Wigman’s witches: Reformism, Orientalism, Nazism


Kolb, A. 2016. Wigman’s witches: Reformism, Orientalism, Nazism. Dance Research Journal. 48 (2), pp. 26-43. https://doi.org/10.1017/S014976771600019X
TitleWigman’s witches: Reformism, Orientalism, Nazism
AuthorsKolb, A.

This paper investigates the three versions of Mary Wigman’s Hexentanz (Witch Dance) in the context of the different political regimes which they spanned. The changing cultural milieus shaped – through Wigman’s imagination if not necessarily consciously – the works’ forms and iconographies. The witch figure relates to pre-industrial, pre-Christian Germanic identity and sparked considerable interest among völkisch and indeed Nazi groups. Wigman’s dances present a kaleidoscope of different treatments of the witch motif, encompassing (variously) the life reform movement, an intercultural fusion with oriental performance traditions, and a strand of paganism which also influenced National Socialism. They converge, however, around a unifying critique of modernity.

Research GroupDance group
PublisherCambridge University Press
JournalDance Research Journal
Publication dates
Print01 Aug 2016
Online18 Aug 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited20 Jun 2016
Accepted12 Apr 2016
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
Copyright Statement

This article has been published in a revised form in Dance Research Journal http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S014976771600019X. This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works. © Congress on Research in Dance 2016.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1017/S014976771600019X
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