Gret Palucca

Gret Palucca, born Margarethe Paluka (8 January 1902 22 March 1993), was a German dancer and dance teacher, notable for her dance school, the Palucca School of Dance, founded in Dresden in 1925.

Gret Palucca
Gret Palucca (1945)
Margarethe Paluka

(1902-01-08)8 January 1902
Munich, Germany
Died22 March 1993(1993-03-22) (aged 91)
Dresden, Germany
Known forDance

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 changed her name to Gret Palucca, until 1923, she studied 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, the Palucca School of Dance, 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 Archived May 12, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  2. Palucca dance school – history till 1945, homepage Archived March 31, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  3. Partsch-Bergsohn, Isa (1994). Modern dance in Germany and the United States : crosscurrents and influences. Chur: Harwood Acad. Publ. p. 122. ISBN 3718655578.
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