Mary Wigman's Witch Dance


Strong and convincing art has never arisen from theories.
-Mary Wigman
Witch Dance
Choreographed in 1914 and filmed in 1930!

I just discovered this video and find it very compelling and powerful. 
Very inspiring!

The revised Witch Dance made explicit what had been implicit in the identically titled solo presented twelve years earlier on her debut program. As in the earlier solo, the choreographer does not impersonate the character of a witch but rather embodies the quality of “witchness.” However, her self-transformation is intensified and made more complete through her use of a facial mask, designed by Viktor Magito. As a review described the effect: ‘She emloys a small face mask, which doesn’t hide all of her cheek, nor does it cover her hair. The eye openings of the mask allow her eyes to be seen… (Her) partially covered body…lives no longer, but withdraws so far from life that each movement extinguishes all thought of human existence.’
… Wearing a mask, the female dancer objectifies herself rather than allowing herself to be objectified by the (male) spectator. Wearing a mask, she turns the gaze back on the spectator.”

-from Ecstasy and the Demon: The Dances of Mary Wigman, by Susan Manning


Some basic info about Mary Wigman- 
 Mary Wigman (13 November 1886 – 18 September 1973) was a German dancerchoreographer, and instructor of dance. A pioneer of expressionist dance, her work was hailed for bringing the deepest of existential experiences to the stage. She became one of the most iconic figures of Weimar German culture and is considered to be one of the most important figures in the history of European dance
(above info from Wikapedia)

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