About

Karl Toepfer

Karl Toepfer was born in San Francisco and grew up mostly in Sunnyvale, California. Emeritus Professor of Theater Arts San Jose State University, he received a BA degree in Film Production from UCLA and a doctorate in Theater Arts from UCLA; he also has a Master’s degree in Theater Arts from San Jose State University. From 2004 to 2012, he was the Interim Dean and then the Dean for the College of Humanities and the Arts, San Jose State University. He lives in San Francisco. The Publications page of this website lists some of his scholarly works related to the performing arts. You can see videos he has posted on YouTube here. He has collaborated with Heili Einasto on “The Masks of Femininity” photo project.

Heili Einasto

Heili Einasto is a dance and ballet critic in Estonia, contributing to daily newspapers and cultural weeklies since 1991. Heili Einasto has BA in history and English studies, MA in gender and cultural studies, and a PhD in cultural studies from Tallinn University, where she teaches dance history in the Baltic Film, Media, Arts and Communication Institute. She is the author of 100 aastat moderntantsu: pilguheit Eesti poolelt (100 Years of Modern Dance: an Estonian Perspective, 2000), and Rahel Olbrei, Eesti tantsuteatri rajaja (Rahel Olbrei, Founder of Estonian Ballet Theatre, 2018). She has also co-authored Estonian choreographer Mai Murdmaa’s autobiography Teekond tantsus (Journey in Dance, 2018).

Rahel Olbrei, Eesti tantsuteatri rajaja (Rahel Olbrei, Founder of Estonian Ballet Theatre, 2018)


Rahel Olbrei (1898–1984) was the founder of Estonia’s permanent ballet troupe (1926) and a choreographer for whom ballet was a meaningful art, not just the smooth execution of beautiful movements. It was thanks to her evening-length ballets, which were always dramatically tense and in which every movement was narratively justified, that Estonian culture understood the ballet as a psychophysical art form bearing a complex philosophical perspective. 415 pages with numerous illustrations.

Teekond tantsus (Journey in Dance) (2018)

Ballet choreographer Mai Murdmaa (1938), one of the most distinctive dance thinkers not only in Estonia, but internationally, has said that she cannot live without creating. This book combines reflections on art and life, the memories of colleagues about the common creative process, and the reflections of reviewers on Mai Murdmaa’s productions.