Raimund Hoghe, Choreographer of Power and Frailty, Dies at 72

In these he offered meditative, meticulous deconstructions of familiar images, whereby the slow, sometimes enigmatic gestures of the actors referred to the original works, as if the movement had been broken by a prism. Mr. Hoghe, indifferent and a physical contrast to his dancers, was a constant but intentionally emotionless presence. This kind of juxtaposition was a common theme in his work.

“You could say that not much happens on Boléro Variations,” wrote Claudia La Rocco in a 2009 review of the New York Times. “The performers perform beautifully crafted, often simple, sentences into a series of powerful takes.” But in the end she noted that “in every act, rich worlds of intention and regret blossom”.

In another work, “Pas de Deux”, created in 2011 for Takashi Ueno, Mr. Hoghe offered the slow ceremonial donning of kimono sashes and a vision of the young dancer’s physical control and strength neutral against his own frail body was directed.

“I brought this vulnerability to the stage, which we should always be aware of,” he said last year, not only in times of crisis, when asked about work during the pandemic.

Raimund Hoghe was born on May 12, 1949 in Wuppertal. His mother, Irmhild Hoghe, a seamstress, was a widow who had a 10-year-old daughter when she met Mr. Hoghe’s father, 15 years younger than her. Mr. Hoghe never knew his father, who married another woman, although his parents continued to write to each other – letters he published in a book, The Price of Love (1984).

His mother, he said in interviews, always accepted the way he looked and believed he could go his own way. “She often said there were worse things than a back like mine,” he said in a 2004 interview with Le Monde.

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