Mary Wigman – Expressionist Dancer

Strong and convincing art has never arisen from theories – Mary Wigman 

Mary Wigman (1886 – 1973) was a German dancer, choreographer, notable as the pioneer of expressionist dance, dance therapy, and movement training without pointe shoes. She is considered one of the most important figures in the history of modern dance. She became one of the most iconic figures of Weimar German culture and her work was hailed for bringing the deepest of existential experiences to the stage. Wigman, who viewed herself as a dancer of humanity, proved fascinating to painters Emil Nolde and Ernst Ludwig Kirchne. Her dances were often accompanied by world music and non-Western instrumentation, such as fifes and primarily percussions, bells, including the gongs and drums from India, Thailand, Africa, and China, contrasted with silence. She would often employ masks in her pieces, influenced again by non-western/tribal dance.

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Mary Wigman

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Mary Wigman

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Mary Wigman

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Mary Wigman

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Mary Wigman

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Mary Wigman

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Mary Wigman

Mary Wigman Performing

Totenmal

Clips from Totenmal 1929

Hexentanz

Mary Wigman performs Hexentanz in 1929

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