Paulina Olowska, <i> I Danced in front of the Opera Ballet - Krystyna Mazurowna</i>, 2015, Oil on canvas, 200 x 170 cm,  © courtesy of  the artist and Foksal Gallery Foundation; Olga Desmond, <i>Tanznotate zur Rhythmographik</i>, 1919, in: Olga Desmond: Rhythmographik. Tanznotenschrift als Grundlage zum Selbststudium des Tanzes, bearbeitet von Fritz Bohme, Leipzig: Breitkopf & Hartel 1919, © Universität Salzburg, Derra de Moroda Dance Archives; George Barbier, <i> Pochoir-Druck</i>, In: George Barbier: Designs on the dances of Valav Nijinsky, London: Beaumont 1913, © Universität Salzburg, Derra de Moroda Dance Archives;  Andrea Geyer, <i> Truly Spun Never</i>, 2016, there channel video installation, 17 min. Productionstill: Oscar Garcia; Friderica Derra de Moroda, ca 1916, Photographer: Bert J. Sabourin, Universität Salzburg, Derra de Moroda Dance Archives


Staging the Derra de Moroda Dance Archives

With new works by Jonathan Burrows, Philipp Gehmacher, Andrea Geyer, Ulrike Linebacker, Kelly Nipper, Paulina Olowska, Lia Perjovschi, Eszter Salamon, Ania Soliman, and Sergei Tcherepnin. 

This exhibition draws a unique connection between what is known as (dance) modernism and contemporary art today. It was inspired by the Derra de Moroda Dance Archives, which have been at the University of Salzburg since 1978. The treasures in this singular and extensive collection form the backdrop for the project’s contemporary artistic “re-vision” of 1920s and 1930s dance. The multifaceted dance culture of the time was defined by fertile creative tensions between classical dance and expressive Ausdruckstanz, between theatrical, ethnic, and social dance formats, spurring a quest for new ways to convey the effect of dance performances in a variety of media.

The archive is named after its founder, the artist, teacher, choreographer, scholar, and collector Friderica Derra de Moroda (b. Bratislava, 1897; d. Salzburg, 1978), who played a prominent role in the history of twentieth-century dance. After her debut at the Vienna Secession and guest performances in Central and Eastern Europe, she was based in London until the outbreak of World War II and later moved to Salzburg. She was in close touch with many leading figures in the world of dance and made important contributions to dance scholarship.

The Derra de Moroda Dance Archives include books on dance and neighboring fields from six centuries as well as music supplies, librettos, autograph letters, journals, and magazines, a large collection of iconographic sources, and digital media.

The exhibition explores the dance culture of the 1920s and 1930s—the central decades of Derra de Moroda’s career and the focus of her collection—in four thematic divisions: multimedia dance, national and international correspondences, exotic dances, and modern dance designs. The show interweaves two distinct expositions: selected artifacts from the archives on display in five thematic galleries form the setting for new works by contemporary artists. Commissioned specifically for the exhibition and on public view for the first time, these works were inspired by various aspects of the archives and their founder’s fascinating personality. They reflect the lasting significance of Derra de Moroda’s work and collection and the prominent role of dance and choreography in today’s art.

Project Partners: Irene Brandenburg, Nicole Haitzinger, Claudia Jeschke, Universität Salzburg, Tanzwissenschaft

Project Director: Sabine Breitwieser
Project Partners: Irene Brandenburg, Nicole Haitzinger, Claudia Jeschke, Universität Salzburg, Tanzwissenschaft
Curatorial Assistants: Andrea Lehner, Verena Österreicher, Museum der Moderne Salzburg
Exhibition architecture and design: Kuehn Malvezzi

Exhibition Website


Tuesday - Sunday: 
10.00 am - 6.00 pm
10.00 am - 8.00 pm
Monday: closed