Rudolf Lämmel, the father of Vera Skoronel, was a physicist with a professorial position in Dornburg. He published books on mass education (1923), the theory of relativity (1925), intelligence testing (1923), and "social physics" (1925) before serving on a state commission examining
dance schools for accreditation. His Der moderne Tanz (1928), an overview of "the new dance" for the years 1923 to 1927, was hardly comprehensive but nevertheless the most inclusive theoretical treatment of the subject after Brandenburg's book.
For Lämmel, the meaning and identity of dance derived above all from the specific educational background of the dancer, not from pervasive cultural or psychological pressures. He therefore devoted the first half of his book to teachers of pedagogical methods for developing bodily expressivity: Mensendieck, Dalcroze, Kallmeyer, Menzler, Wigman, Laban, Bode, Trümpy, and so forth. He described how these methods prepared bodies to explore "restless technical possibilities" of corporeal expressivity (67). Dance interested Lämmel to the extent that it moved beyond ehical, social, or hygienic problems and discovered hitherto unrecognized signifying powers of the body. Distinctive teachers struggled against stabilizing or even retarding cultural-historical forces to free the body from culturally conditioned fears of it. Thus, for him, the value of dance depended not so much on body type or movement in itself but on the body's relation to space, on its authority to define and establish its control over space through movement (68). Awareness of body-space relations depended almost entirely on teacher-student relations (rather than on dancer-spectator relations) and varied from teacher to teacher.
In the second half of the book, Lämmel examined the work of numerous dancer-teachers and the significance of such formal categories of dance as the movement choir, the revue, the social dance, the dance accompanied by noise, and dance in film. He mentioned all sorts of dancers about whom we would otherwise know nothing, including Helmi Nurk (Bremen), Anne Grünert (Duisburg), Karin Schneider (Graz), Olga Suschitzky (Vienna), Marion Herrmann (Oldenburg), Frances Metz (Munich), and Gertrud Volkenesen (Hamburg). The most detailed and valuable sections of the book described the works and teachings of Vera Skoronel and Berthe Trümpy. The implication was that pedagogic methods produced not types of dancers but distinct dance personalities and that a distinct personality resulted from a struggle to overcome methodological limitations and "through new creations prepare the path of further evolution" (144). Lämmel expanded the idea of "performance reality" to include what happened in the school-class studio, which he described much more effectively than concert performances. Still, he included a hundred pages of theatrical photographs that more than any other publication showed the glamorous presence of modern dance, as both an art and an education, throughout Germany. Lämmel, perhaps unable to resolve the problem of defining the space of dance, published nothing more on the subject and devoted himself to exploring the nature of scientific imagination, publishing books on
Galileo (1929), Newton (1957), race theory (1936), and "the modern scientific world image" (1932).