On her journey through life (14/7/1908-2/3/1989) Thea Maass had always been linked to the world of dance. Studies under Mary Wigman left their mark on her later artistic work as choreographer and dance pedagogue. Not only did she receive an outstanding technical education, but also encouragement to do improvisational dancing and creative work at Wigman’s school.
After her career as a dancer, maître de ballet and choreographer at various theatres in Germany she undertook to establish a dance group at the State Ensemble of Folklore Art in the GDR (later known as Dance Ensemble of the GDR), together with Aenne Goldschmidt. Thea Maass recognised the invaluable connection between the preservation and the restoration of humanistic tradition in German folklore. In a constructive teamwork with Aenne Goldschmidt, her forerunner and creative companion till the end, Thea Maass studied the various forms of German folklore over many years.
She created vivacious and realistic folklore choreographies, which meanwhile have become “classics” of performed folklore, e.g., the “Pfälzer Suite – Wenn im Herbst die Trauben reifen” or the “Bayrische Suite – Wenn der Auerhahn balzt”.
Thea Maass made an immeasurable contribution to the development of folklore dance performed on stage, not least because of the unmistakable interpretations of her dancers. Her work will live on in the vivid memories of the dancers of the Folklore Dance Ensemble of the TU Dresden, who benefited from the creative cooperation with her over several decades and who experienced deep artistic inspiration and human enrichment through Thea Maass. Her work lives on in the realistic style of interpretation and in the careful maintenance of the remarkable dance arrangements.
In appreciation of her life’s work, the Folklore Dance Ensemble of the TU Dresden was named after Thea Maass in 1990.