The development of Elementary Dance (Elementarer Tanz) began at GÜNTHER SCHULE MÜNCHEN (1924 – 1944) and went on in 1953 at DEUTSCHE SPORTHOCHSCHULE KÖLN and has, already since 1991, been successfully represented on all levels by ELEMENTARER TANZ e.V.
In Munich, Maja Lex was first a student member but soon, together with GUNILD KEETMANN and the founders DOROTHEE GÜNTHER and CARL ORFF, belonged to the leading teaching staff of Günther-Schule, a forward-looking school with a trebly diversified training concept of integrative musical and movement education. War events disrupted this unique constellation of artistic and educational personalities.
In Munich Maja Lex developed a new movement and dance education of a timeless pedagogic and artistic value. She liberated herself from the formalized practice/exercise/training and introduced instead the varied movements of rhythmic-dynamic, spatial and formal variation. Structured improvisation, similar to musical improvisation, was established as a definite component of the teaching lesson. Maja Lex’s educational orientation of dance had its formative influence by Carl Orff’s elementary understanding of music.
As a solo dancer and choreographer of TANZGRUPPE GÜNTHER, Maja Lex was a pioneer of the New German Danc (Neuer Deutscher Tanz) in the thirties of the last century, which became evident through her numerous national and international awards. She created a specific dancing style of a ‘thrilling rhythmic intensity’, a definite feeling for form and a high technical dancing discipline. Music and dance became elements of equal value, not least because of the use of rhythm instruments for the dance and for the orchestra of Günther-Schule, where dancers and musicians changed roles. The director of the orchestra was Gunild Keetmann. Maja Lex’s dances belong to the absolute dance.
Deutsche Sporthochschule Köln / German Sport University Cologne
After the destruction of Günter-Schule München and after a long war-induced illness, a second creative period for Maja Lex began in Cologne. From 1955 – 1974 she taught as a lecturer at Deutsche Sporthochschule Köln and there, in 1958, founded the main subject Modern Artistic Dance (Moderner Künstlerischer Tanz), lateron named Elementary Dance (Elementarer Tanz). Here, in cooperation with her student and successor Graziela Padilla, the integrative dance-pedagogic concept, to which today the aesthetic dance-edudcation is closely related, deepened. Graziela Padilla developed further the education till 2000. In the following years, until the re-structuring of the College, Beate Metz took over principalship of the subject. Since 2007, Krystyna Obermaier heads the nonprofit-making organization ELEMENTARER TANZ e.V.