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German influence in Marlborough dance

Dance dimesions rehearse in the upper dance studio
Dance dimesions rehearse in the upper dance studio

This year Dance Dimensions is focusing on “The Green Table,” a ballet by German choreographer Kurt Jooss that first premiered in 1932. instructor Mpambo Wina chose this seminal work of German Expressionism as the focus for this year’s Dance Dimensions to continue the study of important dance movements of the 20th century.

“What drew me to “The Green Table” is that we’re also kind of living in the same time and same kind of environment right now, with terrorism and so much that is uncertain about much from many people in the world,” Wina said.

German expressionism is an artistic movement that came about in Germany during the 1920s, and “The Green Table,” in particular, is about impending war before World War II has started, when Europe is in a state of turmoil.  Jooss created a ballet in which ten diplomats at a table are having a discussion through their movement.

“The Green Table” is very gestural and uses body language to convey certain emotions to its audience. Dancers have to fully commit to the characters they are portraying.

“I’m trying to include meaningful gestures in my dance, such as hand movements. Our company piece also has a lot of specific hand gestures,” Cleo Schoeplein ’16 said.

Wina explained that the students are learning about the world during the time The Green Table was choreographed as well as the history of the dance itself.

“It’s like an English curriculum or a history curriculum in the way that you have very specific points in history that you focus on. They’ll be learning about a time and place, and what was happening historically, dance-wise, and artistically,” Wina said.