Wigman, Mary

Wigman, Mary, 1886–1973, German dancer, choreographer, and teacher. After studying with Rudolf von Laban, Wigman performed in Germany and opened her own school in Dresden (1920). She became the most influential German exponent of expressive movement and toured extensively. Her school, which had branches throughout the world, was closed by the Nazis. She reopened it in Berlin in 1948, where it was the center of European modern dance for 20 years. Although her early choreography employed spontaneous movements, much of her later work was in the form of group dances that employed repetitive patterns. Through her teaching and that of her students and dancers, especially Hanya Holm and Margarete Wallmann, she influenced modern dance throughout Germany, the United States, and England.

See W. Sorell, ed., The Mary Wigman Book: Her Writings (1975).

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