German dancers, 1930s and 1940s
Posted 07 August 2001 - 03:26 PM
Yes, there is info but more could be used. Hitler's favorite choreographer was a woman who also became a famous dance historian and may have been leading Allied spy in Berlin during WW2 -- Derra de Moroda. She rescued dancers from the concentration camps and slave factories for her Berlin ballet company.
Posted 08 August 2001 - 09:58 PM
I'm grateful to you for following up on this topic, Alexandra. I remember that I., my neighbor, said that one of their frequent guest teachers was a Russian ballerina, Tatiana ______. I'm sorry - I don't recall her last name and there are loads of Tatianas! I'll ask her when I see her again. In fact, I think I'm going to ask if I can formally interview her on tape. But it's painful for her to discuss that period in her life.
I remember one time she told me that there was a German movie producer or director who, at the time of the war, was just becoming known. He pursued her amorously but she didn't care for him. He later married another ballet dancer, a good friend of hers, and went on to movie fame in Germany. I believe he then fell ill with Altzheimer's and his wife has been caring for him.
Several years ago, I. went back to Germany for a 50th. anniversary reunion of the ballet dancers in her company.
It's interesting that the subject of German National ballet dancers is such a difficult and sensitive one while the same isn't true of Russian dancers. I've been trying to understand exactly where the differences lie and I keep coming back to the subsequent guilt felt by Germans who benefited from the Nazi party. Although there were many Russian dancers who also benefited under their Communist system, Hitler's crimes were so heinous in their massive organization alone that it's unsettling to even consider that any group of individuals benefited from that system. My neighbor, while recalling her dancing years, is constantly qualifying her experience in the context of what else was occurring in Germany at the time. She doesn't feel as though she can look back with enjoyment on those years.
Posted 10 August 2001 - 07:15 AM
Posted 21 January 2012 - 06:23 AM
Posted 21 January 2012 - 06:48 PM
As you may have noticed, the posts herre are over a decade old. Neither Estelle nor vagansmom posts here regularly anymore.
It appears that Les Saisons de la Danse has ceased publication -- a shame. I can't offer helpful suggestions, but perhaps some of our readers can.
Posted 21 January 2012 - 07:50 PM
I just tried searching "keyword-Nazi-Dance Research Collection" and 48 things came up. If you're in the New York area, you can use them at the library at Lincoln Center, but you might also see books listed which are available at other libraries near where you live. You can also search by names such as Wigman, Jooss and Laban to see what material relate to the topic.
Posted 21 January 2012 - 09:41 PM
She posed a very good question -- one with an obvious answer, obvious if you know the diffferent courses that life took afer WW2 in Germany and Russia.
If you lived in Germany, you had to be affected by the de-Nazification process. There's been no such similar de-stalinization or de-communistification process among former Soviets -- but everyone in germany went through it. Some gave it lip-service, some underwent it whole-heartedly. I know sme people who look back on their youth in the Soviet Union and marvel that htey believed in hte Communist propaganda, how enthusiastic they were as pioneers -- and it reminds me, how idealistic I was as a kid and how much I wanted to believe in hte things 50s AMerica professed.....
It may not have been easy for Wigman to let go her Jewish dancers -- but if she was not going to leave the country, like Jooss, there was no other way of working. Exile was not necessarily a good artistic path -- it didn't ruin Jooss, but most people agree that Pola Nerinska lost a great part of her creative energies when she left Poland for AMerica. Yes she taught Jose Limon, yes she did some other things -- but exile took the ginger out of her.
A friend of mine from grad school is the child of emigres from Rumania; er mother was a famous writer in Rumania, whose talent dried up and withered away in Los Angeles.
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