Gitta Herrmann (Brigitta Herrmann), Performer, Choreographer, Instructor, Lecturer and Workshop Facilitator with over Fifty years of extensive experience in building community through dance/movement and performance. Her teaching, performing and creating dance art establish her as a leading force in the arena of dance improvisation and choreography. Her artistic work was recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Anchored in the Mary Wigman tradition of dance, her work expresses her cross-cultural roots. Her passion and commitment to awareness practices and transformation are reflected in her work.
Gitta Herrmann: Born in Weimar, Germany (formerly East Germany), where she received her schooling during and after the Second World War. Growing up in a household of musicians lead to early involvement with performance in dance and music at the Deutsche National Theater in Weimar, Germany.
1954-56, first professional dance studies at Palucca Academy of Dance in Dresden, Germany.
1957-62, student at the *Mary Wigman School of Dance, Berlin, Germany.
1961/62, graduating in dance and dance education.
1962, Herrmann is a founding member of Motion Berlin, Germany, together with Hellmut Gottschild and Inge Sehnert, sharing artistic direction, choreographing, performing and touring with the company in West-Germany and Yugoslavia. Motion Berlin was recognized as the first post-war, independent avant-garde dance group to form in Germany in the 60’s.
1968, Ms. Herrmann relocates to Philadelphia, joined by Hellmut Gottschild and Manfred Fischbeck. Their instant recognition with performances in Philadelphia and NYC at Judson Church and Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival leads to reestablishing the company in the US, now, incorporated as Group Motion Multi Media Dance Theater. Herrmann shares artistic and executive direction from its inception until 1989, and contributes with over seventy works of original choreography and collaboration, touring nationally and internationally with the company. Ongoing, Herrmann directs community Performance Projects in context of Group Motion.
Since 1970 ‘til present, Herrmann continues her collaboration with Manfred Fischbeck in their creation and facilitation of the highly acclaimed Group Motion Workshop, creation and development of dance improvisation, locally, nationally and internationally.
Other collaborations include: dance artists Hellmut Gottschild, Katharine Sehnert, Leonore Ickstadt, Darko Tresnjak, Erneste Junge, Jeanne Ruddy, Susanne Linke, and Barbara Dilley; sculptors Joyce DeGuatemala, Harald Jacobs, Remo Saracini; musicians include Lenny Seidman, Charles Cohen, Toshi Makihara & visual artists include Peter Rose, Warren Muller, Leif Skoogfors, Isaiah Zagar.
1988, Gitta joined with Michael A. Carson to found Ausdruckstanz Dance Theater (ADT), a dance company rooted in principles and philosophy of *Mary Wigman, and inspired by the work of **Pina Bausch. In the context of ADT, Ms Herrmann’s work has been featured in public television, WHYY Channel 12, toured in colleges, theaters and festivals, locally, regionally and internationally.
1989, ADT launched the DanceWorkspace, a dance center in the New Kensington area of Philadelphia, which ceased in 1996 due to an electrical fire.
1999-2002, Herrmann takes hiatus from ADT. To follow her interest in body/mind explorations she pursues studies in Somatic Psychology/Dance/Movement Therapy at Naropa University; other ongoing studies and explorations in dance and body-mind practices include: Butoh, Yoga, Body Mind Centering, Live Arts Process, Kinetic Awareness, REIKI , Hands of Light, Sound Healing, Reflexology.
2003 she returns to Philadelphia with new solo work: WANDERING MIND…AND MATTER; documented for the Philadelphia Dance Collection for the Art of Primary Resources in Dance.
2003 – present as a senior dance artist Brigitta is sought of for her excellence in performance. As a guest performer she participates with choreographers, Jerome Bell, “The Show Must Go ON”; Jeanne Ruddy, “Out of the Mist:Above the Real; Susanne Linke, “Quasi Normal”; Nicolo Fonte, (world Premiere Evening-Length Ballet) “Beautiful Decay” for BalletX.
Semiannually, Brigitta conducts an intergenerational Community Performance Project series for Group Motion, and facilitates a mindful movement practice, Doing Nothing, ongoing weekly.
Herrmann’s received awards include, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and Dance Advance, a program of the Philadelphia Center for Arts and Heritage, funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts and administered by The University of the Arts, and commissions, including WHYY Channel 12, Spot Light Series, the Philadelphia College for the Performing Arts for CONCORD dance company; and the Philadelphia Dance Collection for The Art of Creating Primary Resources in Dance.
Notable performance venues include: Zagreb Music Biennale, Yugoslavia; the international Dance Festival at Akademie der Künste, Berlin, Germany; Painted Bride Arts Center, Zellerbach Theater, Academy of Music, Movement Theatre International, Mandell Theater, and Arts Bank, Philadelphia.
- Dance technique and Improvisation based on Mary Wigman Dance Training
- Mary Wigman Lecture
- Group Motion workshops & Retreats
- Intergenerational Performance Projects
- Dance/Movement Therapy
- Mindful Movement Practice: Doing Nothing
- Partnering Yoga
- Voice in Motion
Places she has taught include:
Group Motion Multi Media Dance Theater, Philadelphia PA, US; Ausdruckstanz Dance Theater, Philadelphia, US; Philadelphia College for the Performing Arts, US; University of Delaware, US; Antioch College, OH, US; Georgian Court University, Lakewood, NJ, US; Naropa University, Boulder CO, US; Tanzfabrik, Berlin Germany; Tanz – und Theaterwerkstatt, Frankfurt, Germany; Sporthochschule, Cologne, Germany; ELABO Rennes, France; Triangle, Rennes, France.
*Mary Wigman, (1886 – 1973) was a German dancer, choreographer, notable as the pioneer of expressionist dance, dance therapy, She is considered one of the most important figures in the history of European dance. She became one of the most iconic figures of Weimar German culture and her work was hailed for bringing the deepest of existential experiences to the stage.
**(Pina Bausch Philippina “Pina” Bausch (27 July 1940 – 30 June 2009) was a German performer ofmodern dance, choreographer, dance teacher and ballet director. With her unique style, a blend of movements, sounds and prominent stage sets, and with her elaborate cooperation with performers during the composition of a piece (a style now known as Tanztheater), she became a leading influence since the 1970s in the world of modern dance.
2006, In honoring dance pioneer Mary Wigman’s 120th birthday anniversary in November of 2006, Herrmann brought together a group of senior dance artists, alumni of the Wigman School of Dance, and various guest dance artists in performance of THE PASSION FOR DANCE: In the Spirit of Mary Wigman. (Barbara Dilley, Sandy Broyard, Sarah Manno, Mary Anne Santos Newhall, Vickie Seitchick, Sheila Zagar).
2008, Ausdruckstanz’s 2008 season was highlighted by Herrmann’s work PHYSIOGNOMY OF THE SPIRIT, an evening length, multi media production, supported in part by a grant from Dance Advance, a program of the Philadelphia Center for Arts and Heritage, funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts.