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Rieke Love Oral History Transcript, 2004

Identifier: D009.03.0002.0004.00001


Rieke Love recounts her childhood training in Koblenz, Germany. She was accepted into the Stadt Theatre to study ballet at age seven and remained there until 1940. She talks about her formal, intellectual, education and how important literature, the arts and research were in her dance training. She compares dance training in America to Europe stating how ''poorly educated'' American dancers are. Love states that her education and her dance were ''a total environment of artistic saturation.'' Love talks about Germany and Europe, and how different it was to perform there. She discusses studying at the Leipzig with Mary Wigman and then performing in her company until marrying and coming to Denver, Colorado in 1948. Her love of choreography began while studying under Wigman. She was unhappy about having to do things in a form. Love discusses how a dancer must know the music, feel the music. She says the dance is already in the music. A dancer/choreographer must bring the dance out of the music. She also talks about how art can define a dance. Love researched and studied before opening her dance studio in Denver in 1959. She wanted to understand children, their bodies and how that affected their dance training. She always taught on a formal level as she had learned. That meant she would not only teach dance but also taught about art history, art, music and the composers. Love discusses starting the Ballet Denver Company in 1971. She formed a concert group that toured smaller towns to build an audience for ballet. Her Junior Company students gave performances in the area also. They stopped traveling because of the expenses but their work was recorded on video for future students to view. Many of Love's later students were grandchildren of earlier students. When asked why she did not give yearly recitals with her students, Love said that performing had to be earned. It was not fair for all students to be allowed to perform as that did not help students understand dance.


  • 2004


Digital Repository

Rieke Love Oral History Transcript

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Biographical / Historical

Rieke was born in Koblenz, Germany and began her dance training at seven at the Stadt Theatre of Koblenz. At 14 she became a member of the corps de ballet at Koln Opera House, attaining soloist at 16. She joined the Leipzig Opera Company while studying modern dance with Mary Wigman and Harold Kreutzberg at age 18. She toured Europe and the Middle East with Tatjana Gossovsky's company. After moving to Denver, Reike founded her own school "Ballet Denver Academy" in 1959. She founded the Ballet Denver Company in 1971, touring local communities.


From the File: .25 Linear Feet

Scope and Contents

From the Series: This series contains transcripts, cassettes, and personal files on the 2004 'Legends of Dance.'


Gift of the Friends of the Carson Brierly Dance Library, 2004.


Transcript prepared from an audiocassette recording later returned to the interviewee.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

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