Sigurd Leeder (1902-1981), one of the leading figures in German expressive dance, taught at the Sigurd Leeder School of Dance in Herisau, Appenzell, from 1964 to 1981. The school, which he ran together with Grete Müller, was international in outlook and attracted students from both Switzerland and abroad. Leeder, who developed the Jooss-Leeder method along with Kurt Jooss, was an exceptional dancer, teacher and specialist in movement analysis. His estate has been held by the Swiss Dance Collection since 2012. Karin Hermes, a choreographer and scholar of dance notation specialising in dance history, is assessing Leeder’s dance legacy in association with the Folkwang University in Essen, the Centre National de la Danse in Paris and Trinity Laban in London, using dance scores created by Leeder himself. Her work comprises a critical appraisal of the meaningfulness, expressivity, honesty, movement textures and choreographic qualities of Sigurd Leeder’s work from a contemporary perspective. The project’s aim is to raise historical awareness of this crucial legacy and establish links to contemporary culture.
« cadanse – catalogue des écrits de la danse »
Dóra Kiss, a trained dancer who obtained her university doctorate in Geneva in 2013 and teaches at the city’s school of music, is planning a meta-catalogue on dance. The project was inspired by a similar catalogue in music (RISM, the International Inventory of Musical Sources). Its aim is to make published texts on dance easier to find and thus more accessible. The focus is on two categories: texts published before 1800 that are held by Swiss libraries; and texts published in Switzerland from 1801 onwards. Since all texts with a connection to dance are being indexed, the project will cover a broad spectrum of topics related to dance in Switzerland. It will be the first online catalogue devoted solely to dance texts with the goal of promoting reading, writing and reflection on dance. It will be particularly useful as a complement and companion to the work of the Swiss Dance Collection and existing libraries, supporting the professionalisation of training and the growing interest in dance in Switzerland over recent years.
Monte DaDa Avantgarde
Dance scholar Mona de Weerdt and historian Andreas Schwab are planning a handbook on the links between the Dada movement and the roots of modern dance. The book documents three symposia:
1. “Dance in the Cabaret Voltaire and on Monte Verità” in September 2014 on Monte Verità
2. “Expressive Dance and the Avant-Garde” in October 2015 in Cologne
3. “Dance on Dada Stages” in May 2016 at the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich.
The aesthetic revolution that began in the early years of the 20th century on Monte Verità and at the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich has not previously been investigated. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach, well-known authors are now working on the events and interplays of avant-garde in dance and art that are of central importance not just to Swiss dance history, but also beyond. In addition to academic research into hitherto unpublished source materials from the archives, the focus is also on artistic works such as re-enactments, lecture-performances and installations. The lavishly illustrated book will be published in 2017 by the renowned Swiss publisher Scheidegger & Spiess.