rest of the world. America is, after all, not just for the selling. Millions of private citizens, both here and abroad, are using their collective vision to promote a one-world community—not a one-world market—where diverse cultures are united in efforts to combat poverty, oppression, pollution, and collective violence. In contrast to USIA’s boardroom-style globalization, many of these citizen activists favor more freedom of movement for people and greater regulation on the movement of capital. This global grassroots vision is not based on classical economic theory and its orthodox devotion to limitless growth. Instead, it takes into account people, their cultural and natural environments, and local economies where traditional nonmarket values like reciprocity, mutual aid, and self-reliance build community bonds.

Such global visions, if they were distributed as part of USIA’s second mandate to tell the rest of the world’s story both here and abroad, would more truly reflect the core principle of mutual understanding. One solution is to campaign for reform of USIA broadcasting so that the VOA is truly educational, similar in style to the BBC at its best. Despite the rise in the television market, shortwave radio is still the world’s primary instrument of communication and education, particularly in the global South. An education-oriented VOA could help alleviate regional tensions in conflict areas like Bosnia and Central Africa. Solutions to global problems might also shift from competitive zero-sum game models to win-win options that include recognition and support for countries and cultures that seek independent models of democracy and development.

There are strong arguments that the USIA is an ineffective, obsolete organization that should be abolished not reformed. The arguments for abolishing USIA include the following:

• The USIA has no legitimate post-cold war function. Under Clinton it predominantly serves the interests of U.S. corporations by touting to foreign audiences the superiority of U.S. commercial values and the soundness of U.S. economic policies.

• The USIA is neglecting its second mandate, citing Smith-Mundt restraints that prohibit dissemination of USIA material in the United States.

• USIA operation as a mini-Commerce Department makes for duplication of government services in a post-big government era of downsizing and budget cuts.

• Private hucksterism for U.S. business interests under the guise of public diplomacy makes a mockery of USIA mandates for mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and the people of other countries.

Its proposed merger with the State Department will reduce what little independence the USIA has as a foreign affairs agency. As the U.S. government agency responsible for distributing America’s story, the USIA should find the political courage to establish a vision for improving the human condition through two-way personal contacts and cultural exchanges that stand on their own merits without needing validation by linkage to U.S. business objectives overseas. The story of America that the USIA currently shares assumes that the rest of the world wants to be just like us. The greater story that USIA has yet to tell the world is that America can also listen and learn.

by Nancy E. Snow
Site Admin
Posts: 18114
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Re: United States Information Agency: The USIA performs the

Postby admin » Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:14 pm

Part 1 of 2

Dancing Art and Politics Behind the Iron Curtain: Martha Graham's 1962 Tours to Yugoslavia and Poland
by Camelia Lenart
Dance Chronicle 2016, Vol. 39, No. 2, 197-217
July 1, 2016.
© 2016 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC




This article presents new information about the appearances of the Martha Graham Dance Company during its 1962 State Department–sponsored tour behind the Iron Curtain. The Graham company’s multilayered performances in Eastern Europe occurred in a complicated international context. This research clarifies not only which Communist countries Graham and her company actually visited, but also the choices, logistics, and negotiations involved in this tour. While reflecting on the methods and aims related to the ideological construction of “others” on both sides of the Iron Curtain, the article explores the complex relationship between Graham and the State Department.

KEYWORDS Martha Graham; Eastern Europe; Cold War; cultural diplomacy

At the end of December 1957, Martha Graham received a long letter from Francis Mason,[i] the cultural attache of the American Embassy in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. He reminded her of their former acquaintance in New York, and informed her about the Jose Limon Dance Company visit to Belgrade, where the company “had there, and in seven other cities in Yugoslavia, a warming and phenomenal success,” and “had press conference after press conference.” [1] Mason gave Graham some perspective on the popularity of American dance in Yugoslavia, about which “no one cared or knew,” and asked Graham to consider a tour to the Communist country: “I don’t like to think that it will be another two years—or near it—before I see you again. May I go out on a limb and insist, within my limited powers, that you come to Yugoslavia?” He promised to inform the State Department and the American National Theater and Academy (ANTA) about this possibility.

Graham would eventually perform in Yugoslavia, but only in 1962, on the occasion of her first State Department tour to Europe. It took place in a difficult political context marked by the construction of the Berlin Wall and the Bay of Pigs invasion, further complicated by the Cuban Missile Crisis and naval blockade of Cuba, which ended on November 20, 1962. The day before, Graham held a lecture demonstration in Zagreb, [2] followed by a performance. On November 20, she and her company had their second performance in Zagreb, before a large audience that watched an “elated and exhausted” company. Audience members did not leave after thirty curtain calls, continuing to scream, “Mar-tha, Mar-tha, Mar-tha,” [3] so that she had to take a personal bow with each member of the cast. [4]

The tense political atmosphere did not affect arrangements for Graham’s 1962 tour to Europe, under impresario Anatole Heller, [5] allowing Graham and her company to visit nine countries in eight weeks. Among them were two countries in Eastern Europe: Yugoslavia and Poland. On November 15, 1962, she and her dancers arrived in Belgrade and had two performances on the 16th and 17th in the city’s Opera House; the next day they traveled to Zagreb, where they performed for two days, as noted above. [6] On November 21, the company went to Warsaw and had a press conference at the airport; in the evening, Graham attended the Henryk Wieniavski International Violin Competition Gala Concert. Starting the next day, the company had three performances at Teatr Dramatyczny in the capital of Poland.

The analysis of Graham’s performances behind the Iron Curtain in 1962 completes, enriches, and refines the story of her international touring, while placing her Eastern European tours in the larger context of the cultural competition of the Cold War and of the multilayered relationship between diplomacy and politics associated with it. [7] While unfolding the story and history of Graham’s performances in Yugoslavia and Poland, this article investigates the reasons behind the choice of these two Communist countries as tour destinations for the famous artist, and the logistics involved in the tours. It also reflects on the methods and aims involved in the ideological construction of the “others” on both sides of the Iron Curtain. In addition, this research demonstrates that Graham’s presence and her art’s impact in the Communist space made, at least for a short while, the Iron Curtain less opaque, making possible a clearer reconstruction of “otherness,” beyond political and diplomatic boundaries.

This article also clarifies and establishes the actual parameters in time and space of Graham’s touring of Eastern Europe. Agnes de Mille claimed that Romania was the only Communist country ever toured by Graham, [8] thus positioning the tour to Yugoslavia, which she did mention, outside the Communist bloc, while Ernestine Stodelle also named Romania as among the countries toured by the famous dancer and her company. [9] In fact, in spite of its special status within that bloc, Yugoslavia in 1962 was a Communist country. Recent research also proves that Graham did not travel to Romania, either in 1962 or later; [10] the only major American modern dance company ever presented on Romanian stages during the Communist era was that of Alvin Ailey. [11] The other Communist country Graham toured in 1962 was not Romania, but Poland.

Graham’s earlier tours to Europe

Francis Mason’s invitation for Graham to tour an Eastern European country might have seemed a delicate, risky, and even naıve request, as apparently there was nothing to prompt his asking Graham to visit Europe. Her previous appearances on the continent, in 1950 and 1954, were perceived as a “stumble” [12] in her glorious career and unsuccessful attempts in that period to reach international fame. In addition, the significance of Graham’s 1957 performance at the opening of the Congress Hall in West Berlin has only recently been researched, [13] while de Mille considered Graham’s relationship with European audiences and their cultural milieu as the most difficult and complicated one in the artist’s life and career. [14]

However, for a better understanding of the State Department’s decision to send Graham behind the Iron Curtain in 1962 and of American cultural diplomacy during the Cold War in Europe, it is important to revisit Graham’s 1950s European appearances. New research and findings prove that her 1950 and 1954 tours, considered to this point unconnected with American cultural diplomacy, were in fact not completely apolitical. During these tours the famous artist debuted and developed her role as a “dancer for export” [ii] and rehearsed her relationship with the State Department. The first formal notice of Graham by the State Department happened before 1954, [iii] as Graham’s first European tour in 1950 had the State Department’s “blessing.” [15] (In fact, Graham was not the only American artist or company to receive, even if unofficially, the State Department’s support while touring Europe early in the 1950s. [16]) Documents from American and European archives and collections also prove that Graham’s 1950 and 1954 tours were helped by American embassies in Europe, European embassies and consulates in the United States, the British Foreign Office, the Foreign Affairs Ministry of France, and other high-ranking institutions. Important American and European political personalities of the time, including royalty, were also involved in Graham’s appearances in Europe. [17]

A few examples are revelatory. Graham’s first-night performance in Paris in 1950 was watched from the center box by Eleanor Roosevelt [18] and David Bruce, the American ambassador in France, [19] who, alongside Secretary of State Dean Acheson, was concerned by the anti-American atmosphere in Paris [20] and by the possible impact of the tensions on the “Franco-American cultural relations” of that moment. [21] Graham’s presence attracted the attention of the American Embassy in London in 1950, [22] while in 1954 American Ambassador Winthrop Williams Aldrich invited “Martha Graham the dancer, with her conductor and her manager” to a party at the embassy, along with members of the British aristocracy and American artistic personalities. As Harriet Aldrich, the wife of the Ambassador, remembered, Graham was introduced to “quite a lot of Embassy People … and it went very well.” [iv] During the same 1954 tour, the Graham company’s performances were attended in The Hague by Queen Juliana and Princess Irene of the Netherlands, a visit remembered by Stuart Hodes. [v] A photograph captured the occasion, showing the royals at Graham’s dressing room, greeting the artist, who was wearing her Chinese robe with a scarf tying back her hair. [23]

Proving herself a cultural diplomat during her very successful tours to Asia in 1955, Graham returned to Europe in 1957, performing at the inauguration of the Congress Hall in West Berlin. The ceremony, during which the building was presented to the city’s officials as a gift from the American government, was organized by Eleanor Lansing Dulles, an expert in German and European reconstruction and the sister of the U.S. Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, and the head of the CIA, Allen Dulles.
Lansing Dulles remembered the inauguration, which was supposed “to make a splash,” as “the most noticeable and most entertaining element of our [American diplomacy] program there,” with Graham among the most important personalities invited on that occasion. [vi] Besides openly positioning Graham as a cultural diplomat in the sensitive space of European politics, the Berlin moment also showed that Graham’s fame and acceptance in Europe were expanding beyond her British circle of admirers. [24] Among other European intellectual luminaries attending the event was Mary Wigman, [25] who would visit New York and meet Graham again the following year, and Dore Hoyer, who afterwards left for New York to study with Graham. [vii] The correspondence and invitations Graham received around this time from famous European artists suggest that her stature was increasingly recognized in Europe. [26] Even Serge Lifar, known for his anti-American and anti-Graham feelings, praised Graham’s career and innovation in dance at the Geneva International Congress of Choreography in 1957. [27]

The political context for Graham’s 1962 tour

Mason’s 1962 invitation to Graham to join the list of cultural diplomats supported by the State Department was not surprising. She was an American icon, her 1955 tour to Asia had been a success, and her fame was growing around the globe. Further, her European appearances in the 1950s prepared her for cultural diplomacy, while the exposure to—and practice of—politics in that earlier tour contributed to her “eligibility” for touring and combining arts and politics in the complicated space of Eastern Europe.

