Are we dancing on the edge of a volcano?

Are we dancing on the edge of a volcano?


norman lebrecht

April 07, 2018

That was George Steiner’s chilling phrase for cultural activity in the Weimar Republic.

Now, it’s the new box-set chic.

Read some admonitory words here.


  • David R Osborne says:

    Watched one episode last year. It’s cringe-inducingly awful.

    • Ainslie says:

      Disagree. I watched the entire series. Extremely well-done, fastidious in attention to period detail and brilliant casting. And all the more fascinating because you know how it all turns out.

      • David R Osborne says:

        I bow then to your superior knowledge of the era. I had no idea that people danced weird ensemble choreographed dances in night clubs to an even weirder electronic soundtrack back in the 30s. Amazing what can be discovered with a bit of attention to period detail 🙂

        • Ainslie says:

          OK, I’ll definitely agree with you about the dancing. Definitely a prochronism, obviously very intentional, and I’m not sure I understood the rationale behind it. I’m guessing that the director felt unable to convey the sense of being totally out of control using dance styles from 1920, and so went with a “rave” atmosphere.

          • Peter says:

            Do we really have to be so literal? The main theme song is also quasi-late-1920s but not quite. And the not quite is enough to make it pretty obvious it’s a reference to us, and our culture as much as theirs. Indeed, surely the non-too-subtle point it was making in the dance scene is that, taking into account the differences, there was, actually, not much difference in the style of movement. Watch a clip of Josephine Baker for starters…