Bruce was asked why a choreographer might include human rights subjects in his work. peculiarly as there is a position that the humanistic disciplines should merely be concerned with making beauty. He replied that. for himself. societal and political subjects emerge of course as a re?ection of his ain concerns. although his purpose is ever ?rstly to make a piece of dance. instead than to do a statement. However. he does non see a con?ict between making interesting motion and undertaking dif?cult issues. He believes that there is much beauty in Ghost Dances and similar plants. merely as in the First World War verse forms of Wilfred Owen. Turning to propaganda pieces. such as the work of ?lmmaker Leni Riefenstahl for the Nazis. he explained that a standard is whether there is some underlying truth behind the piece. inspired by a desire to advance civilized behavior. instead than merely an effort to determine sentiment. In the seventiess. the focal point for Bruce and many others was South America and Pinochet?s bloody henhouse against the elected Allende authorities in Chile.
He recalls the powerful impact of meeting Joan Jara. the widow of the instrumentalist and composer Victor. who was tortured and murdered by Pinochet?s forces. This meeting led him to choreograph. Ghost Dances. He described how he took the subject of the Day of the Dead. simple symbolism and autochthonal dance motions as a footing to convey the predicament of the guiltless people of South American down the ages and their bravery in the face of hardship. Surely. Ghost Dances has a enormous impact and audiences in many states have delighted in its distinctive. rhythmic motion performed to stalking South American melodies. However. it is the representation of the subjugation of ordinary people. symbolised by the sinister shade ?gures. which give the work much of its resonance.