Mary Wigman: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Mary Wigman

1st Edition

By Mary Anne Santos Newhall

Routledge

180 pages

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pub: 2017-12-19
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Description

This book considers dancer, teacher, and choreographer Mary Wigman, a leading innovator in Expressionist dance whose radical explorations of movement and dance theory are credited with expanding the scope of dance as a theatrical art. Now reissued, this book combines:

  • a full account of Wigman’s life and work
  • an analysis of her key ideas
  • detailed discussion of her aesthetic theories, including the use of space as an "invisible partner" and the transcendent nature of performance
  • a commentary on her key works, including Hexentanz and The Seven Dances of Life
  • an extensive collection of practical exercises designed to provide an understanding of Wigman’s choreographic principles and her uniquely immersive approach to dance.

As a first step towards critical understanding, and as an initial exploration before going on to further, primary research, Routledge Performance Practitioners are unbeatable value for today’s student.

Table of Contents

MARY WIGMAN: A LIFE IN DANCE

Prologue: why Mary Wigman? Introduction

Childhood

The beginning of a life in dance Dalcroze and the garden city of Hellerau Return to ritual on the mountain of truth Dancing Dada

The crisis year

The gilded and tarnished twenties The First Dancers’ Congress

The Second Dancers’ Congress The Third Dancers’ Congress Coming to the United States Der Weg (The Path)

Returning to the new Germany Dancing in Dresden, 1933–1942 Leaving Dresden

To Berlin

MARY WIGMAN’S WRITINGS ON THE DANCE: A PHILOSOPHY EMBODIED

    Introduction

    The Language of Dance Philosophical context Why a new dance?

    Primitively modern

    Spannung and Entspannung Space

    Time, music, rhythm

    The Mary Wigman Book

    What did Wigman mean by ecstasy and form? Apollonian and Dionysian

    Ideas on composition and the choreographic theme

    Who has inherited the emotive dance lineage of Mary Wigman?

MARY WIGMAN AS CHOREOGRAPHER: CHOOSING THE FOCUS

    Solo as signature: Hexentanz The mask as doorway Hexentanz: a description Group dance

    The Seven Dances of Life (1921) Choric dance

    Totenmal (1930) Final solo concert

PRACTICAL EXERCISES

Class at the Mary Wigman School Discovering the eloquent body

Wigman movement qualities in practice What makes the dance?

Space

Dance as language

Speaking beyond the individual body

Composition: improvisation and developing a theme

One final theme

About the Author

Mary Anne Santos Newhall is Professor Emerita of Dance at the University of New Mexico, where she also served as Associate Dean for Research in the College of Fine Arts. She is also Research Director for the American Dance Legacy Initiative at Brown University.

About the Series

Routledge Performance Practitioners

Routledge Performance Practitioners is an innovative series of introductory handbooks on key figures in twentieth-century performance practice.
Each volume focuses on a theatre-maker who has transformed the way we understand theatre and performance. The books are carefully structured to enable the reader to gain a good grasp of the fundamental elements underpinning each practitioner's work. They provide an inspiring springboard for students on twentieth century, contemporary theatre and theatre history courses.
These compact, well-illustrated and clearly written books unravel the contribution of modern theatre's most charismatic innovators, through:

  • personal biography
  • explanation of key writings
  • description of significant productions
  • reproduction of practical exercises.

As a first step towards critical understanding, and as an initial exploration before going on to further, primary research, Routledge Performance Practitioners are unbeatable value for today's student.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PER003000
PERFORMING ARTS / Dance / General
PER003040
PERFORMING ARTS / Dance / Modern
PER003100
PERFORMING ARTS / Dance / History & Criticism
PER011000
PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / General
PER011020
PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / History & Criticism