Boomboom and Hullabaloo: Rhythm in the Zurich Dada Revolution

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The drumbeats which punctuated Zurich Dada performances signal and enact the dismantling of the complexities of a culture the participants deemed wholly discredited. While the Futurists looked to technology for rhythmic renewal, Dadaists sought a deeper, more indefinable rhythm to nourish a far-reaching renaissance of human values. Study of ‘nonsensical’ texts by Huelsenbeck, Ball and Tzara reveals some traditional metrical elements. However, in Dadaist performance pieces in an imaginary hybrid language or in a ‘simultaneous poem’ in three languages at once, such elements are freed from traditional associations and become multiple, complex and ambiguous in performance and reception.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-214
Number of pages18
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • poetry Dada


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