Dada (//) or Dadaism was an art movement of the European avant-garde in the early 20th century. Dada in Zürich, Switzerland, began in 1916 at Cabaret Voltaire, spreading to Berlin shortly thereafter, but the height of New York Dada was the year before, in 1915. The term anti-art, a precursor to Dada, was coined by Marcel Duchamp around 1913 when he created his first readymades. Dada, in addition to being anti-war, had political affinities with the radical left and was also anti-bourgeois.
At least two works qualified as pre-Dadaist, a posteriori, had already sensitized the public and artists alike: Ubu Roi (1896) by Alfred Jarry, and the ballet Parade (1916–17) by Erik Satie. The roots of Dada lay in pre-war avant-garde. Cubism and the development of collage, combined with Wassily Kandinsky's theoretical writings and abstraction, detached the movement from the constraints of reality and convention. The influence of French poets and the writings of German Expressionists liberated Dada from the tight correlation between words and meaning. Avant-garde circles outside France knew of pre-war Parisian developments. They had seen (or participated in) Cubist exhibitions held at Galería Dalmau, Barcelona (1912), Galerie Der Sturm in Berlin (1912), the Armory show in New York (1913), SVU Mánes in Prague (1914), several Jack of Diamonds exhibitions in Moscow and at De Moderne Kunstkring, Amsterdam (between 1911 and 1915). Futurism developed in response to the work of various artists. Dada subsequently combined these approaches.
Dada activities included public gatherings, demonstrations, and publication of art/literary journals; passionate coverage of art, politics, and culture were topics often discussed in a variety of media. Key figures in the movement included Hugo Ball, Emmy Hennings, Hans Arp, Raoul Hausmann, Hannah Höch, Johannes Baader, Tristan Tzara, Francis Picabia, Richard Huelsenbeck, George Grosz, John Heartfield, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, Beatrice Wood, Kurt Schwitters, Hans Richter, and Max Ernst, among others. The movement influenced later styles like the avant-garde and downtown music movements, and groups including surrealism, Nouveau Réalisme, pop art and Fluxus.