chapter  4
Practical Exercises
WithMary Anne Santos Newhall
Pages 35

This chapter outlines a series of practical exercises, with particular attention to Wigman's pedagogy. These exercises are intended to give the experimenter a visceral experience of the performance and training elements that appear most crucial to understanding Mary Wigman's viewpoint. Her professional aspirations as a concert performer remained strong, and the reputation of the school rested on her performance career and larger public persona. Mary Wigman was committed to the idea that dance training should serve the purpose of freeing the dancer in a process of individual discovery. She imported the term "ostinato" to the dancing form and used it to signify the use of counter rhythms between parts of the body, for example between the feet and the arms. At the Wigman School, students were encouraged to explore for themselves and to solve the problems presented by the movement qualities.