Beyond this background, Graham’s art was “suitable” for export, especially on stages behind the Iron Curtain. Dance had high cultural visibility: it could knit art with politics, and make and unmake national identities. [28] Its “nonverbal” [29] language of bodies in motion was hard to untangle in countries plagued by censorship,  [30] creating a space to challenge the social and political order softly, without direct confrontation. Graham’s modernity in dance not only demonstrated American advances in the arts but it also proved that, unlike the Soviets, Americans were not only a “ballet nation,” [31] but also a modern dance one. In 1962, the New York City Ballet also went behind the Iron Curtain, to the U.S.S.R., as part of an eight-week State Department–sponsored tour, but ballet was a European art, and George Balanchine’s origins were also foreign. Modern dance was seen as an American art and Graham as 100 percent American.

Reassessing the versatility of dance in negotiating and changing the Cold War’s political discourse, Graham’s 1962 tour to Eastern Europe was also a landmark in the narrative of American modern dance diplomacy, as hers was the first American modern dance company to travel behind the Iron Curtain during the more permissive and mobile cultural atmosphere and exchange of the 1960s. Placed chronologically between Jose Limon’s 1957 tour to Yugoslavia and Poland, [32] as the first American modern dancer to penetrate the curtain, and the Alvin Ailey tour of 1967 to the Soviet Union and Romania, [33] Graham’s display of American “modern” and “diverse” bodies to Eastern-bloc audiences continued the discourse of modernism initiated by Limon, and foreshadowed the discourse of “diversity” displayed by Ailey.

Most importantly, Graham’s modernism and diversity were both important assets of American cultural diplomacy during the early 1960s, when the effectiveness of writers and jazz musicians as cultural ambassadors was in question and undergoing changes. Indeed, even the relationship between American politics and literary production was tense. [34] While, due to the efforts of the United States Information Agency, literature was well represented in Western European bookstores and libraries, this was not the case in Eastern Europe, where getting an American author translated and published was complicated. [35] Highly praised during the 1950s for demonstrating abroad the uniqueness of American art making, jazz as an art useful to American cultural diplomacy in Eastern Europe was questioned during the sixties as famous jazz players became increasingly and openly critical of American racial issues and of the “strange commodity” of cultural exchange. [36]

Despite the fact that Graham had been previously endorsed by the State Department and was the creator of an art that suited American cultural diplomacy in Eastern Europe, she was asked, when preparing her tour to Eastern Europe, to rethink and refine her political stance. An official letter that Graham received prior to the tour—written in language that was pragmatic, precise, task oriented, and clearly branded—makes the case:

As you are about to start on a tour for us, under the Department of State’s Cultural Presentations Program, we want to send you this word of gratitude and to let you know that we shall be following every performance with the keenest interest, as the reports come back from our embassies and consulates…. The money for your and all other tours comes from the American taxpayers, through annual appropriations by the Congress. The amount has been about two and a half million dollars each year. [37]

The letter reminded Graham that tickets were sold at a “very low price” to encourage attendance, and that ANTA (with whom she had the contract) was the agent of the State Department, received funds from it, and had the last word in sending her abroad. Chosen for her “artistic pre-eminence,” her name was next to other “huge names of American arts” and she was expected to demonstrate her “belief in this program,” as “never was the comprehension [mutual understanding] more important for the survival of our country and our way of life.” The letter also made the point that she would be “constantly in the limelight, off stage as well as on,” but that, at every stop, she would be “in the hands of the USIS” (United States Information Service) and “in the charge of the cultural officer of the USIS,” while her activity would be reported directly to the American ambassador. Most importantly, she was told that American officers would arrange for her “to meet the nationals,” where her “offstage activities” would take place. While she would participate in many such activities, she must keep “in mind that, as guests in their country and as representative of our American Government program,” she was in a “special position.” [38]

Why did Graham, a person with a “special position,” accept the opportunity to dance behind the Iron Curtain? And why in Poland and Yugoslavia, but not Romania? For centuries, the image of Eastern Europe, especially in the Western world, had been associated with the babel of contrasting and conflicting religions and nations. Once Communism encapsulated them, a new image was constructed, based on the idea of a compact unit, leveled by Soviet ideology and reduced to the status of powerless satellites. In fact, there were many tensions within the bloc and different degrees of independence from the U.S.S.R., varying from country to country and from one decade to another. Nearly every Communist country had its own rebellion against Moscow’s leadership and its moment of questioning Communism’s development and of finding solutions for its own future. Ironically, this critical trend was initiated by Nikita Khrushchev himself in the 1950s, but the beginning of the sixties was the end of any optimism about change, as the Soviet “awakening” halted [39] and a new kind of Cold War began. [40] The conflicts between East and West became increasingly marked.

In this sensitive and confusing Eastern European context, one American political goal—in the hope of evolutionary, rather than revolutionary, changes in the area [41]—was to foster political divisions within the Soviet bloc, divisions that would lead to independence from the Kremlin. The key was Yugoslavia, which had an “anomalous position in the Cold War that objectively suited U.S. purposes,” [42] and was considered a “non-Soviet bloc” nation. [43] Tito’s regime resisted the split with Stalin in 1948, limited its rapprochement with Moscow, and maintained its internal and external sovereignty. As the Soviets were rolling “westward across Europe,” [44] the Americans helped Yugoslavia preserve its independence from the Soviets, [45] expecting that the country would remain nonaligned [46] and cooperate with the benefactors’ foreign policy. Tito and his country did not fulfill these expectations, remaining both Communist and neutral. [47]

Still, Tito was seen as exercising a disruptive influence on the Soviet bloc and for some time maintained good relations with the West. [48] During the Kennedy era, particularly after the Bay of Pigs Invasion and the U-2 spy incident, relations between Yugoslavia and the United States began to break down. In 1961, Tito publicly criticized the Americans and expressed “understanding” of Soviet actions. [49] American ambassador George Kennan’s efforts to maintain a cordial atmosphere between the two countries failed, [50] and in 1962 the U.S. Congress denied financial aid to Yugoslavia and revoked the country’s most-favored-nation status. At the time of Martha Graham’s arrival, the tense situation had experienced a moment of respite as Tito sent a letter to the United Nations stressing his unaligned position, [51] which remained the established basis of Yugoslavian foreign policy. [52]

In this atmosphere, shaped by a hopeful past, unfulfilled expectations, and a tense present, a Communist country other than Yugoslavia seemed likely for Graham’s performances. During “Gomulka’s thaw,” [viii] Poland’s relationship with the West was apparently normalized, as Poland seemed to be on the road to greater democracy. Foreign films, including American ones, were regularly shown in Poland, and local tourism became “less ideological,” dubbing areas of Poland meant to attract visitors as the “Wild West,” suggesting the American wilderness. [53] Some travel to foreign countries was permitted, and the Poles “were allowed to think that they were part of the world.” [54] The Polish sixties seemed like a phase of “bearable Communism,” although, deep within, it was becoming even more dogmatic. [55]


The origins of the Cold War can be traced to the anti-communist ferment in the United States going back to the labor movements of the late 19th century, but its associations with U.S. interventions in the CEE region are more directly the result of the disputed status of Poland following the Yalta conference of 1945. Having been attacked twice through the Polish corridor by Germany in the years preceding Yalta and by Poland itself in 1919-1920, and having lost some 27 million people in the second German invasion, the Soviets were adamant about managing the politics of Poland. From the Soviet perspective, this was a country which their Red Army liberated from the Nazis and which required defensive occupation at the end of the Second World War. The United States and Britain regarded communist rule in that country, starting with the contested legislative election of 1947, as unacceptable. Although that electoral outcome may have been rigged to favor an overwhelming victory by the Polish coalition of communist and other left groups, it was probably no worse a case of political manipulation than the demonstration elections held by U. S. allies in the Dominican Republic in 1966, "South" Vietnam in 1967, the Philippines in 1978, El Salvador in 1982, and in other U.S.-protected client regimes.

