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Karin Waehner, l'empreinte du sensible

Ministère de la Culture 2002

Choreographer(s) : Waehner, Karin (Germany)

Present in collection(s): Ministère de la Culture

Video producer : Aladdin; Antéa, Muzzik

en fr

Karin Waehner, l'empreinte du sensible

Ministère de la Culture 2002

Choreographer(s) : Waehner, Karin (Germany)

Present in collection(s): Ministère de la Culture

Video producer : Aladdin; Antéa, Muzzik

en fr

Karin Waehner, l'empreinte du sensible

Dedicated to one of the pioneers of modern dance in France, this film on Karin Waehner, a dancer, choreographer and extraordinary teacher, is full of many moving testimonies. Choreographers, critics and dancers of several generations, including Angelin Preljocaj, evoke her teaching, while rare archive documents show her artistic career and situate it in History. 

A large part of contemporary dance work takes place in the secret of transmission, the result of the high didactic quality of dancers and choreographers who often work quietly in the shadows. This “sensitive touch” unveils an entire facet of the history of dance. Born in 1926, Karin Waehner studied and danced with Mary Wigman, with a stay in Buenos Aires, before settling in France in 1953 where she created and taught until her death in 1999. Bare handed clearing, work on feelings, preparation, interior necessity, the work of the German choreographer focuses on sensation. That of a body slowly modelled but also shared by history. A critical body that assumes and replicates the gesture of which it is the mediator. She herself also largely evokes and comments this delicate and rigorous approach of apprehending memory.


Source : Irène Filiberti

Waehner, Karin

Waehner was born in 1926 in Gleiwitz in Germany (now Gliwice, Poland). In 1950 she moved to Buenos Aires, where she taught modern dance until 1953, when she met the mime Marcel Marceau. He inspired her to leave for Paris and to study mime with Etienne Decroux. In Paris she also opened a dance school and choreographed. She appeared with Jerome Andrews as Les Compagnons de la Danse, co-founded the experimental Theatre d'Essai de la Danse in 1955 and started her own touring Ballets Contemporains Karin Waehner in 1959.


She choreographed some 40 pieces and wrote a treatise, Outillage choregraphique, analysing the components of creating movement. But it was as a teacher that she had her most lasting impact. Angelin Preljocaj, France's most prominent contemporary-dance choreographer, whose own company has played several successful seasons in London, trained with her at the Schola Cantorum in Paris where she initiated contemporary-dance teaching. "I had already studied ballet and she opened my eyes to contemporary dance - to its passion for creation, improvisation and new forms," he says. "Coming from the Wigman expressionist tradition, her movement had a generosity, a way of going to extremes. Expressionism signifies something emerging from the inside and there was in her style a maximum of amplitude and sincerity." Karin Waehner also possessed those qualities as a person and selflessly battled for her pupils. 

Karin Waehner, dancer, choreographer and teacher: born Gleiwitz, Germany 12 March 1926; died 17 February 1999.


Source : The Independant 

Karin Waehner, l'empreinte du sensible

Artistic direction / Conception : Sylvia Ghibado, Marc Lawton

Choreography : Karin Waehner

Production / Coproduction of the video work : Aladin, Antéa, Muzzik. Participation : CNC, ministère de la Culture et de la Communication (DMDTS), ministère de la Jeunesse et des Sports, Procirep, Fédération française de danse

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