Partner Dorothee Günther

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Maja Lex (born August 23, 1906 in Munich, † 13 October 1986 in Cologne) was a German dancer, choreographer and educator. She founded the Elemental Dance.

Since the age of six, Maja Lex has received regular piano lessons and actually had the desire to become a concert pianist. In 1921 she began to take part in the gymnastics lessons of the hiking gymnastics teacher Marie Müller-Brunn. In 1922, after middle age, the parents provided a banking apprenticeship and a home economics training for the daughter. However, Maja Lex soon broke off both. With the entry into the Günther-Schule Munich in 1925, a fate was fulfilled for Maja Lex, the absolute center of which would be dance. After only 15 months of the originally planned two or three years of training, she acquired her teaching certificate for gymnastics. Soon after, she became principal teacher at the Günther-Schule Munich alongside Dorothee Günther, Gunild Keetman and Carl Orff. Building on the pedagogical-artistic basis of the Günther-Schule Munich, Maja Lex was able to develop a completely new, dance education with pedagogical-artistic intention from 1926. Her dance of the lively and free movement in a constantly emerging rhythmic-dynamic and spatial variant arose - the "absolute" and "image-free" elemental dance. The congenial collaboration with Gunild Keetman, Carl Orff's musical upbringing and Dorothee Günther's work also contributed to this. To this day, the work of elemental dance still focuses on body training, which is fluidly transferred into the process of creative creation. The basis of the technical work are differentiated perceptual processes and experimental experiences of the possibilities of movement of one's own body. The so-called structured improvisation represents the connecting element between special training forms, body, movement and sensory training. It forms the basis for the composition and is an inexhaustible source of inspiration for rediscovering and continuing the individual possibilities of movement. From 1927, Maja Lex performed her own choreographies. As a soloist and choreographer of the "Tanzgruppe Günther-München" (lead by Dorothee Günther), she made her decisive breakthrough in 1930 with the "Barbarian Suite" in collaboration with the musical director of the group, the composer Gunild Keetman. Numerous guest performances and awards at home and abroad followed until the school was forcibly closed in 1944 and finally destroyed in 1945.

MAJA LEX / 1931 / Orell Füssli Verlag, Zürich-Leipzig / Tänzerinnen der  Gegenwart | Tänzerin

Maja Lex, who had been very ill since the beginning of the 1940s, moved to Rome in 1948 and lived there together with Dorothee Günther in the house of her mutual friend Myriam Blanc. At the beginning of the 1950s Maja Lex resumed her artistic-pedagogical work and taught at the German Sport University Cologne at the invitation of Liselott Diem. From the mid-1950s until 1976, she taught the main training subject "Elementary Dance" as a senior lecturer. The concept of elementary dance was further developed by her and later in collaboration with her successor Graziela Padilla at the German Sports University Cologne. Since the mid-1970s, educational films and textbooks on elementary dance have been produced. Maja Lex also worked as a choreographer and dance group leader during her time in Cologne. Until her death in 1986, her focus was on elemental dance. Two days before she died, she commented on a slide series from her hospital bed with pictures from her life as an educator, choreographer and dancer.

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