Historically, the phenomenon of St Vitus’ Dance (Veitstanz) first appeared in the Middle Ages, when groups of adults and children danced in public until they lost consciousness. In 1988, 13 women and men attempted to revisit the power of this ancient ritual in Erfurt. Dancing at sites of their own choosing, each one developed, without any music, their own movement which they then repeated to the point of ecstasy. "Shot in East Germany, home to a socialist dictatorship, the film expresses the freedom that is inherent in all of us, should we choose to grasp it." (Gabriele Stötzer)
by Gabriele Stötzer
with Harriet Wollert, Susanne Truckenbrodt, Silvia Richter, Frank Zieris, Siegfried Bauer, Angelika Andres, Christian Elis, Ralf Gerlach, Monika Gießmann
German Democratic Republic 1988 Without language 25’ Black/White


  • Harriet Wollert
  • Susanne Truckenbrodt
  • Silvia Richter
  • Frank Zieris
  • Siegfried Bauer
  • Angelika Andres
  • Christian Elis
  • Ralf Gerlach
  • Monika Gießmann


Written and Directed by Gabriele Stötzer
Cinematography Gabriele Stötzer
Montage Gabriele Stötzer
Sound Design Gabriele Stötzer
Producer Gabriele Stötzer

World sales

Gabriele Stötzer / Archiv „oriente ex lux"

Produced by

Gabriele Stötzer

Gabriele Stötzer

Born in Emleben, East Germany in 1953, she studied at the teacher training college in Erfurt where, in the mid-1970s, she was expelled on political grounds and imprisoned for a year. She began working as a freelance artist in 1980. In 1989, she was co-initiator of the first occupation of a Stasi (East German secret police) headquarters in Erfurt. Since 1990, she has published eight books and taken part in international exhibitions. She also teaches performance classes at the University of Erfurt and holds lectures on subjects such as feminist art and on being a contemporary witness.

Filmography (Super 8 short films)

1983 Kai und Karsten 1984 Austreibung aus dem Paradies · Lokalbestimmung 1986 Frauenträume; with "Künstlerinnengruppe Erfurt" · Spitze · Trisal 1987 Die Geister berühren; with "Künstlerinnengruppe Erfurt" 1988 Veitstanz/Feixtanz · Kentaur · Komisch komisch; with "Künstlerinnengruppe Erfurt" · Verführung; idea and art direction by Gabriele Göbel, with "Künstlerinnengruppe Erfurt" 1989 ...hab ich euch nicht glänzend amüsiert ? · Erfurt 1989 · Signale 1990 Es waren zwei Königskinder; with "Künstlerinnengruppe Erfurt" · Die Überfahrt; with "Künstlerinnengruppe Erfurt"

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2020