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December 16, 2005

Helge Musial, lecturer in choreography, Dartington College of Arts

Advertised in The Times Higher , April 22, 2005

Few people may be aware of the vital role that Dartington College of Arts has played in contemporary German dance. But the college holds a special attraction for Helge Musial.

"As well as being very well regarded, Dartington is extremely important for German people," the lecturer in choreography said. Kurt Jooss, one of the most famous figures in German dance, and his dance company fled Nazi Germany in the 1930s and came to Dartington.

"He is famous for creating the first political ballet, Der Grün Tisch ( The Green Table ), and he continued to produce and teach in England. When he returned (to Germany after the war), he set up the Essen Folkwang School along the lines of Dartington." That school launched the careers of many famous dancers.

Mr Musial's career began in the martial arts. When he moved to contemporary dance, he developed contact improvisation techniques borrowed from the martial arts to produce fast and exciting performances. After 20 years teaching and performing in Berlin, he wanted to create dance in new surroundings.

"I love to teach," Mr Musial said. "At Dartington, dance is in its third year, but it is still very young. There are many opportunities for shaping choreography."

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