Master Class for International Dance Students and Alumni on the Dance Heritage of the 20th Century

dance heritage – next generation, film still from the documentation of the campus

dance heritage – next generation, film still from the documentation of the campus

Film still of the interview with the choreographer Jochen Roller

The project "What the Body Remembers. Dance Heritage Today" was accompanied by an international campus for students and alumni that allowed them to thoroughly engage with modern dance, both practically and theoretically, in master classes, lectures and discussions.

The programme addressed itself to the next generation of dancers, performers, choreographers and educators with the aim of enabling a current exchange about historical materials and work approaches for modern dance, and to make them feasible in practice. In addition to participation in the Campus programme, an already selected group of students, comprised from a pool of international applicants, received access to the exhibition, to the accompanying programme that consisted of reconstructions and re-enactments, as well as to the public discussions.

Closed master classes with Anne Collod, Reinhild Hoffmann and Martin Nachbar made a focused and contextual translation of documents on movement possible. Ong Keng Sen and others invited participants to a critical reflection of a rather Eurocentric dance heritage. Small groups were sampling the resources and materials, made observations on movement according to specific historical models or tested out a somatic approach to 20th century dance history. The signature styles of German Expressionist Dance, American Modern Dance, and Postmodern Dance were the primary focus. 

Click here for the video documentation

Click here for the audios of the lectures and talks


The master class was funded by the European Year of Cultural Heritage – Sharing Heritage

Master Class for International Dance Students and Alumni on the Dance Heritage of the 20th Century

Interview with the Choreographer Jochen Roller

In addition to the campus programme, the choreographer Jochen Roller held a lecture on his work on Gertrud Bodenwieser.

Further information about his project: (in German) (in German)

Lectures and talks for listening

"Getanzte Archive"
Talk with Anne Collod, Xavier Le Roy, Martin Nachbar and Johannes Odenthal (Audio in English)

An archive for dance seems like a paradox, because archives for this art form are not possible without taking the body into consideration. But how can the body as a "living library" be aligned with the concept of a materialised and frozen past within the archives of the Western world? Artistic dance research conducted by artists such as Anne Collod, Xavier Le Roy and Martin Nachbar show the possibilities of a living dance archive that is passed from body to body.

"Wigman's Influences on the Post-War Period"
Talk with Katharine Sehnert and Irene Sieben, Moderation: Jochen Roller (Audio in German)

Both Katherine Sehnert and Irene Sieben studied dance with Mary Wigman in Berlin in the 1960s. However, continuity within the German traditions of expressive dance became nearly unimaginable by the time of the socio-political revolutions in 1968. And at the same time Mary Wigman's conception of dance decisively inspired women artists in dance theatre during the 1970s. Dancer and choreographer Jochen Roller talks with the two witnesses to those times.

"Mary Wigman / Dance Company Theater Osnabrück Danse Macabre. Totentanz I and II"
Talk with Patricia Stöckemann, Henrietta Horn and Johannes Odenthal (Audio in German)

In 1921, Mary Wigman staged Totentanz I to the music of Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Saëns. In 1925 she developed Totentanz II for her dance group, this time to the music of Will Goetze. These two pieces mark the direction of Expressionist dance in the 1920s. Henrietta Horn has reconstructed the two dances with the Dance Company Theater Osnabrück on the basis of notations, illustrations by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, and photographs and entries from Wigman's journals, with the support of Susan Barnet and Katharine Sehnert.

"Intercultural Archives: The Dance Archive Box Project"
Lecture by Ong Keng Sen (Audio in English)

Over the past 20 years the theatre director, researcher and festival director Ong Keng Sen from Singapore has systematically dealt with questions about tradition, performative communication, archives and bodies in Asian dance and other forms of theatre. His central theme is the relationship between individual subjects and tradition. As an example he introduces the project on dance archive boxes, which have been compiled by contemporary dancers so that they might be passed on to other per formers and artists.

"Dore Hoyer's Afectos Humanos"
Talk with Arila Siegert, Susanne Linke and Martin Nachbar (Audio in German)

The dance cycle Afectos Humanos was recorded in 1963. It is the most important film documentation that exists of a dance by Dore Hoyer. Based on Spinoza's texts, Hoyer describes the emotional motivations behind her dance using the emotions of honour/vanity, desire, hate, fear and love.