(b Esperstedt, 23 Jan. 1928)
German dancer, choreographer, and dance director. He studied at Dessau Opera Ballet School and later with Hoyer (while he was dancing in Dresden in 1945) and with Wigman (while he was with Leipzig Ballet, 1946–52). In 1953 he became ballet master at the German National Theatre in Weimar, where he created his first works. In 1956 he was appointed director of Dresden Ballet where he remained until 1964, becoming artistic director of the ballet at Komische Opera in E. Berlin from 1965. He choreographed the first German production of Asafiev's Fountain of Bakhchisarai (Weimar, 1959), and his large output also included Abraxas (1957), Cinderella (mus. Prokofiev, 1968), Romeo and Juliet (mus. Prokofiev, 1972), Ondine (mus. Henze, 1970), La Mer (mus. Debussy, 1968), and A New Midsummer Night's Dream (mus. Katzer, 1981), all for E Berlin. His works typically relocated the language and scenarios of classical ballet into contemporary settings. He was also a guest choreographer for Western companies including Grand Ballet Classique de France, Norwegian National Ballet, and Vienna State Opera Ballet.