Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Mary Wigman

Mary Wigman (1886 – 1973) was a pioneer of modern and expressionist dance in Germany.

She studied under the noted occultist dancer Rudolf Laban and Professor Émile Jaques-Dalcroze, inventor of Eurhythmics, the music-and-movement educational technique (which Annie Lennox named her new wave band after in the early 1980s).

According to Wikipedia:

Mary Wigman's choreographies often employed non-Western instrumentation: fifes, bells, gongs, and drums from India, Thailand, Africa, and China. However, the primary musical accompaniment for her most well known dances was percussion, which contrasted greatly with her use of silence. Mary would often employ masks in her pieces, influenced again by non-western/tribal motifs, as well as ecstatic spinning. Her choreography was also inspirational to communist dance troupes in the 1930s in New York City.

What interests us most about Wigman, however, is the film clip of her "Witch Dance" routine, which must be seen to be believed:

View: Mary Wigman's Witch Dance

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