On her journey through life (14/7/1908-2/3/1989) Thea Maass had always been linked to dance. Her studies under Mary Wigman left her mark on her later artistic directions as choreographer and dance pedagogue. Not only had she received an outstanding technical education, but also encouraged to improvisional dancing and further creative work at Wigman’s school.
After her career as a dancer, maître de ballet and choreographer at various theatres in Germany she took over the development of a dance group at the Federal Ensemble of Folklore Art in the GDR (later known as Dance Ensemble of the GDR), together with Aenne Goldschmidt. Thea Maass recognized the invaluable connection between protection and reclaim of humanistic tradition in German folklore. In a constructive teamwork with Aenne Goldschmidt, her forerunner and creative companion till the end, Thea Maass had studied manifold forms of German folklore over many years.
She created vivacious and realistic folklore choreographies, which meanwhile developed to “classics” of performed folklore, e.g. the “Palatinate Suite – When the wine ripens in autumn” (original title: “Pfälzer Suite – Wenn im Herbst die Trauben reifen”) or the “Bavarian Suite – When the capercaillie performs its courtship display” (original title: “Bayrische Suite – Wenn der Auerhahn balzt”).
Thea Maass accomplished an immeasurable tribute to the development of performed folklore dance on stage, not at last due to the unmistakable interpretations of her dancers. Her work will live on in the vivid memories of the dancers at the Folklore Dance Ensemble of the TU Dresden, who benefit from the creative cooperation with her over several decades and who experienced far reaching humane and artistic enrichment through Thea Maass. You can perceive this still in the keep of a realistic style of interpretation and in maintenance of the remarkable style of dance arrangements.
In appreciation of her life’s work the Folklore Dance Ensemble of the TU Dresden was renamed after Thea Maass in 1990.