Translation of Review by Hedwig Rohde
Berlin Arts Senate, in the Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung,
Heidelberg, July 9, 1968
Mary Wigman's Last Student: Judy Jarvis
Mid Summer and the film festival on top of it -- no good start for an almost unknown dancer -- but the theatre was full, and it was a gigantic success. People now know in Berlin the name of Judy Jarvis, and will notice it.
She comes from Canada, and called her solo concert "Dance Drama": the particular title is distracting -- "Figure of Fate", "Exstasy", a "Struggle for Peace", make a rather strange impression. But something else happened; the 26-year-old strongly built dancer without any artificial means, rather a faithful child of nature, had already won her expert public by the second dance.
In short, in the cleverly concentrated expressionistic studies could be seen a great technique -- and a constant surprise of a kind of joy that shone to the memory of Dore Hoyer. Although there is much bodily movement, the ideas are largely static -- the imaginative dancer not always moving into space.
One of the strongest scenes, "The Death of a Bird", is almost of pantomimic study, also "The Prophet", in silver, "Verzuckung" reminds of great mime.
Garments, colours, playing with lights, all this is very thought over and artistically simplified. With few means the dancer accomplished much: the dying bird appeared "birdish" through the head dressed in a dark red Norwegian cap; white gloves with three spread fingers were claws full of expression. In tights, Judy's legs frequently lift high, seeming like wings.
When she suggests water by dressing all in blue, she is also Ophelia, who drowns in her own widespread garment. Alone the idea, creating the image of swimming and sinking with horizontal movements on a stool, was convincing in her daring newness.
A deeper seriousness sticks in "Visionen", but it is modern (today's). The unaccustomed movement vocabulary served a spiritual and intellectual task.
In spite of the renunciation of usual dance steps, the impressions are strong. They originate not only a figure, but every time a dynamic event closed in itself. And when again in full costume, "Marriage Song" or in the magical Negro spiritual, "Amen", young and cheerful movements broke out in this severely disciplined body and communicated to the public in jubilation. Both these fresh dance numbers are wholly original.
Judy Jarvis was two years in the Berlin Wigman School. The Master teacher -- Mary Wigman -- in the audience looked well pleased with her last student. The Modern Dance is not dead, it has found in the young generation a new protagonist.