Hilde Holger, in her eighties and nineties began writing her autobiography.
Below, are some quotes from Hilde Holger’s HISTORY PAGES.
“Creative work in Dance.
Where I lived in the 18th district called Potzleinsdorf was a beautiful old park in which once great composers walked. It had a little lake with lots of flowers and deer roaming in its wood. Friends of mine, the famous sculptor Joseph Heu and his family had the great privilege to live there and very often I visited them and walked there for hours. In a beautiful moonlit night Joseph Heu and a friend asked me to dance and I quickly took off my clothes and danced naked; an ecstasy which made my ancestors dance — not having learned to dance but driven by an inner force. …
Touring with the Bodenwieser Company
Our tours took us to many countries before the war.
Once, a big Theosophical Congress was held at Wiener Konzerthaus and Madame Bodenwieser was asked to let two of us dance at the opening ceremony. Gisa Geert and myself danced the Largo by Handel. In the audience facing us sat Krishna Murti with his deep dark eyes and spiritual face. We were both so much attracted to it that even while dancing we felt his strong presence. …
I leave the Bodenwieser Company
After 5 years as a student with Professor Gertrude Bodenwieser, and as a member of her company I made the decision to work on my own and to start a school to train dancers and teachers in all the essential branches I found necessary. I called it the “New School of the Art of Movement”. The curriculum included, history of dance and music, art appreciation, costume and stage design, anatomy.
The faculty included some very valuable teachers. History of The Dance was taught by Dr Alfred Sandt, who had a universal knowledge of the subject. He came from Prague and very sadly ended his life under Nazi occupation. Music Theory and Harmony were taught by Franz Salmhofer the composer and later the director of the Vienna State Opera. Costume design was taught by Liz Pisk a very talented designer and also a talented teacher of movement, which made her a great name later, in England with the Royal Shakespeare Company. I am proud to have had her too as one of my pupils.
The school was situated in one of Vienna’s beautiful baroque palaces and was under the protection of the Viennese government. I was 21 years old, very inexperienced, when I directed the school which soon became a centre of modern dance. I let children dance to music and to the spoken word, also to move without music. At that time people were not accustomed to see children moving naturally. …
The Hagenbund was a centre where modern Viennese painters exhibited their work. I was invited to contribute a program connected with the visual arts, and called it Colour and Line and Music. I choreographed one dance to music by Ravel and called it “Orchid”. The dance expressed the unfolding, blossoming and dying of an orchid.
Richard Teschner was Austria’s greatest marionette artist. His marionettes moved like miniature human beings and he directed them on sticks. He himself looked like a magician. He came to the Hagenbund, saw the “Orchid” and to my great surprise the next morning stood on my doorstep, having come to tell me how much he liked my dance.
My solo performances took me to Prague, that beautiful old city, and to Hungary, and I took part in the Concourse de Danse at Warsaw. It was very interesting to meet so many dancers from different countries. I remember one dancer who was a pupil of Isadora Duncan but we all were saddened to see how her genius was so wrongly interpreted.”
© Primavera Boman-Behram 2001