Landeshauptstadt Dresden - 15.06.2015 16:24:07 Uhr 22.09.2019 13:11:24 Uhr

Dance in Dresden

In the first third of the 20th century, Dresden was a centre for modern dance.

The decisive impulse had come from the Austrian music teacher Emile Jaques-Dalcroze. The newly founded garden town of Hellerau, before the gates of Dresden, offered a perfect domicile for Dalcroze's school of dance.
Heinrich Tessenow built the strictly symmetrical school complex with its central festival hall in 1911/1912. Under Swiss stage designer and director Adolphe Appia, Hellerau was the venue for pioneering productions which attained international fame.
Until 1915, the »School for Music and Rhythm« was a symbol of the bourgeois life reform movement in Germany. It provided essential impetus for the development of rhythmic gymnastics and artistic dance, and made a significant contribution to Hellerau's reputation as a cultural centre.

In 1920, Mary Wigman, the foremost representative of free dance in Germany, came to Dresden and founded not only a dance group and school at Bautzner Strasse 107 (today still used by the State Opera Company), but also the city's reputation as a city of dance.
By the end of the 1920s, the »Wigman Central Institute« in Dresden and its branch schools in other towns were teaching around 2000 pupils.

Gret Palucca, a pupil of Mary Wigman from 1920 to 1923, continued the traditions of free dance in Dresden. Her performances in the twenties and thirties brought her worldwide acclaim. In 1925, she started up her own dance school, which (as the »Palucca School«) still exists today and is one of the prime German training centres for stage dance, choreography and dance teaching.