chapter  3
Mary Wigman as Choreographer
Choosing the focus
WithMary Anne Santos Newhall
Pages 33

It is a daunting task to choose which works of Mary Wigman best represent her aesthetic practice and philosophy. In order to do this we must consider a career that stretched from her first solo choreography in 1914 to her final production of Igor Stravinsky's Rite of Spring in 1957. For each choreographer, one work can be seen as bearing a unique signature through time. This work should be done when the artist's technical and artistic identity has fully matured. The masked Wigman chose to objectify herself as the archetype of the witch and, most importantly, become a vessel for transformation. In the Witch Dance, Wigman was able to synthesize the previous dozen years of her life as a dance artist, including ideas concerning the use or non-use of music in dance that grew from her exposure to Emile Jaques-Dalcroze's music and movement theories.