Dance and its Development as a Theme in the Czech Media with Emphasis on the First Half of the 20th Century
When thinking about the history of journalism, people often tend to consider media as an all-round source of information or an instrument of political debate. Generally, journalists are not considered as actors with influence on public taste in cultural practice. If they are considered to have influence, then it is usually in writing on theatre (drama, opera), literature, music, film, or visual art. This project focuses on journalism and dance. However, journalism dealing with dance as a main theme or issue is no younger than other “critical” fields. The roots of dance reviewing dates to the 18th century and the Czech national renaissance movement. During the 19th century, some music and literature journalists specialised in writing on folk dances as well as dance as a performing art. In the first half of the 20th century, journalism began developing as a separate field. Its development went hand in hand with the development of dance as a performing art and with the growing importance of dance in everyday life. In the first half of the 20th century, the influence of the avant-garde was crucial for the position of dance within society. In this era, modern dance was considered to be a way of educating better people for the future of mankind, which is the reason so many schools and so many dance magazines emerged during the period from the 1920s to the 1940s in Europe. In the Czech environment, the most important influence came from German expressionism in modern dance. In both Czechoslovakia and Germany, the first specialised newspapers began at the same time. Emanuel Siblík and Jan Reimoser, two important personalities in dance research and journalism, were important for the development of Czech dance reviewing and dance journalism as a whole. They both were active as journalists, but their approaches have not yet been analysed. They also influenced further generations of journalist–critics, which is another reason we should pay attention to their work. Mapping the works of the most important personalities who had influence on dance writing in newspapers, magazines, and specialized magazines is the most important task at the beginning of the research. My work will be a starting point for further research and analyses. However, firstly, an overview of particular periods of development is fundamental; therefore, this work mostly will concentrate on historical analysis.