Theater Hagen:
Der Schrank der Georgi (GEORGI’S WARDROBE)

Yvonne Georgi (1903­–1975), one of Germany’s greatest choreographers and dancers, is barely remembered by the general public today. Her life’s work reveals the fascinating history of 20th century dance: a bridge between expressionist dance and classical, between the independent scene and publicly funded theatre in cities and states, and always in connection with new music.

The young Yvonne was impressed by the modern expressionist dance of Mary Wigman and, as her master student, looked for her own style. She had been working with Kurt Jooss at the Städtische Bühnen Münster since 1924. In Harald Kreutzberg, she found a worthy partner with whom she often toured America as a “dream team”. After becoming a Dutch national after her marriage, she attempted to establish a permanent ballet company in the Netherlands, but the war sabotaged her plans and she returned to Germany.

After the war, she worked in Düsseldorf and then Hanover, where she worked as a ballet master from 1954 to 1971. Her demanding ballet work, based on her own classical training, which she continued to develop into her own style beyond expressionist dance, notched up one success after the other.

The title of Theater Hagen’s project – Der Schrank der Georgi (Georgi’s Wardrobe) – is to be understood both literally and metaphorically. The wardrobe, which actually existed, and which housed costumes from various periods of Georgi’s work, provided the framework for the piece, which sought to portray Georgi’s career using re-enactments and new productions of selected choreographies.

Little remains of Georgi’s choreographies in terms of material, but thanks to a private donation Theater Hagen received a recording of Glück, Tod und Traum (Happiness, Death and Dream).  The film made it possible for Ricardo Fernando and his ensemble to reconstruct the choreography.

Film recording

Der Schrank der Georgi (excerpt): reconstruction of the choreography Glück, Tod und Traum by Yvonne Georgi


The programme for Der Schrank der Georgi

Interview with Liska-Witt and Wasilenko

Ingrid Laski-Witt and Renate Wasilenko both trained with Georgi and danced for many years under her direction in the Hanover State Opera ballet company. In the interview, they remember their first meeting with the choreographer, everyday rehearsals in the ballet company, and also Georgi’s actual wardrobe, which had an important role to play in their training.

Ingrig Laski-Witt

Ingrid Laski-Witt graduated as a stage dancer 1958 on successful completion of her music and theatre studies. She then worked until 1972 as a solo dancer at the Niedersächsisches Staatstheater Hannover under Prof. Yvonne Georgi. In 1974, she became a ballet teacher and in 1978 founded her school for ballet and dance in Hanover-Laatzen.


Music – Gottfried von Einem
Choreography – Yvonne Georgi
Reconstructed and re-rehearsed by – Ricardo Fernando
Text – Friedrich Rasche

SCHREIBER/WRITER – Bobby Briscoe/Leszek Januszewski
GLÜCK/HAPPINESS – Hayley Macri and Huy Tien Tran/Eunji Yang and Tomoaki Nakanome
TOD/DEATH – Tiana Lara Hogan and Péter Matkaicsek/Debora Buhatem and Matt Williams
TRAUM/DREAM – Yoko Furihata and Brendon Feeney/Sandra Resende and Shinsaku Hashiguchi
SPRECHER/SPEAKER – Thomas Weber-Schallauer

Performance Dates
  • 17 May 2014 | Theater Hagen – premiere
  • 21 May 2014 | Theater Hagen
  • 25 May 2014 | Theater Hagen
  • 30 May 2014 | Theater Hagen
  • 21 June 2014 | Theater Hagen
  • 4 July 2014 | Theater Hagen



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