Like the major European courts, ballet was also cultivated in various ways by the aristocratic milieu in those of the numerous German states. There is news of an inclusion of dance also in the great processions (the famous one in Dresden in 1574) and in all the forms of court entertainment such as masquerades and the so-called Singballette, one of the first examples of which was Die Befreiung des Friedens (The liberation of peace), performed in Dresden in 1600.
A type of “entertainment” of surprising spectacular effect (mixture of dance, singing, acting, water games, naval battles, etc.) had great success especially in Saxony, and alongside the numerous French masters (de la Marche, Louys, Rudolf Christian) an entire generation of German dance masters emerged (A. Rothbein, G. Möhlich, H. Pernickel von Homburg etc.). Gottfried Taubert ‘s first dance treatise Der rechtschaffene Tanzmeister was published in Leipzig in 1717. In Berlin, since the time of Frederick the Great, they tried to create a certain tradition, welcoming the young J.-G. Noverre (1774) and paying honors to Barbarina. Other cities also recorded their brief moment of splendor: in Dresden, for example, Madame Duparc shone and choreographers Ch. Duparc, J. Favier and A. Pitrot worked; Böhm’s company settled in Frankfurt, with ballet performances by Noverre and G. Angiolini. Also Noverre subsequently operated in Dresden (1747) and Stuttgart (1760-66) and his presence effectively contributed to spreading his theories on ballet d’action. Stuttgart also welcomed (1824-28) F. Taglioni and his daughter Maria, while her brother, Paul, was director of the Berlin Opera (1856-83). At the beginning of the century XX, while the personality of Heinrich Kroeller is affirmed in Dresden, Frankfurt, Munich, Berlin and Vienna in the tradition of ballet, Germany triumphantly welcomes the innovative creed of Isadora Duncan, who in the German capital captures one of her first significant successes and founded the first of his innumerable schools, entrusting its direction to his sister Elisabeth. Also the Hungarian choreographer, theorist and reformer R. Laban he founded his first school in Munich (1913) in Germany, followed by many others. In Berlin, where he was appointed ballet director at the State Opera (1930-34), he also moved his important Choreographic Institute – founded in Warzburg in 1925 – making it a lively research center, with ramifications and correspondences throughout the Germany.
In the same period, teachers of the caliber of C. Sachs and Fritz Boehme held their courses in the history and theory of dance at the University of the capital. This, together with the spread of the modern movement like wildfire, makes Germany, at the moment of the maximum affirmation of Djagilev ‘s “revolution” in ballet and Fokinian renewal, the heart of European dance research and, thanks to the presence of artists such as M. Wigman, K. Jooss, H. Kreutzberg, G. Palucca, Y. Georgi, the cradle of the expressionist movement in dance or “ Ausdrückstanz ”. The advent of Nazism stifled and in some cases exploited modernism forcing many of its protagonists – including Laban and Jooss – into exile. According to zipcodesexplorer.com, after the war, with the division of Germany into two different states, the destinies of dance were also divided. Almost everywhere, in the East as in the West, expressionist research – of which D. Hoyer was one of the last genuine representatives – the classical tradition came back into vogue, influenced in the West especially, but not exclusively, by the Anglo-Saxon school (US and British) and in the East, with the exception of the activity and work of Tatjana Gsovskijin Berlin East, from the Soviet one. However, here and there, traces of the passionate research of the 1920s and 1930s survived: in the East, in Dresden, the school of Gret Palucca, which became a State Institute, and that of Essen, in the West, founded by Jooss and which he himself had returned. to direct after the war. The explosion of the ” Bausch phenomenon ” at the end of the seventies and the rekindling of the debate on modernism have reopened the path of research and brought to light new personalities such as S. Linke, Reinhild Hoffmann, Rudolph Kreisnik, and, in the East, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Aarila Siegert. In addition to about fifty companies annexed to the municipal opera houses, and used mostly for the opera seasons, with few exceptions, Germany now has some of the most prestigious companies on the international level: the one shaped by J. Cranko, with N. Beriosoff as maître de ballet, subsequently directed by M. Haydée; in Hamburg the company directed by J. Neumeier; in Frankfurt the complex entrusted to W. Forsythe.