Anti-communism was the principal filter that shaped U.S. foreign policy after 1945, which had much less to do with human rights and democracy than the barrier that the Soviet Union and China constituted to global political and economic expansion. Had the United States and its allies concentrated their efforts in eliminating poverty, racism, gender discrimination, and state repression, the conditions in South Africa and much of the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa , the Middle East, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and a number of other countries would have risen above their concerns about the communist governments in the CEE region. However, in the prevailing political culture of the Cold War, the CEE polities were the central targets of NED funding in the 1990s (see Table 4.1) and continue to be into the 21st century. And, as in previous invasions, the Polish corridor was the West's entry point to the region. As the first country designated for regime change, Poland began to receive significant U.S. assistance in the 1980s. USAID and other public and private funds were funneled to prescribed organizations, largely bypassing legislative mediation. The Reagan administration actively and covertly supported the Polish labor movement, Solidarity, even as Reagan pursued union-busting (e.g., the firing of the PATCO air controllers' union officials) at home.

U.S. democracy assistance groups have consistently argued that their purpose is not to interfere with election outcomes in target countries but only to assure free and fair electoral processes. If that were the case, the fervent anti-communism of Reagan and Thatcher and their coordinated demands on Poland's Jaruzelski government to legalize Solidarity or lose economic assistance would be irrelevant. Solidarity also had extensive underground support from American unions, including the American Federation of Teachers under its president, Albert Shanker, the son of Polish immigrants. Shanker, an outspoken anti-communist and defender of the U.S. invasion of Indochina, was a founder of the Polish Foundation for Education for Democracy, established in 1989 (Kucharczyk, personal communication, 2007). Working closely with the Reagan White House, State Department, CIA, National Security Council, and the Vatican, the AFL-CIO was also an active source of financial and moral support to Solidarity, threatening to shut down U.S. ports to Polish goods until Solidarity was recognized. The AFL-CIO under Lane Kirkland covertly channeled about $1 million to Solidarity between 1983 and 1986 (Bernstein 1992; Cwiek-Karpowicz and Kaczynski 2006, 54; Wall Street Journal 2009).

For the United States, support for Solidarity and the overthrow of Poland's communist government was the opening wedge toward the larger goal of destroying the Soviet Union. U.S. House intelligence committee member (1985-1990), Henry Hyde, summarized the tactics employed:

In Poland we did all of the things that are done in countries where you want to destabilize a communist government and strengthen resistance to that. We provided the supplies and technical assistance in terms of clandestine newspapers, broadcasting, propaganda, money, organizational help and advice. And working outward from Poland, the same kind of resistance was organized in the other communist countries of Europe (Bernstein 1992).

During the parliamentary election campaign in 1989, NED passed on $2.5 million to Solidarity, in addition to $5 million to Polish emigres working on behalf of the labor federation (Broder 1997; Calvo Ospina 2007). Through NED, the United States surreptitiously worked with the federation and the Polish underground to "smuggle publications, printing machinery, radio equipment and video cassettes into Poland" (Pear 1988), which helped bring down the communist government of Wojciech Jaruzelski. Solidarity leader, Lech Walesa, was elected president the following year. Official and elite U.S. backing for Solidarity, representing renewed efforts to overthrow the Soviet system, had ranged from Edward Kennedy to George Soros to Jeane Kirkpatrick (Cwiek-Karpowicz and Kaczynski 2006, 23). [2]

A paper from a leading think tank in Warsaw argued that the collapse of the Communist Party in Poland "would not have been possible without considerable Western assistance which ... [was] effectively implemented over the course of many years." With this finding, the study rather blithely presumed that:

Democracy promotion does not serve private interests and strategic goals, but protects people against abuses of power. There is no hidden imperialism here, because the ultimate aim is to give the citizens full freedom of decision-making about the fate of their country (Cwiek-Karpowicz and Kaczynski, 2006, 7, 11).

Its Polish authors would have to be naively unaware of the motives that have guided American foreign policy throughout the 20th century or of the reality that the "formal model of democracy advanced by the US cannot deal with the dominance of the economic realm by forces outside the territorial state." Within the larger global framework of neoliberalism, "a very narrow civil society" (Smith 2000, 75) is imposed upon most "transition" states to restrict their capacity to enact economic and social reforms that redound to the majority. For one British journalist who has covered the "color revolutions," democracy promotion cannot be taken at face value but should rather be understood as "foreign policy-dominated and motivated ... an attempt to develop Western allies if not Western clients in these new transition democracies." For Washington, he avers, "it's a zero-sum game" - governments in the CEE region are seen as being either with the United States or Russia, even when they're simply trying to be independent (Steele, personal communication, 2008). The Visegnid countries (Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia) have in fact resisted some of the more radical austerity U.S. and E.U. neoliberal demands by instituting social protections for the unemployed and those dislocated by economic "reform."

U.S. assistance in dollar amounts does not reveal the long-term consequences the United States helped to impose on the CEE region as a whole in the "transition" period, which increased significantly during the G. W. Bush years. To this point, two close observers note that: "Democracy assistance not only establishes an unequal relationship between donor and recipient but assumes a kind of political intervention by donors that has rarely been undertaken so explicitly by a donor government" (Newberg and Carothers 1996, 99). With regard to civil society, the dissident movement and civil society organizations in Poland (the former Warsaw Pact state that most enthusiastically embraced neoliberalism) that brought about the end of communist rule no longer have a significant presence in Poland. In fact, according to one analysis, in Poland it is only the organizations established during the communist era that retain any social vitality (Magner 2005,49).

-- Branding Democracy: U.S. Regime Change in Post-Soviet Eastern Europe, by Gerald Sussman

Identifying Eastern-bloc countries culturally friendly toward American art was a State Department necessity, since Graham was never invited to the Soviet Union. The country’s leader, Nikita Khrushchev, was a man of “meager culture,” [56] whose favorite entertainment was the circus, while official policy was openly against modern arts, [57] and Soviet artists were expected to follow the Socialist-realist aesthetic. [58] Cultural exchange was regarded as a source of “smuggling into the country … hostile ideas,” [59] making censorship of “cultural products” entering the country extremely rigorous. Yet, in spite of these strict official controls, [60] Soviet dance lovers were aware of modern-dance developments and of the activity of major creators like Graham. For instance, when ballerina Elena Tchernichova, a former classmate of Rudolf Nureyev, defected to the United States, the first works she wanted to see in New York were the creations of Martha Graham and George Balanchine. [61]

Folk dances, with their strongly nationalistic displays, and ballet were the favorite dance styles of the Communist countries. When it came to “exchanging dance,” American critics were asked to join juries for important ballet competitions, [62] and American ballet companies were invited, while modern dance groups were not. Ballet better suited Soviet cultural exchange, due to its prestige inside and outside the country, but also because it was an art in which the dancers, like other people in a Communist system, were mostly treated as objects, and the choreographers and managers (called directors) were men. Modern dance represented disobedience, sexuality, female lead and control, questioning, and unrest. Graham in particular was considered too sexual for Soviet stages [63] and for the “Soviet man’s” sexual life (also observed and censored by the Communist Party), which was expected to focus on reproduction, not pleasure. [64]

Is feminism a brand? It may be part of Beyonce’s brand or Lady Gaga’s brand. It may even be part of my “brand,” such as it is. We can not escape consumerism and those who become celebrities in our culture in this visual century.

However, we must also be wary of those who use it not to promote equality, but, for example, to sell shoes or other items. Feminism is about choice, but not brand choice and not consumerism at all. It remains a movement to establish equality of all persons. That is how it was born and that is how it continues to live. It is not to be co-opted by smooth salespeople or tricksters. Perhaps actions do speak louder than words.

-- Faux Feminism: As feminism becomes more accepted, it can be used for unintended purposes, by Ellyn Kaschak Ph.D.

"Third Episode: The Puritan" made the most immediate impact of any section presented at the premiere performance of American Document. Graham and Hawkins danced to text that alternated the fiery admonitions of the Puritan minister Jonathan Edwards with Solomon's poetic celebration of human sexuality from the "Song of Songs:" Edwards's grim view that "we may see by men's lives what hellish hearts they have" was placed next to that of the bride who rhapsodized "I am my beloved's/And his desire is toward me." The image of "Death [that] comes hissing like a fiery dragon with the sting on the mouth of it" was ironically juxtaposed to the lover's desire to "Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth, For thy love is better than wine." Graham commented that she intended to weave these speeches "into and around the dance to suggest the conflict that took place in Puritan hearts when faced with the choice of a simple life life or an angry life of denial." Graham was fascinated throughout her life with sexual repression, here treated with heavy irony. In 1985, when Graham was over ninety years old, the theme resurfaced when she choreographed a longer version of "Song of Songs,"' which also used the spoken word.25

The choreographer took sides on the issue: there could be no question where her feelings lay. Graham and Hawkins performed the duet in such an erotic manner that some in the audience were said to be "frightened of its feeling":

The tenseness of its emotion, the extreme projection of restrained physicality, rendered the adolescent elements in the audience uncomfortable. Its solemn purity was hard for the shy-eyed of all ages to take. It is so serious that it can only touch those who have the courage to look at it.26

Graham was dressed in "severe white," in a long, fitted dress with a suggestion of a large Puritan collar. Hawkins was "naked except for white shorts and a dark coat of tan." Graham's fine-boned face and petite figure contrasted dramatically with that of the tall, handsome Hawkins.

The explicit sexuality of their dance was reinforced by Graham's use of submissive, low-to-the-ground postures and Hawkins's upright, bold movements. For example, he performed a series of leaps side-to-side while Graham lay at his feet. He raised her up, and they circled the stage in a series of joyful-looking leaps. Once again, she sank to the floor, and he literally leapt to the rescue in order to pull her up.27

In one of Morgan's photographs of this duet, Hawkins is posed with left leg held high to the side and leaning to the right with his arms overhead, palms extended outward. He is all straight lines, while Graham is all curves and twists, bending far back into his space and adjusting her pose to his. Her face looks directly up towards his, and her arms form a circular design close to his body.28

Graham had not been accustomed to use much physical contact in her previous choreography; here, however, the movement motifs were lavish in their sensuous intertwinings. Holding each other, the couple repeatedly rocked from side to side in hypnotic rhythm. They varied this theme with side-to-side leaps performed in tandem.

