In 2003/2004 we plan to publish a CD-ROM with a large number of documents of the former WIGMAN-SCHOOL-DRESDEN (today "Kleine Szene", a stage of the Semperoper Dresden). These documents are stored in the archives of the city of Dresden, and most of them have never been published.

The Wigman School Dresden was founded in 1920/21 and conducted by Mary Wigman until 1942. It was the first vocational college of modern dance in Europe and the U.S.A., and likewise it gave important impulses for the evocation of modern dance, the modern education of dance and movement, and even the therapy through dance.

Beyond that, the school became the starting point for a lot of similar foundations - for example: the Palucca School in Dresden and the Holm School in New York. Until today, different teachings of dance and movement in the world have their origins in the educational heritage of Mary Wigman.

Still today, Mary Wigman is internationally famous as a representative of “expressive dance” like Martha Graham und Doris Humphrey. She lived in Dresden when she began to achieve this fame.

However, the documents demonstrate clearly that Mary Wigman did not establish her school out of magic coincidence. As the owner of her school and independent dancer in her esthetics and education of dance, she was dependent on the circumstances of her contemporary culture and society, but in turn she also helped to shape them.

Without sponsorship and support from private persons and the local government, she would not have become what she was. The documents show that, and also reveal the historical context (e. g. the rivalry and competition with the Palucca School or other institutions; between the old and the new schools of dance). They are stored unpublished in the archives of the city of Dresden.


Apart from the three files about the Wigman School Dresden with a total amount of 449 pages (from the period of 1924 to 1937), there are more documents about the working conditions of Mary Wigman, for example in the files of the "
Volksbühne e.V. (1929 – 1933)"and "Journey to Poland, 1935."

There are also documents about the working conditions of cultural circumstances, dance and gymnastic by the municipality during this time, for example in the files "Prohibiting the use of the term: Tanzschule (1925-31)"; "Palucca-School (1926-36)"; "School of Dancing Gymnastic Graf-Klotz (1926-33)"; " School of Dance and Gymnastic of von Westernhagen (1928-37)"

Most material can be found in the files of the department of Education.

Brief selection:

A) printed material

- brochures on training (1923, 1927, 1933, 1936)
- brochures on school performances (1926, 1927, 1929)
- brochures on summer school (1931, 1934, 1936)
- leaflet on amateur school (1927, 1933)
- articles(1927, 1930, 1931, 1932)

B) reports about

- the school (1925/26 – 1936/37)
- Curriculum Vitas of school employees (different dates) and additional questionnaires from 1933

C) correspondence and records

- between the school and the representatives of the departments
- between the different municipal and governmental departments
- from other persons
- of payments