„My issues stem from the streets and factories and my dreams and hopes for a brighter future”. (Jean Weidt)
Born in 1904 under the name of Hans Weidt in Barmbek, Jean Weidt added a political dimension to modern dance. Starting in 1929, he and his ensemble Die Roten Tänzer hosted sociocritical dance nights in Berlin. Jean Weidt was a central figure of the Weimar Republic’s political theatre; his choreographies were based on the concerns of the working class.
In 1933 he emigrated to France and worked in Paris, Moscow and Prague until the end of World War II. He gained fame with his group Ballets Weidt for whom he created the choreography Unter den Brücken von Paris (Under the Bridges of Paris). The original masks used in the performances can be seen at the Leipzig Dance Archive. After his return to Germany in 1948, he ran the newly founded Dramatisches Ballett der Volksbühne and at a later stage the Komische Oper Berlin.