-- Martha Graham's American Document: A Minstrel Show in Modern Dance Dress, by Maureen Needham Costonis

Except, perhaps, in the even more appalling abjection of Violetta who, in love with D’Elmont and aware that he has found Melliora at last, “dies for him, and asks no other recompence, than a last farewell” (270). “I would not deprive him of a moments happiness,” Violetta gasps out in a death agony apparently brought on by little more than a generous wish to be out of the way. On the point of expiring, she is at last rewarded by the attentions of D’Elmont, who, forgetting “even the complaisance he owed to Melliora,” rushes into Violetta’s bedroom “like a man distracted” and “throwing himself on the bed by her” carries on in his usual inflated and near-comic style – not about her impending death but about her earlier decision to forgo “gay dresses” and don “a mean disguise” for someone so “unworthy” as himself (271). Not to be outdone, Melliora magnanimously commands Violetta to “Live, … and enjoy the friendship of my lord” (272). But Violetta insists that she must die, not only because of her hopeless love for D’Elmont but because she has now revealed it: “Life after this shameful declaration,” she insists, “would be the worst of punishments” (272). In keeping with the ethic of female desire at work throughout the novel, Violetta insists even at the point of death that her passion for D’Elmont is not in itself blameworthy (“nor do I yet believe my love a crime, tho’ the consequence is so” (271)). Indeed, she makes a great point of the virtuous character of that passion: “… I loved, ‘tis true, but if one unchast wish, or an impure desire, er’e stained my soul, then, may the purging fire to which I am going, miss its effect, my spots remain, and not one saint vouchsafe to own me” (271). Desire itself – even desire that makes one “unable to support” the absence of the beloved, makes one leave home, break a father’s heart, “wish … to know no other paradise” than the beloved, and prize him “more than life” (271-72) – is emphatically not inconsistent with virtue. What is criminal is Violetta’s declaration of desire.

How can this be? In Melliora, as we have observed, Haywood imagines a woman who exercises active and transgressive sexual desire, who declares her desire forthrightly, and who does so without losing her status as virtuous heroine. In Violetta, while sexual desire is still irresistible and consistent with virtue, the new possibility of virtuous sexual agency for women seems to be withdrawn: expressing sexual desire, acting on it, is a crime deserving of death. What the contradiction reveals, I think, is considerable ambivalence about the feat achieved in Melliora – the representation of female sexual agency that is both collusive and resistant, both assertive and submissive. This ambivalence is apparent in the fact that while Melliora’s active desire does emerge as part of her virtue, that virtue is still signaled by feminine submission; and by the end of the novel, submission has been elevated as the one indispensable mark of virtue in all three women – Melliora, Charlotta, and Violetta. In this way, while Melliora continues to constitute a remarkably unorthodox model of female sexual agency and is rewarded for it (she is, after all, the one who finally wins the prize, D’Elmont), the model she offers is disciplined so as to remain consistent with – not too threatening to – traditional partriarchal notions of feminine virtue and availability. Those notions are reinforced to the point of parody in Charlotta and Violetta; their tales, by interrupting and elaborating the final resolution of the main plot, place emphasis on the submissive aspects of Melliora’s paradoxical submissive-and-resistant characterization. In this way, the really new aspect of female sexual agency that Melliora represents – the possibility of mutually constitutive resistance and complicity – is cast at the novel’s end as an eccentricity, an exception that functions primarily to prove the rule.

-- The Passionate Fictions of Eliza Haywood: Essays on Her Life and Work, edited by Kirsten T. Saxton, Rebecca P. Bocchicchio

We had been living there more than a year. We had learned their limited history, with its straight, smooth, upreaching lines, reaching higher and going faster up to the smooth comfort of their present life. We had learned a little of their psychology, a much wider field than the history, but here we could not follow so readily. We were now well used to seeing women not as females but as people; people of all sorts, doing every kind of work.

This outbreak of Terry’s, and the strong reaction against it, gave us a new light on their genuine femininity. This was given me with great clearness by both Ellador and Somel. The feeling was the same — sick revulsion and horror, such as would be felt at some climactic blasphemy.

They had no faintest approach to such a thing in their minds, knowing nothing of the custom of marital indulgence among us. To them the one high purpose of motherhood had been for so long the governing law of life, and the contribution of the father, though known to them, so distinctly another method to the same end, that they could not, with all their effort, get the point of view of the male creature whose desires quite ignore parentage and seek only for what we euphoniously term “the joys of love.”

When I tried to tell Ellador that women too felt so, with us, she drew away from me, and tried hard to grasp intellectually what she could in no way sympathize with.

“You mean — that with you — love between man and woman expresses itself in that way — without regard to motherhood? To parentage, I mean,” she added carefully.

“Yes, surely. It is love we think of — the deep sweet love between two. Of course we want children, and children come — but that is not what we think about.”

“But — but — it seems so against nature!” she said. “None of the creatures we know do that. Do other animals — in your country?”

“We are not animals!” I replied with some sharpness. “At least we are something more — something higher. This is a far nobler and more beautiful relation, as I have explained before. Your view seems to us rather — shall I say, practical? Prosaic? Merely a means to an end! With us — oh, my dear girl — cannot you see? Cannot you feel? It is the last, sweetest, highest consummation of mutual love.”

She was impressed visibly. She trembled in my arms, as I held her close, kissing her hungrily. But there rose in her eyes that look I knew so well, that remote clear look as if she had gone far away even though I held her beautiful body so close, and was now on some snowy mountain regarding me from a distance.

“I feel it quite clearly,” she said to me. “It gives me a deep sympathy with what you feel, no doubt more strongly still. But what I feel, even what you feel, dearest, does not convince me that it is right. Until I am sure of that, of course I cannot do as you wish.”

Ellador, at times like this, always reminded me of Epictetus. “I will put you in prison!” said his master. “My body, you mean,” replied Epictetus calmly. “I will cut your head off,” said his master. “Have I said that my head could not be cut off?” A difficult person, Epictetus.

What is this miracle by which a woman, even in your arms, may withdraw herself, utterly disappear till what you hold is as inaccessible as the face of a cliff?

“Be patient with me, dear,” she urged sweetly. “I know it is hard for you. And I begin to see — a little — how Terry was so driven to crime.”

“Oh, come, that’s a pretty hard word for it. After all, Alima was his wife, you know,” I urged, feeling at the moment a sudden burst of sympathy for poor Terry. For a man of his temperament — and habits — it must have been an unbearable situation.

But Ellador, for all her wide intellectual grasp, and the broad sympathy in which their religion trained them, could not make allowance for such — to her — sacrilegious brutality....

All mothers in that land were holy. To them, for long ages, the approach to motherhood has been by the most intense and exquisite love and longing, by the Supreme Desire, the overmastering demand for a child. Every thought they held in connection with the processes of maternity was open to the day, simple yet sacred. Every woman of them placed motherhood not only higher than other duties, but so far higher that there were no other duties, one might almost say. All their wide mutual love, all the subtle interplay of mutual friendship and service, the urge of progressive thought and invention, the deepest religious emotion, every feeling and every act was related to this great central Power, to the River of Life pouring through them, which made them the bearers of the very Spirit of God.

-- Herland, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Compared with the stern cultural atmosphere of the U.S.S.R. and other Eastern European “gray countries,” [65] the states visited by Graham displayed an openness toward the United States and some level of awareness of American culture, and their artists were thus more welcome in the United States. The intellectual milieux of Yugoslavia and Poland included artistic personalities, known beyond the boundaries of the Iron Curtain, who believed in the universality of artistic creation and who acted as channels of communication between those on the two sides of the curtain. [ix] One million Yugoslavians were employed or studied in the West, and, in 1961, Ivo Andreric traveled to Stockholm to accept the Nobel for literature. [66] American tourists flocked to the Adriatic coast, [67] and Belgrade’s Contemporary Theater presented the works of modern American playwrights. Also, the history of dance in Serbia had a unique feature, namely that modern dance was established before ballet in the country. [x] Major international achievements of Polish artists such as film director Andrzej Wajda shone light on the country’s culture, while the stage arts, which were the regime’s “court entertainment,” flourished. [68] Warsaw’s twenty large performance halls offered a range of work, including Greek tragedy, American psychological plays, and world classics. [69] Polish dance experimentalists were led by Tacjanna Wysocka, while dancers and choreographers living abroad kept Polish dance lovers informed about the newest developments in the art. [70]

Thus, the choice of Yugoslavia and Poland for Martha Graham’s first performances behind the Iron Curtain was an inspired move. The tour was a success: it took place in a favorable atmosphere, without major incidents, and generated mostly positive reactions from audiences and critics. The tour demonstrated that the political and cultural permissiveness of the countries selected was a necessary factor for the success of American cultural diplomacy in the area. However, the success was the result of much more than good judgment and serendipity, as Graham’s tours were designed skillfully and holistically, with attention to every detail, and occurred under solid sponsorship. Furthermore, they were evidence of the growing importance of the area in the larger spectrum of American interests, as well as the importance of cultural diplomacy in the sophisticated machinations aimed at making Eastern Europe a friendly space for American culture and politics.

The 1962 tour

The American Embassies in Yugoslavia and Poland carefully prepared for the arrival of Martha Graham and her company. The dancer, who was approaching seventy, made a dramatic appearance on- and offstage, with her signature makeup [71] and the almost royal manner with which she carried her “diminutive” figure. [72] Among the preparations for the visit were screenings at the embassies of A Dancer’s World, [73] featuring Graham and her company; journalists in Warsaw found the film a mesmerizing and unprecedented story, as well as a “far-sighted” move for American politics in the area. [74]

Upon arrival, Graham and her company held press conferences, stayed at the best hotels, and attended official cultural events, dinners, and galas. [75] Graham gave lecture-demonstrations in every city visited and newspapers covered her presence prior to, during, and after performances. These were attended by American ambassadors, American officials, and their local counterparts, and, after each opening night, official telegrams to the United States reported the tour’s progress. [76] The performance program, the largest issued on the occasion of Graham’s performances abroad, was itself a complex and elaborate piece of cultural diplomacy, with an extended biography of the artist, photographs of Graham dancing in Night Journey and Seraphic Dialogue, and performance shots of Graham’s best-known dancers. The program also included biographies of set designer Isamu Noguchi and of Robert Starer, Norman Dello Joio, Carlos Surinach, William Schuman, Halim El-Dabh, and Vivian Fine, composers of the scores for the dances presented.

Following a tradition of American Embassies when American dancers performed in the capitals of Europe, the night she arrived, Graham was invited to a dinner hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Engle, he being the cultural attache of the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade. [77] Also on the guest list were Bethsabee de Rothschild, Graham’s manager Craig Barton, local artistic personalities including ballet dancers and choreographers, and the directors of the opera ballet and of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra. After the first night’s performance, Graham and her company members were celebrated by the American Ambassador George F. Keenan and his wife in a lavish reception at the Hotel Metropol. [78] Most of the 126 people who attended were from Yugoslavia’s artistic community, [xi] as well as journalists from the local and foreign press, officials of the U.S. Embassy, and representatives of the embassies of England, France, and Poland. [79]

The journal Kultura USA, edited by “Ambasada Amerykanska,” focused on Graham as much as a month prior to her arrival in Poland. [80] Trybuna Ludu (People’s Tribune), the official media and propaganda outlet of the Polish United Workers’ Party, published articles that identified Graham as one of the “six most prominent women in America,” and explained her “ballets,” her beginnings, her school, her collaborators, and the dates of her performances. [81] Graham’s performances were attended by Communist Party officials, including Tadeusz Galinski, the minister of culture and author of Culture in People’s Poland, which analyzed, among other topics, East-West cultural exchange. [82] Graham’s performances were also attended by representatives of the Polish culture and art worlds, members of foreign diplomatic missions, and Albert W. Shearer, representing the American Embassy. After the performance, fifty-seven people were invited to a reception at the American Embassy, followed the next day by a tour of Warsaw organized by Communist officials for Graham and her company, including a visit to the city’s new opera house. [83]

With this tour, Graham and her company effectively contributed to the “thinning” of the Iron Curtain. Increasingly receiving the attention of historians, due to its importance in unfolding and restoring the emotional component of Cold War history, this “thinning” was a complex phenomenon, which proved the power of cultural diplomacy in breaking down the apparently impervious barriers of the Iron Curtain. As the Curtain separated people not only ideologically and politically, but also physically, it forced them to construct mental maps of ideological opponents. Getting “inside every foreigner’s” mind in order “to understand others,” [84] as well as “the others’ otherness,” [85] was an important element of Cold War cultural diplomacy. The framing of opponents was a complicated and fragile process, as rampant propaganda, travel restrictions, and circumscribed cultural exchange limited and narrowed the accuracy of this psychological endeavor. On occasions when the Curtain lifted, such as encounters between the Graham company and Eastern European audiences, those on each side could mirror one another’s culture and reassess the constructed imagery of the “others,” while concomitantly reshaping the frames of “otherness” and relieving some of the anxieties of the Cold War.

Graham’s Eastern European tours revealed that, not only on the political level, but also on the artistic one, there were different shades of Communism and nuanced spheres of captivity and freedom, while Communism itself was a mutable concept. Writer Leopold Tyrmand, firm anti-Communist, jazz lover, and a member of Graham’s audience in Warsaw, remarked that “Communism was [in the fifties] a complex, but unequivocal phenomenon.” Later it “lost its definition, it blurred into ambivalence and schism, camouflage, and refinement.” [86]

The realities encountered by Graham’s dancers in what Milan Kundera called the “silenced part of Europe” [87] were more complicated than those presented by the Red Scare’s monochromatic discourses about Eastern European societies, described to Americans as politicized collective identities whose members were unanimously committed to Communism. [88] Unlike the Soviet Union and Romania,  [89] which rejected the offer of Graham’s tours, fearing them as possible “Trojan Doves,” [90] Graham’s invitation to Yugoslavia and Poland proved that officials in those nations were less anxious about the influence [xii] the American dance could exert on the spectators’ “Communist” minds. The mixture of positive, negative, puzzled, and neutral responses to Graham and her company’s performances in Eastern Europe also suggests that these audiences did not look at the American dancers through political lenses and did not view them as ideological enemies. On the contrary, and most ironically, the response of these Eastern-bloc audiences to the American art and artists in the 1950s was more balanced and composed than that of most Western countries—countries that were officially American allies. There, Graham’s Americanness was invoked as one explanation for the alleged lack of value of her innovations. In Communist Yugoslavia and Poland, Graham’s nationality never came under discussion.

By the time of her first State Department tour to Europe in 1962, Graham’s stance on the relationship between her art and Eastern Europe was rather elusive. As one of her former dancers, Pearl Lang, put it: “All she cared about was dance.” [91] Graham was proud to be an American—during her tour to Asia she emphasized her Americanism in interviews, and some of her earlier works were inspired by American history and culture [92]—but she was neither involved directly in politics, nor was she close to political personalities of the time. [xiii] For instance, Graham did not honor an invitation to the inaugural ceremonies of John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s presidency. [93]

The 1962 tour program differed from that of Graham’s fifties European tours, when her Americana-themed pieces were the core of her performances. During the Eastern European tour, Frontier, American Document, and Appalachian Spring were absent from the company’s performances. Instead, the works presented focused on Greek myths, philosophical themes, universal themes of human existence, and also the “lighter” pieces of Graham’s creation, suggesting that, during the 1962 tour, American cultural diplomacy was concerned about the message the Graham company’s dancing bodies displayed on Communist stages, as well as about the reaction they might arouse. [xiv] In the Eastern European responses to Graham’s performances, I found no references to her age or mental state. [xv] The Eastern European critics made some gendered remarks, however. Some critics like Branka Rakic predicted that Graham had a chance “to win over the conformists” if she “used the stubbornness typical of small, apparently weak women, persistently following their path.” [94]

For Graham’s dancers, too, the experience of visiting Communist countries during the Cold War remained mainly apolitical. “In 1962 we went on a State Department tour of Europe with Martha Graham,” [95] remembered Takako Asakawa, suggesting that Eastern Europe was not perceived mentally as a “different” part of Europe. What Graham’s traveler-dancers [xvi] grasped was that, behind the Curtain, there was a world that had common traits, as well as differences, with their own, a world more diverse and nuanced than imagined. [xvii] “Yugoslavia is very nice, people are friendly and very sweet,” wrote Graham dancer Helen McGehee, who could go to dinner undisturbed at the home of her Yugoslavian friend Vera, whom she had not seen for “many years,” but had met on different occasions in the United States. On the other hand, McGehee did not like Poland much: “I still can’t describe [it]— the life in the hotel was most circumscribed, uncomfortable” and “the city would be beautiful, with long avenues and trees, they still reconstruct [sic] the city. But now life is very depressing!” [96]
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Part 2 of 2

Eastern-bloc responses to the Graham company

The encounter of the American dancers with the Eastern European audience showed that, not only were the Communist spectators less political than expected, but also their characteristics and feelings toward the American guests were more complex than often assumed by observers outside the Iron Curtain. The alleged “peasant-like naivete and simplicity” and “lack of sophistication” of the Communist audience [97] proved to be another myth. The official report of the tour claimed that the audience, “which filled the theaters,” was “sophisticated and highly critical,” with 95% of them being of a “standard European intellectual type, including commerce, business, and officials.” [98] Interestingly, the official report did not mention the local critics, whose comments on Graham’s performances were essential for reconstructing Graham’s reception in Yugoslavia and Poland because, with few exceptions, there were no other written impressions of the events.

However, the Polish art scene was impacted and energized by Graham’s 1962 tour to the country. Stefan Niedzialkowski, [99] who started studying mime with the famous Henryk Tomaszewski in 1964, found out about Graham and her art from his teacher, who most likely attended one of Graham’s performances in Warsaw. The dance critic Pawel Chynowski remembered that the first time he learned about Graham was in the early seventies, during his studies; [100] like “other (Polish) dance lovers,” he regarded the American dancer as “a symbol of everything that was new and creative in the dance theatre, as opposed to the fossilized classical ballet which surrounded us back then on the Polish opera stage.” [101] He also pointed out that “after Graham’s 1962 tour the (Polish) dancers, as well as choreographers, were interested a lot in Graham’s dance technique and were trying by all means to get to know about it as much as possible,” as they “were inspired by it.” [102]

The critics’ responses showed that the Eastern-bloc viewers did not lack artistic refinement and were informed, sometimes snobbish, and typically lovers of classicism in the arts. [103] Thus they were rather resistant to modernism: “Maybe our disappointment comes from our upbringing—we were accustomed to classical dance, here [in Graham’s performance] totally rejected,” mused one critic. [104] Yet Polish and Yugoslav audiences were neither uninformed nor unaware of international— including American—arts developments. [105] In fact, the two countries hosted considerable innovation in dance prior to the installation of Communist regimes, and even afterwards, modernism in dance developed in a less restricted fashion than elsewhere in the Eastern bloc. Owing to the extensive immigration from these countries and the less restrained circulation of dance journals, the imagery of the Western world and of “Americana” was also the most realistic and informed of those states. [106] As Chynowski remembered, even if it was “difficult to get foreign magazines covering dance topics,” a solution was the “reading room of the American Embassy in Warsaw, which offered current information about dance in the USA.” [107]

