Gret Palucca

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Gret Palucca
File:German stamp- Gret Palucca.jpg
German stamp issued in 1998 in the Women in German history series
Born Margarethe Paluka
(1902-01-08)January 8, 1902
Died March 22, 1993(1993-03-22) (aged 91)
Nationality German
Known for dance
Movement ballet

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 1917 to 1918, she attended Margarete Balsat’s School for Upper-Class Girls in Dresden and ballet lessons with Heinrich Kröller from 1914 to 1916.[1]

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.

In 1945, during the air raid on Dresden Palucca lost all her possessions. After 1945, the Russian style of ballet dominated the training in Palucca school.[2]

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, Lotte Goslar and Dore Hoyer.[3]

See also


  1. Palucca bio, homepage
  2. Palucca dance school - history till 1945, homepage
  3. Partsch-Bergsohn, Isa (1994). Modern dance in Germany and the United States : crosscurrents and influences. Chur: Harwood Acad. Publ. p. 122. ISBN 3718655578.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>