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Dada is the first of the major all encompassing, unified

movements within art, performance and literature.  It had a central 

body of artists that, unlike the artists commonly grouped into one 

sort of category, such as renaissance artists or impressionists, were 

actually all within a close proximity of one another, working in the 

same environment and with the same theories.  They were much like 

a research team for creative endeavors.  Their ideas were often 

published in the form of sweeping manifestos covering bases within 

many disciplines, aesthetics, philosophy, theater, visual arts, and 

writing.  These manifestos were put together in their magazine or 

journal, Der Dada. 

These people were from different western and central European 

countries and many were fleeing the onslaught of WWI for political 

reasons, and that is how they ended up in Zurich, Switzerland.  Often 

the Dadaists were young adults from wealthy families with rigorous 

intellectual educational backgrounds.  In a way they were from the 

middle class elite, bourgeois sorts of environments that they spent so 

much time trying to challenge and restructure.