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It is with great sadness that we inform you that Roman Arndt, a historian of dance from the Institute of Contemporary Dance of the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen, Germany, has passed away at the age of 52.


Arndt was educated in Germany and Poland, and his extensive background included dance, pedagogy of dance, literature studies, theatre studies and Rudolf Laban?s dance notation system. He was a recognised expert in contemporary dance, renowned in the academic, artistic and teaching communities. He made an enormous contribution to the integration of contemporary dance community.


At the Folkwang University, he was in charge of the history of dance department, a dance archive, teaching activities and international contacts. His research projects include A Return to Tradition: Polish Dance in the Modernist Era (Cracow) and Dance in Exile (Vienna). Recently, he was working on a project focusing on the memories of graduates of Folkwang University?s dance department who studied there from 1956?1968. Arndt was also working intensively on the method of  history of dance teaching for dancers. He participated in the discussion panel KörperWissen (Knowledge in the Body) and co-authored an exercise book at the 3rd Tanzausbildung Biennial in Frankfurt am Main, an event which focused on dance education.


Arndt was a dance teaching consultant for the Gymnasium Essen-Werden secondary school, at the local government?s educational body Institut für Schule und Weiterbildung in Soest, and at the Dance Theatre Department in Bytom of the Ludwik Solski State Drama School in Cracow.


He also organised and consulted many cultural events, including Tanzmesse NRW international dance fair (since 1997), the Wissen schaffen über Tanz (Acquiring Knowledge of Dance) at the Academy of Arts in Berlin (2001) and the exhibition Krokodil im Schwanensee ? Tanz in Deutschland von 1945 bis zur Gegenwart (Crocodile in the Swan Lake ? Dance in Germany From 1945 Until Present Times) at the same Academy in 2003.


Arndt was a guest at the conference Dziedzictwo Piny Bausch  (Inheritance of Pina Bausch) during the jubilee 10th Body/Mind International Contemporary Dance Festival in Warsaw (2011). During the conference, he delivered a speech Etiologia sfery pragnień. O występowaniu uczuć w Teatrze Tańca Piny Bausch (Aetiology of the Desire Zone. About the Emotions in Pina Bausch Theatre of Dance) and moderated a panel discussion. In 2014, he was a member of the Research Council of the conference O roli tańca w nauczaniu interdyscyplinarnym. Reżyser. Aktor (The Role of Dance in Interdisciplinary Teaching. Director. Actor) at The Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw in October 2015.


Roman Arndt will be missed by his students who could always count on his help and by all the people in the dance community for whom he was a helpful collaborator and a reliable friend.


Main source of information:



Translated from German into Polish by Matylda Małecka.


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