Proving that they were knowledgeable about Western developments in dance, critics called Graham a “spiritual sister of Isadora Duncan” and analyzed her art in the context of Rudolf Laban, Kurt Jooss, and Mary Wigman. [108] They also compared her to other American artists who had already visited Eastern Europe— namely Jose Limon and Jerome Robbins. [109] The Polish Trybuna Ludu identified the Graham company’s performances as “the story-of-the-season in Warsaw,” and positioned Graham next to outstanding dance artists who had already visited the city, including “the Great Theatre Ballet in Moscow, the Kirov Theater Ballet from Leningrad, the Moiseyev Company, the Beryozka Folk Dance Ensemble, Margot Fonteyn, American Ballet Theatre, Jose Limon and Jerome Robbins,” or next to those whose visits were anticipated, namely “the New York City Ballet and Maurice Bejart’s Ballet of the Twentieth Century.” [110] The surprisingly open attitude of these Eastern European audiences vis-a-vis Graham’s art and persona was also the result of a subtle and complex dynamic that generated a friendlier and more relaxed attitude toward the American artist. More than fifteen years after the imposition of the Iron Curtain and Communist ideology, Eastern Europeans were struggling with the status of “belonging” or “non-belonging” within Europe. Yugoslavians and Poles were European, but, due to Communism, they were Eastern Europeans, thus in the process of shifting unwillingly toward the position of aliens within Europe, a condition accompanied by cultural isolation. To those Poles and Yugoslavians for whom Communism was not a conviction or an option, but rather an imposed ideology, attending the performances of American artists such as Graham represented a subliminal form of resistance: watching meant not only escaping the gray for a couple of hours, but also staying connected to the world outside the Curtain, as “American art during the communist times, like America in general, was associated by Polish people with everything that we have dreamt of behind the ‘iron curtain’: freedom, being open to the world, tolerance, modernity, so with everything that was missing in the communist countries that were grey, backward, censored and isolated from the West.” [111] Therefore, Graham’s visit was not perceived as a threat, but as a moment of normalcy and belonging: “These are not just snobbish oddities: the possibility of comparisons and juxtapositions of various dancing art styles provides sound conclusions that continue to reverberate through time. It [Graham’s dance] has a great influence on the audience, dancers, pedagogues, and choreographers.” [112]

Even if the Yugoslavians and Poles were ahead of other Eastern Europeans in resisting and moving away from “social realism,” and in fostering “imperialist arts” like modern dance and jazz, viewing American dance also meant experiencing “true Americana,” as imagined from the Eastern side of the Curtain, embracing values like diversity, modernity, and innovation. Thus, Graham’s art was admired for the “crystal pure style of the modern art,” the “modernity of artistic expression,” and her “new artistic language.” [113] Her art was considered a “rebellion against the five positions of ballet,” while she herself was “a great dancer who incorporated in her art elements of drama,” who explored major themes of literature and philosophy, and whose art had “poetic charm.” [114] Her artistic mastery brought out the “inner beauty of things,” [115] her choreography was admired for its “great artistry, individuality, and unified style,” [116] and her technique was shown in the “perfect” movements of the dancers. [117] Trybuna Ludu was particularly positive about her work: “Martha Graham showed us her original school—not in the sense of an institution—but as a general style that is the best among all nonconventional dancing arts. The company’s dancers are well trained, have excellent command of their bodies, and act in a thoughtful, beautiful manner. Their physical fitness, flexibility, precision, efforts, and internal discipline prove their high level of professionalism.” [118]

The critics’ reproaches were also familiar, including the lack of classicism: “her dancers did not float,” one of the dancers “is lying with his feet, palms, knees, face [sic], a man rolling over in dust,” and while ballet had the quality “to relax the viewer’s psyche, modern [dance] urges one to think and unpleasantly mobilizes the viewer.” [119] Other negative comments were linked to the dance style’s “ugliness” (Graham’s works had “many curses and slang words” and “did not have harmony”).  [120] Also subjected to criticism were the lengths of her works. “For some, her works were a revelation, to others, boredom, the majority consider them tiresome, and only a few will go to a fourth performance,” claimed one critic. [121] Clytemnestra was “a rather long and tiring story,” [122] because of “the complicated group scenes,” [123] and its “monotonous pace.” [124] One critic expressed reservations about Graham’s “symbolic and suggestive style.” [125] The scores of her works, “neither modern nor classical,” also received critical notice for their “repetitions, emotional declines, unachieved gradations,” and for not appealing to the audience, which “remained unmoved many a time, and had no artistic excitement.” [126]

The most interesting responses fell into the category of mixed feelings and puzzled opinions, not only because this kind of criticism brought together the likes and dislikes, the known and unknown, and cliches about Graham, but also because it was typical of Eastern European audience response to Graham’s modern dance: a bit surprised, a bit uninformed, maybe puzzled, but not unwilling to appreciate modern art, newness, and “otherness.” The most representative article in this regard is by Irena Turska, a Polish dancer and writer, showing evidence of her professional training and expertise in dance. She considered Graham’s “superb technique” a result of a “meticulously studied form of movement, the mastery of the body, physical dexterity, balance, and elasticity,” and corrected the idea, then afloat, that Graham’s dancers were trained in classical ballet. But, she mistakenly claimed that Graham’s style, which was a “philosophical and metaphysical” intersection of “symbolism, abstractionism, and strange conventions,” was a combination of negro [sic] and Indian [sic] dances, and was also inspired by Duncan, Laban, Francois Delsarte, and Wigman. Suggesting that Jerome Robbins’s artistic message “of simple and spontaneous stimuli was better than Graham’s ballet,” Turska expressed her view that becoming a fan or enemy of Graham was a matter of personal taste, ending her article with a call for “less of philosophy and more of dancing!” [127]

After the 1962 tour

After their last performance in Warsaw, Graham and her company left for Germany and the Nordic countries. The tour, completed in December 1962, was considered a success inside and outside the dancers’ world. The analysis made by the State Department, based on “post reports and press comments” from Yugoslavia and Poland, stressed the same. [128] Even if “there were several reservations” about the music, the “mechanism of their movements, the lack of development of the plot, and the mysticism and symbolism,” the State Department’s view was that the aims of the tour were reached: the company and their leader provided in Eastern Europe, on- and offstage, “good propaganda to the American way of life,” and “the group showed the inventiveness of the Americans in Greek myth and biblical themes.” Graham “skillfully handled the questions” during interviews and “there were no special problems on the tour.” Most importantly, Graham left her mark on audiences as “she inspired followers to continue in her vein.” The American officials foresaw another company tour, but suggested that Graham herself should perform only in lecture-demonstrations, as her age was considered a problem for further success. Ironically, this assessment occurred while the sexuality of Graham’s Phaedra stirred controversies in the U.S. Congress, where the work was considered inappropriate to the aims of American cultural diplomacy abroad. [xviii] In the unlikely event that Graham learned of the negative comments regarding her age, she might have taken solace in one Polish critic’s article, where she was described as “an ever young, excited, intelligent, fanatic seeker of the new.” [129]

Graham returned to Europe in 1963 and danced at the Edinburgh Festival. On that occasion, she again met Francis Mason, then the cultural attache to the American Embassy in London, who had initiated the invitation for her to visit Eastern Europe. The ambassador in London, David Bruce, organized a reception in honor of the famous dancer, whom he had first met in Paris in 1950, and who was by now an accomplished, recognized artist and cultural diplomat in Europe. [130]

This analysis of Graham’s artistic and political performances behind the Iron Curtain demonstrates the significance of her multilayered tour to Yugoslavia and Poland, as they redefined and enlarged the dancer’s career and the boundaries of American cultural diplomacy in Europe. It also shows that the tour was a significant moment, which, while using the versatile power of dance in making the political and ideological curtain less opaque, gave contour and substance to the presence of American culture, politics, and modernism in Eastern Europe. No less significantly, it also brought the Eastern bloc countries into immediacy and reality for the rest of the world, European or not; as history showed, Eastern Europe was waiting to be (re)discovered and (re)invented.



i. Francis Mason was cultural attache to the United States embassies in Belgrade, Yugoslavia (1956–1960) and London, England (1960–1965).

ii. I framed this metaphor inspired by Naima Prevots’s book, Dance for Export: Cultural Diplomacy and the Cold War (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1999).

iii. Agnes de Mille, Martha: The Life and Work of Martha Graham (New York: Vintage Books, 1992), 316. De Mille reports that the American ambassador in Brussels warned Graham that skipping this city “would be considered an international slight.”

iv. Harriet Aldrich, letter to her children, February 27, 1954, Folder 7, Series I, Subseries 2, Correspondence, Harriet A. Aldrich Collection, Collections of the Rhode Island Historical Society, Providence, RI. In the same letter, Aldrich also mentioned that, “after the tour’s last night performance, Graham and her company had a press conference in the Embassy’s building, followed by a party, where Graham gave a speech in which she quoted Saint-John Perse.”

v. Stuart Hodes, in an email to the author, April 18, 2009, wrote, “Memorable for me (and all) was a visit from the Queen. She came incognito, which, Martha explained, meant that although everyone knew she was there, she was not fussed over or at. Came backstage afterward, spoke to us in our dressing rooms.” The event took place close to the opening of the first Bilderberg Conference, in Oosterbeek, Netherlands, which discussed the growth of anti-Americanism in Europe and the cultural exchange between the United States and Western Europe.

vi. Personal-Oral History Interview, Columbia University Transcript, Eleanor Lansing Papers, MS 2217, Series 1, Box 6, Folder 8, Special Collection Research Center. Graham’s inclusion in the list of performers was suggested by Virginia Royall Inness-Brown, then consultant (1954–1963) to the State Department and vice chairman of the State Department’s International Cultural Exchange Service of the American National Theater and Academy.

vii. In 1958, Graham attended a party in New York City hosted by Arthur Todd in honor of Mary Wigman’s first visit to the United States since 1933. Clipping, Dance Observer, vol. 25, no. 5 (1958): 69, Box 350 Martha Graham Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress, Washington, DC. After the party, Graham, who was leaving the city, offered Wigman her apartment, which Wigman did not accept, noting, “I do not know Martha well enough.” Claudia Gitelman, ed., Liebe Hanya, Mary Wigman’s Letters to Hanya Holm (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2003), 174.

