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> DOCUMENTATION 12/2015

Header Image RECONSTRUCTIONS OF MARY WIGMAN’S TOTENTÄNZE (DANCES OF DEATH)

Totentanz II ©Jörg Landsberg

Städtische Bühnen Osnabrück:
RECONSTRUCTIONS OF MARY WIGMAN’S TOTENTÄNZE (DANCES OF DEATH)

In 2013, Städtische Bühnen Osnabrück (the municipal theatres of Osnabrück) produced an extraordinarily successful reconstruction of Mary Wigman’s Le Sacre Du Printemps, originally for 45 dancers, as part of TANZFONDS ERBE.

In February 2017 the theatre was re-staging two smaller but no less important works by Wigman: Totentanz I (Dance of Death I) originally performed by Wigman, Gret Palucca, Berte Trümpy and Yvonne Georgi in 1921 to music from Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Saëns, as well as Totentanz II, which Wigman created for her dance company in 1925 to music by Will Goetze. The painter Ernst Ludwig Kirchner followed the rehearsals for Dance of Death II in Dresden as a ‘silent partner’ and produced numerous sketches of the dancers.

Both pieces, which are part of SBO’s Danse Macabre evening, are indicative of the content and style of German Expressionist Dance in the 1920s, and they were followed by dances of death produced by Harald Kreutzberg (The Eternal Circle: A Legend of Death) and Kurt Jooss.

Using notations, Kirchner’s drawings, photos, entries in Wigman’s diaries and other historical material, Henrietta Horn – once more supported by Susan Barnett and Katherine Sehnert –  reconstructed the two death dances and teached them to the Dance Company Osnabrück.

For the Dance Macabre evening, Wigman’s two works were accompanied by a new piece by Mauro de Candia to Stravinsky’s version of Le Sacre du Printemps for two pianos, as well as Marco Goecke’s choreography Supernova.

The project, which was carried out in co-operation with Felix Nussbaum House, the Kunsthalle Osnabrück and the Diocesan Museum Osnabrück, was also looking at the dance-of-death theme as the experienced reality of economic depression, war, dictatorship and murder in exhibitions, symposia and other formats.

Interview with former Wigman students (German)
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In the interview, Brigitta Herrmann and Katharine Sehnert look back on their training with Mary Wigman and talk about their role in the reconstruction of 'Le Sacre du Printemps' at Theater Osnabrück.

Credits
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DANCE OF DEATH I (1917/1921)

Choreography – Mary Wigman
Stage/costumes – Mary Wigman
Reconstruction – Henrietta Horn supported by Susan Barnett, Christine Caradec and Katharine Sehnert
Piano – Denys Proshayev and Nadia Mokhtari
Mary Wigman – Marine Sanchez Egasse/Keith Chin
Yvonne Georgi – Cristina Commisso/Lennart Huysentruyt
Gret Palucca – Katherina Nakui/Neven Del Canto
Berthe Trümpy – Rosa Wijsman/Péter Matkaicsek

 

DANCE OF DEATH II (1926)

Choreography – Mary Wigman
Stage/costumes – Mary Wigman
Reconstruction – Henrietta Horn supported by Susan Barnett, Christine Caradec and Katharine Sehnert
Reconstruction of the masks – Mask Department, headed by Thorsten Kirchner
Percussion – Frank Lorenz/Ingo Reddemann
Demon – Jayson Syrette/Keith Chin
Female figure – Marine Sanchez Egasse/Cristina Commisso
Lemurs – Cristina Commisso, Neven Del Canto, Lennart Huysentruyt, Katherina Nakui, Péter Matkaicsek and Rosa Wijsman

Performance Dates
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  • 11 February 2017 | Städtische Bühnen Osnabrück / Theater am Domhof – premiere
  • 16 February 2017 | Städtische Bühnen Osnabrück / Theater am Domhof
  • 21 February 2017 | Städtische Bühnen Osnabrück / Theater am Domhof
  • 26 February 2017 | Städtische Bühnen Osnabrück / Theater am Domhof
  • 10 March 2017 | Städtische Bühnen Osnabrück / Theater am Domhof
  • 12 March 017 | Städtische Bühnen Osnabrück / Theater am Domhof
  • 21 March 2017 | Städtische Bühnen Osnabrück / Theater am Domhof
  • 12 April 2017 | Städtische Bühnen Osnabrück / Theater am Domhof

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