Bröyerismin paluu – unohdettu runotanssi jälleen näyttämölle
Bröyerism Returns – The forgotten art of ‘poetry dance’ returns on stage
The colourful life and diverse career of dance artist Martta Bröyer (1897–1979) has recently been showcased in the museum’s book about the Burgher’s House, the oldest wooden residential building in central Helsinki. Martta Bröyer inherited the house from her mother, renovated and preserved it, and finally sold it to the City for it to be used as a museum. During the book project, Bröyer’s extensive archives were studied in detail for the first time, and plenty of new information was discovered about her life events.
A pioneer of modern dance in Finland, Bröyer created her own controversial style, bröyerism, that combined dance with poetry recitation in the 1920s and 1930s. She drew inspiration from Germany, from the school of world-famous Mary Wigman, and developed her own style in the 1920s and 30s based on Wigman’s ideas. Bröyer started to teach the style in her own institute. A dancer and choreographer, Bröyer herself found that her most important career was that of a dance pedagogue.
The Bröyer style, bröyerism, was based on dance without music, only accompanied by poetry recitation. Reflecting the spirit of her time, Bröyer combined modern dance with national romanticism and created dance performances based on the collection of Finnish folk poems, Kanteletar, among other works. Her contemporaries’ reactions varied: the new style received both praise and harsh, even crushing criticism. Despite this, Bröyer determinedly continued with her style until the 1960s. She received the Pro Finlandia medal for her life’s work in 1956.