Angiola Sartorio

Angiola Sartorio: collectable image from cigarette album. Jewish Museum Hohenems

Angiola Elise Sartorio (1903-1995) was the daughter of Julie Bonn and the Italian painter Giulio Aristide Sartorio. Her grandmother Elise Bonn, née Brunner, a sister of the “Triestine brothers” of the first generation, had married into the Frankfurt banking family Bonn. Following her parents’ separation and years spent in England and Sweden, Angiola Sartorio moved back to Germany where she became acquainted with the ideas of modern dance and entered the company of Kurt Jooss, a student of the influential dance theoretician Rudolf von Laban, to eventually embark on a remarkable career as choreographer and dancer. In 1933, she created a choreography for Max Reinhardt’s Italian stage production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Florence. She rejected, however, Reinhardt’s invitation to accompany him to the USA. She had just opened a dance school of her own in Florence where numerous dancers fleeing from Germany and Austria had found work starting in 1933. In 1939, Angiola Sartorio decided to flee to the USA herself, first to New York, then to Santa Barbara where she continued teaching dance and choreography. She remained professionally active until the end of her life and took a stand for minorities and civil rights.