Kurt Jooss trained and was a co-worker with Rudolf Laban, together with other exponents of the German Ausdrucktanz of the 1920s, such as Mary Wigman.
<img src="http://www.cnd.fr/pages/actualites/voir-comprendre-debattre/lire-consulter/publicationscnd/laban.jpg" alt="" />
In the late 20's Jooss decided that, interesting though Laban's approach was, there was a technique deficiancy in this early modern dance style and together with 1 or 2 other Laban performers, he studied ballet for a period and then set up his own company.
<img src="http://www.peopleplayuk.org/images/objects/cropped2/300/sch200303121250-006.jpg" alt="" />
<small> Kurt Jooss and Lila Bauer in "Green Table", image by Gordon Anthony</small>
"Green Table", made in 1932, is one of the earliest modern dance ensemble pieces that we still see performed today and for me is one of the masterworks of the 20th Century. Interestingly, it is ballet companies such as the Joffrey and Birmingham Royal Ballet who perform the work today, although the artists have to adapt to the elements of the Ausdrucktanz style.
Sadly, out of over 50 works created during his life, only 3 or 4 were notated and none from the period after WWII, when his style is said to have changed.
There's more about Laban here: http://www.laban.org/laban/past_present_and_future/rudolf_laban.phtml
and about Jooss here: http://www.jsonline.com/onwisconsin/arts/jan04/203808.asp
<small>[ 05 May 2004, 03:58 PM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>