German stamp issued in 1998 in the Women in German history series
|Birth name||Margarethe Paluka|
January 8, 1902|
|Died||March 22, 1993
Gret Palucca, born Margarethe Paluka (8 January 1902 – 22 March 1993), was a German dancer and dance teacher, notable for her dance school in Dresden.
Life and work
Shortly after birth, her family moved to San Francisco, returning with her mother to Dresden in 1909.
From 1921, when she also changed her name to Gret Palucca, instead of Margarethe Paluka, and until 1923 she was studying with Mary Wigman and performed as member of her Chamber Dance Group.
In 1924, she married Friedrich Bienert, a merchant who worked in his father's mills. Through her mother-in-law, Ida Bienert, she was introduced to the circle of Bauhaus artists.
In 1925, she opened her own dance school with the support of her husband, after which she and Mary Wigman became competitors. In 1928, she opened a branch of her school in Berlin. In 1931, another branch was opened in Stuttgart.
In 1939, because of her Jewish ancestry the National Socialistic authorities closed her schools and she was not allowed to teach dance lessons, however she was permitted to continue dancing herself and in 1936 she even appeared in the Olympic Games in Berlin.
She became founding member of the East German Academy of Arts. In 1959, East German culture policy officials wanted to see the School transformed into a Soviet-style socialist professional school of dance. To gain support for her demands, Palucca briefly went to West Germany.
In 1993, Palucca died in Dresden.
Her students included Ruth Berghaus and Lotte Goslar.
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