viii. Also known as the “Polish October” or the “Polish thaw,” this movement permitted the rise to power of the reformist Wladyslaw Gomulka, signaling increased Polish independence from Kremlin control and brief hopes of lasting social and political liberalization. See Jerzy Lukowski and Hubert Zawadzki, A Concise History of Poland (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), 260; Dr. Leszek Murat: “Promiscuous Pioneers of Morality: The Code of Ethics of a Secret Service Functionary in Communist Poland as Set by Law and Practice” (Ph.D. diss., University of Albany, 2010) and email to the author, October 27, 2013.

ix. Sabrina Ramet, Balkan Babel: Politics, Culture, and Religion in Yugoslavia (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1992), 67; Adam Zamoyski, The Polish Way: A Thousand-Year History of the Poles and Their Culture (New York: Franklin Watts, 1988), 386–89. In addition, New York was the main center of immigration from both Yugoslavia and Poland.

x. On the leader of Serbian modern dance, Maga Magazinovi c, see “Maga Magazinovic: The Context and Meanings of Work,” Women’s Studies Center, Belgrade, 1996, http://www.zenskestudie.edu.rs/en/publi ... -material/ topics/history-of-art/148-maga-magazinovic-the-context-and-meanings-of-work (accessed February 8, 2016).

xi. Among those attending from the arts world were nine critics, fifteen conductors and musicians, four choreographers, six scenographers and costume designers, eight ballet school teachers, twenty-five ballet dancers from the National Theatre and six from the Contemporary Theatre, eight composers, four singers, eight sculptors, twelve people from theater management, and four actors and play directors.

xii. This concept is drawn from Harold Bloom, The Anxiety of Influence: A Theory of Poetry (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997).

xiii. The “apolitical” or “limitedly political artist” within a heavily politicized paradigm was not uncommon for other dancers and choreographers, even in the Communist bloc. A good example is Leonid Yakobson, “who never considered himself a political artist,” according to Janice Ross in Like a Bomb Going Off: Leonid Yakobson and Ballet as Resistance in Soviet Russia (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2015), 2.

xiv. The Graham works presented in Belgrade were Seraphic Dialogue, Diversion of Angels, Embattled Garden, Secular Games, Phaedra, and Clytemnestra; in Poland, Seraphic Dialogue, Secular Games, Night Journey, Diversion of Angels, Legend of Judith, and Acrobats of God.

xv. In contrast, Western European writers made frequent reference to such themes in response to her tours during the 1950s. For example, the British critic Cyril Beaumont called Graham a “mentally wracked woman” in his article, “Martha Graham,” Dance Magazine (March 1954): 33.

xvi. I was inspired to coin this metaphor by Larraine Nicholas’s article, “Fellow Travelers: Dance and British Cold War Politics in the Early 1950s,” Dance Research: The Journal of the Society for Dance Research, vol. 19, no. 2 (Winter 2001): 83.

xvii. The opposite was also true. While in New York City, the Kirov Ballet’s dancers found the city dirty and the Americans not “that congenial,” according to Elena Tchernichova, in Dancing on Water: A Life in Ballet from the Kirov to the ABT (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 2013), 98.

xviii. For further analysis of the debate over the sexuality of Graham’s works, see Clare Croft’s chapter, “Too Sexy for Export or Just Sexy Enough: Martha Graham Dance Company on Tour,” in Dancers as Diplomats: American Choreography in Cultural Exchange (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015), 105.

1. Francis Mason, letter to Martha Graham, Munich, December 17, 1957, Box 339, Martha Graham Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress, Washington, DC (hereafter cited as Graham Collection, LOC).

2. Nenad Turklaj, “Ovations for Martha Graham” (translation from Croatian by Dr. Draga Fotez), Vecernji List, November 21, 1962, Clipping Scrapbooks, Box 350, Graham Collection, LOC.

3. Mary Blume, “Martha Graham Completes Another Triumphant Journey,” New York Herald Tribune, Paris issue, December 29, 1962.

4. Robert Tracy, Goddess: Martha Graham’s Dancers Remember (New York: Limelight Edition, 1997), 264.

5. Tour program, Box 350, Graham Collection, LOC.

6. Ibid.  

7. Clare Croft, Dancers as Diplomats: American Choreography in Cultural Exchange (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015), 10.

8. Agnes de Mille, Martha: The Life and Work of Martha Graham (New York: Vintage Books, 1992), 322.

9. Ernestine Stodelle, Deep Song: The Dance Story of Martha Graham (New York: Schrimer Book, 1984), 233.

10. Camelia Lenart, “State of the Art/Art of State: The European Tours of Martha Graham and Her Dance Company, 1950–1967” (Ph.D. diss., State University of New York at Albany, 2014).

11. Adina Cezar, Romanian dancer and choreographer, interview with the author, August 24, 2005.

12. de Mille, Martha, 300, and Stodelle, Deep Song, 171

13. Camelia Lenart, “Rehearsing and Transforming Cultural Diplomacy: Martha Graham’s Tours to Europe during the Fifties,” in Proceedings of the Society of Dance History Scholars, Annual Conference (October 2013), https://sdhs.org/proceedings/2013/pdf/Lenart_92.pdf.

14. de Mille, Martha, 296.

15. Gertrude Macy, letter of to Sir Francis Evans, exact date unknown, 1950, FO 924, CRL 48/ 5, The British Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey.

16. Camelia Lenart, “Rehearsing and Transforming Cultural Diplomacy.”

17. Ibid.

18. Eleanor Roosevelt, My Day: The Best of Eleanor Roosevelt’s Acclaimed Newspaper Columns, 1936–1962 (Cambridge: Da Cappo Press, 2001), 155.

19. Clipping, Le Parisien Libre (translation from French by Camelia Lenart), Dossier d’artiste Martha Graham, Biblioth eque-mus ee de l’Opera Collections, Paris.

20. Dean Acheson, telegram to the American Embassy in Paris, April 12, 1950, NND 852917, RG 59, Box 2383, National Archives at College Park, College Park, MD.

21. David Bruce, telegram to Dean Acheson, June 15, 1950; Acheson, telegram to Bruce, June 20, 1950, NND 852916, RG 59, Box 2386, National Archives at College Park, College Park, MD.

22. Lenart, “Rehearsing and Transforming Cultural Diplomacy.”

23. Picture of Martha Graham with Queen Juliana and Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands, Private Collection, unnamed at the request of the archival director.

24. Camelia Lenart, “A Different ‘Special Relationship’: Martha Graham and the British Cultural Luminaries John Gielgud, E. M. Forster, and Henry Moore,” paper presented at the conference of the Society of Dance History Scholars, “Dance and the Social City,” Philadelphia, June 2012.

25. Claudia Gitelman, ed., Liebe Hanya, Mary Wigman’s Letters to Hanya Holm (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2003), 144.

26. Invitations and letters from European artists, Box 339, Graham Collection, LOC.

27. Florence Poudru, Serge Lifar: la dance pour patrie (Paris: Hermann Editeurs, 2007), 189.

28. Mark Franko, “Dance and the Political: States of Exception,” Dance Research Journal, vol. 38, no. 1 (2006): 5.

29. Janice Ross, Like a Bomb Going Off: Leonid Yakobson and Ballet as Resistance in Soviet Russia (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2015), 76.

30. Jane Duncan, “The (R)evolution of Romanian Theatre,” in Theatre and Performance in Eastern Europe: The Changing Scene (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2008), 86–87.

31. Clare Croft, “Ballet Nations: The New York City Ballet’s 1962 U.S. State Department- Sponsored Tour of the Soviet Union,” Theatre Journal, vol. 61, no. 3 (October 2009): 421–22.

32. Pawel Chynowski, ballet critic and manager of the Polish Opera Ballet, email to the author, January 27, 2016.

33. Cezar, interview.

34. See Steven Belletto, ed., American Literature and Culture in an Age of Cold War (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2012).

35. Ileana Voiculescu, head librarian from 1961 to 1975 of the Public Library Cluj-Napoca, Romania, and Roxana Furcovici, director (1980–1985) of the Academic Library Cluj- Napoca, interviews with the author, June 30–July 24, 2013.

36. Rita Hynes, “The Failings of Jazz Diplomacy and the Cold War Art of Duke Ellington and Josephine Baker” (Radhoud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands), p. 1, https://www.ac ademia.edu/6654327/The_Failings_of_Jazz_Diplomacy_and_the_Cold_War_Art_of_Du ke_Ellington_and_Josephine_Baker (accessed April 17, 2016).

37. Letter to Martha Graham from Heath Bowman, Educational and Cultural Affairs Bureau, October 10, 1962, Box 350, Graham Collection, LOC.

38. Ibid.

39. William Taubman, Khrushchev: The Man and His Era (New York: W. W. Norton, 2003), 649.

40. Alexander Werth, The Khrushchev Phase: The Soviet Union Enters the “Decisive” Sixties (London: Romert Hale, 1961), 271.

41. Lorraine M. Lees, Keeping Tito Afloat: The United States, Yugoslavia and the Cold War (University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997), 236.

42. David L. Larson, United States Foreign Policy toward Yugoslavia, 1943–1963 (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1979), 289.

43. John Lewis Gaddis, George F. Keenan: An American Life (New York: The Penguin Press, 2011), 561.

44. Larson, United States Foreign Policy toward Yugoslavia, 286.

45. Ibid., 289.

46. Lees, Keeping Tito Afloat, 199.

47. Ibid., 235.

48. John C. Campbell, Tito’s Separate Road: America and Yugoslavia in World Politics (New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1967), 46.

49. Ibid., 49–54.

50. Larson, United States Foreign Policy toward Yugoslavia, 293.

51. Ibid., 308.

52. Stevan K. Pavlovich, Tito, Yugoslavia’s Great Dictator: A Reassessment (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1992), 68.

53. Patrice M. Dabrowski, “Encountering Poland’s Wild West,” in Socialist Escapes: Breaking Away from Ideology and Everyday Routine in Eastern Europe, 1945–1989, ed. Cathleen Gustino and Alexadru Vari (New York: Berghahn, 2013), 76.

54. Anita J. Prazmowska, A History of Poland, 2nd ed. (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), 200–5.

55. M. B. Biskupski, The History of Poland, Greenwood Histories of the Modern Nations (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2000), 137–43.

56. Anatoly Galdilin, The Making and Unmaking of the Soviet Writer: My Story of the “Young Prose” of the Sixties and After (Ann Arbor, MI: Ardis, 1979), 106.

57. Ibid., 104.

58. Werth, The Khrushchev Phase, 197–99.

59. Ibid., 188–91.

60. Ross, Like a Bomb Going Off, 103.

61. Elena Tchernichova, Dancing on Water: A Life in Ballet from the Kirov to the ABT (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 2013), 115.

62. Arnold L. Haskell, “Balletomane’s Log Book: The First Varna Ballet Contest,” Dancing Times (December 1962): 624.

63. de Mille, Martha, 238.

64. Werth, The Khrushchev Phase, 118–31.

65. Allen Ginsberg, Journals: Early Fifties, Early Sixties (New York: Grove Press, 1997), 296.

66. John R. Lampe, Yugoslavia as History: Twice There Was a Country, 2nd ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 2.

67. Vesna Drapac, Constructing Yugoslavia: A Transnational History (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), 243; see also The Richard Burton Diaries, ed. Chris Williams (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2012), 419–84.

68. Kazimierz Braun, The History of Polish Theater, 1939–1989: Spheres of Captivity and Freedom (London: Greenwood Press, 1996), 64–70; see also Piotr Piotrowski, In the Shadow of Yalta: Art and the Avant-Garde in Eastern Europe, 1945–1989 (London: Reaktion Books, 2009).

69. Braun, History of Polish Theater, 67.

70. Tacjanna Wysocka, “Martha Graham” (translation from Polish by Dr. Leszek Murat), Theatr, Cultural Bi-weekly, no. 2 (January 16–31, 1963): 25.

71. Allegra Kent, Once a Dancer: An Autobiography (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1997), 131–32 and 305.

72. Gerald Meyers, Who’s Not Afraid of Martha Graham (Durham, NC: American Dance Festival, 2008), 40.

73. A Dancer’s World, directed by Peter Glushanok (1957), 31 minutes; available through Criterion Collection, https://www.criterion.com/films/835-mar ... ce-on-film.

74. Ludwik Erhardt, “Ballet Philosophy” (translation from Polish by Dr. Leszek Murat), Przeglad Kulturalny, no. 9 (December 6, 1962): 8.

75. Schedule of the tour, Box 350, Graham Collection, LOC.

76. Telegram, unknown sender, Box 352, Graham Collection, LOC.

77. Invitation to Martha Graham from Mr. and Mrs. Engle, Box 350, Graham Collection, LOC.

78. Invitation to Martha Graham from Ambassador George F. Keenan, Box 350, Graham Collection, LOC.

79. Invitation to Martha Graham from Ambassador George F. Keenan, with guest list.

80. Ambasada Amerykanska, ed., Kultura USA (translation from Polish by Dr. Leszek Murat), Box 350, Graham Collection, LOC.

81. Irena Turska, “Martha Graham with Her Ensemble Will Perform in Warsaw” (translation from Polish by Dr. Leszek Murat), Trybuna Ludu (November 8 and November 15, 1962).

82. Tadeusz Gali nski, ed., Kultura Polski Ludowej [Culture in People’s Poland] (Warsaw: Panstwowe Wydawnictwo Ekonomiczne, 1966).

83. Schedule of the tour, Box 352, Graham Collection, LOC.

84. Tim Borstelmann, Presidential Address (Conference of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, Arlington, VA, June 26, 2015).

85. Ben Wang, “The Cold War, Imperial Aesthetics, and Area Studies,” Social Text, vol. 72, no. 3 (2002): 46–65.

86. Leopold Tyrmand, Diary 1954 (Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2014), 8.

87. Milan Kundera, “The Tragedy of Central Europe,” trans. Edmund White, New York Review of Books, vol. 31 (1984): 1.

88. Carole K. Fink, Cold War: An International History (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2014), 2.

89. Raport de activitate [Activity Report], 1870/65, Fond Institutul Cultural Roman pentru legaturile cu strainatatea, Romanian National Archives, Bucharest.

90. Drawing, December 1940, Herbert L. Block collection, Prints and Photographs Division, LOC.

91. Pearl Lang, interview with the author, October 20, 2008.

92. See, for example, Maureen Needham Costonis, “Martha Graham’s American Document: A Minstrel Show in Modern Dance Dress,” American Music, vol. 9, no. 3 (1991): 297–310. 93. Letter from Kay Halle to Martha Graham, February 1, 1961, Box 350, Graham Collection, LOC.

94. Branka Rakic, “Forms of a New Esthetics: An Encounter with Martha Graham and Her Art” (translation from Croatian by Dr. Draga Fotez), Zagreb Weekly Telegram, November 23, 1962, 7.

95. Tracy, Goddess, 272.

96. Letter from Helen McGehee to her husband, November 27, 1962, Box 9, Helen McGehee Collection, Music Division, LOC.

97. Gedeon Dienes, “Hungarian Ballet,” Dancing Times, (January 7, 1963): 7.

98. Evaluation of Martha Graham after the tour, Box 354, Graham Collection, LOC.

99. Stefan Niedzialkowski, Polish mime artist, email to the author, January 14, 2016.

100. Chynowski, email to the author, January 27, 2016.

101. Chynowski, email to the author, February 6, 2016.

102. Chynowski, email to the author, January 27, 2016.

103. David Tonquist, Look East, Look West: The Socialist Adventure in Yugoslavia (New York: MacMillan Company, 1966), 6–15.

104. Zdzislaw Sierpinski, “Martha Graham’s Ballet” (translation from Polish by Dr. Leszek Murat), Zycie Warszavy, no. 283, November 28, 1962.

105. Cezar, interview.

106. Dr. Lucretia Ghergari, Cluj-Napoca University, and Dr. Dragutin Svrtan, Zagreb University, interviews with the author, May 26 and July 5, 2012.

107. Chynowski, email to the author, February 6, 2016.

108. Branko Dragutinovic, “Martha Graham” (translation from Serbian by Dr. Draga Fotez), Politika, November 18, 1962, Clipping, Scrapbooks, Box 350, Graham Collection, LOC.

109. Irena Turska, “Martha Graham’s World of Dance” (translation from Polish by Dr. Leszek Murat), Ruch Muzyczny, no. 1W (January 15, 1963): 9.

110. Irena Turska, “Martha Graham’s Troupe” (translation from Polish by Dr. Leszek Murat), Trybuna Ludu, no. 331 (November 29, 1963): 5.

111. Chynowski, email, January 27, 2016.

112. Turska, “Martha Graham’s World of Dance,” 9.

113. Nand Turkalj, “Pure Dance. First Evening of Performance” (translation from Croatian by Dr. Draga Fotez), Vecernji List (November 20, 1962).

114. Sierpinski, “Martha Graham’s Ballet.”

115. Mieczyslav Radost, “Martha Graham” (translation from Polish by Dr. Leszek Murat), Curier Polski, no. 279 (November 24–25, 1962).

116. Anna Szawinska, “Games on Dancing Island” (translation from Polish by Dr. Leszek Murat), Kierunki, no. 49 (December 9, 1962): 9.

117. Milica Zacev, “The Perfect Culture of Movement” (translation from Polish by Dr. Leszek Murat), Borba (November 18, 1962).

118. Turska, “Martha Graham’s Troupe,” 5.

119. Ibid.

120. Rakic, “Forms of a New Esthetics,” 7.

121. Ibid.

122. Radost, “Martha Graham.”

123. Vjessnik, November 23, 1962, Clipping, Scrapbooks, Box 350, Graham Collection, LOC.

124. Branko Dragutinovic, “Martha Graham” (translation from Serbian by Dr. Draga Fotez), Politika, November 19, 1962, Clipping, Scrapbooks, Box 350, Graham Collection, LOC.

125. Sierpinski, “Martha Graham’s Ballet.”

126. Branko Dragutinovic, “Martha Graham,” Politika, November 18, 1962, Clipping, Scrapbooks, Box 350, Martha Graham Collection, LOC.

127. Turska, “Martha Graham’s World of Dance,” 9.

128. Evaluation of Martha Graham’s tour, Box 354, Graham Collection, LOC.

129. Sierpinski, “Martha Graham’s Ballet.”

130. Invitation to Martha Graham from David Bruce and Mrs. Myron M. Cowers, August 29, 1963, Box 357, Graham Collection, LOC.

CAMELIA LENART was born and trained as a dancer in Romania. Upon her arrival in the United States, she enrolled at the State University of New York at Albany where she received an M.A. and an A.B.D. (with distinction) in cultural history. Her Ph.D. dissertation, “State of the Art/Art of State: The European Tours of Martha Graham and Her Dance Company, 1950– 1967,” completed in 2014, received a Distinguished Dissertation Award. Her research was supported by numerous fellowships and awards, including a Mellon Fellowship from the University of London in 2010. Lenart’s work has been presented in conferences all over the world and published in journals from the United States, England, the Netherlands, and Romania. Most recently, she danced in Twyla Tharp’s The One Hundreds, an initiative designed to support new dance creation and presentation. She is currently working on a book manuscript based on her dissertation.
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