Schottelius, Renate (1921 – 1998) By Fortuna, Victoria
German-born dancer and choreographer Renate Schottelius was a pioneer of modern dance in Argentina. Following early training in classical and modern dance in Berlin, she immigrated to Argentina in 1936, where she presented original work and in 1944 joined former Denishawn dancer Miriam Winslow’s company based in Buenos Aires. In 1953 Schottelius travelled to the United States, where she studied with Louis Horst, Doris Humphrey, Martha Graham, Agnes de Mille, José Limón, and Hanya Holm. Schottelius’s choreography synthesizes her roots in German Ausdruckstanz and the U.S. modern dance tradition, reflecting not only her personal artistic biography, but also the confluence of modernist styles circulating through Argentina by the mid-20th century. In addition to her artistic contributions, Schottelius was at the forefront of initiatives to support modern dance production in Argentina, most notably the Friends of Dance Association (1962–1972). Over the course of her extensive performance and teaching career Schottelius also worked internationally at the Royal Swedish Opera, the Cullberg Ballet, and the Boston Conservatory of Music, Dance, and Theatre. A keen teacher of dance technique and composition, she mentored many influential Argentine modern dancers, including Oscar Araiz and Ana María Stekelman. Schottelius acted as artistic advisor to the Contemporary Ballet of the General San Martín Municipal Theatre until her death in Buenos Aires in 1998.