chapter  1
Mary Wigman: A Life in Dance
WithMary Anne Santos Newhall
Pages 63

Mary Wigman was the best-known ambassador of German dance during the interwar period, as her touring took her across Europe and to the United States. She took part in the primary avant-garde art movements of the twentieth century and was eventually a principal founder and transmitter of the Ausdruckstanz or expressive dance movement. Emil Nolde had recognized that Rudolf von Laban's ideas about the possibilities of dance expression reflected Wigman's own. Wigman was assigned the most prominent choreographic project in the Third Dancers' Congress at Munich in 1930. Dresden provided a home for Wigman's dance life over the longest period and greatest achievements of her extraordinary career. As the German dance was growing into an institution, Wigman was at the exciting and conflicted forefront of that growth. The contentiousness at the German Dancers' Congresses already reflected a systematic attempt by the Weimar government to regulate dance education even before the advent of the Third Reich.