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ecotopia dance productions: biographies Helena Waldmann



"Helena Waldmann’s work is a godsend for the theatre. The Berlin-based choreographer is a magician of the stage who knows that a work is only successful when it is able to conjure up illusion. However, her critical intelligence also goes beyond the mechanisms of the theatre to question social and political conventions. In Waldmann’s work, thought and sensuality go hand in hand.“ (Andrea Kachelrieß, “Stuttgarter Nachrichten”)
Since her beginnings studying Applied Theatre Studies in Gießen, her first works at the German State Theatres in the early 90s with teachers such as Heiner Müller, George Tabori and Gerhard Bohner, several years at the Mousonturm in Frankfurt, and with her free-lance productions made in coproduction with German and international theatres and festivals, she points to social sore spots, creating total works of art that go far beyond traditional dance-theatre.

Helena Waldmann’s works have won prizes and travelled around the world – to Europe, India, Iran and Afghanistan, Egypt, Palestine, Kenia, South America, Korea and Vietnam. Her opinion is in demand in symposiums, as a lecturer and in workshops in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Germany, Greece, India, Iran, Japan, Korea and Switzerland. These journeys have also continually inspired her to make new works: works such as “Letters from Tentland”, produced in Tehran for six Iranian women, “Return to sender”, her commentary on European immigration policy, performed by six exiled Iranian women, as well as “Feierabend! - das Gegengift -”, her anarchic, delirious antidote to the dictatorship of our modern meritocracy. In the captivating “BurkaBondage” she presented the Muslim veil and Japanese bondage in an uptempo relationship between shackle and protection. “get a revolver”, a solo for Brit Rodemund, who in 2011 was named “Dancer of the Year”, is a celebration of forgetting in which Helena Waldmann senses a possible happiness. And now in “Happy Piece” she declares the smallest stage to a powder keg of dance. Four fearless heralds of fortune find happiness in the rebelliousness of energy and in their dignity. Helena Waldmann's intelligent, gripping piece on the working conditions in the garment industry and in dance has not only been nominated for the German Theatre Prize THE FAUST in the category choreography. "Made in Bangladesh" was also listed in the annual critics' survey of the specialist magazine tanz. It got two mentions as „Performance of the Year“, plus the predominantly female cast received a nod in the category „Female dancer of the Year“. Her latest piece "Good Passports Bad Passports" debates on how we take our borders for granted and how nationalism stops people almost unwittingly to make free choices and think outside the „closed shop“. It is a production together with acrobats, contemporary dancers, and local volunteers.

2017 «Good Passports Bad Passports» Theater im Pfalzbau Ludwigshafen (D)
2015 «Made in Bangladesh» has been nominated for the German Theatre Prize THE FAUST
2014 «Made in Bangladesh – a sweatshop of dance» Dhaka (BD)
2012 curator for TryAngle Performing Research Laboratory, Tanzhaus NRW, Düsseldorf (D) / Théatre Les Bernardines, Marseille (F) / O Espaco do Tempo, Montemor-o-Novo (P)
2011 HappyPiece Premiere 15 December Radialsystem V Berlin
2010 get a revolver Premiere 4 November Festival DANCE 2010, Munich (D)
2009 BurkaBondage Premiere 9 October Haus der Berliner Festspiele
2008 feierabend! - das gegengift - world premiere February 13,2008 Kampnagel Hamburg (D)
2006 Return to Sender - Letters from Tentland premiere June 25 Festival Montpellier Danse 2006
2006 Crash Saarbrücken, Prague, Budapest, Ljubljana and Munich Premiere May 13,2006
2005 «Emotional Rescue» - a dance film, with dancers of El-Funoun Troup from Ramallah and performers from Gaza (Palestine)
2005 Letters from Tentland» for six Iranian female performer (Tehran/Berlin) Premiere January 2005 Fadjr Festival Tehran
2003 «Headhunters» -cutting the edges- in collaboration with Cie. Viladança, Teatro Vila Velha, Salvador de Bahia (BR), awarded the UNESCO prize
2003 waschen schneiden fönen», guest choreography for Luzerner Theater (CH)
2002 «The Invasion of the Penguins», guest choreography for Staatstheater Darmstadt (D),
2002 Odyssee 2002 according to Homer at Luzerner Theater (CH)
2001 Right across the Ages: China on the Catwalk China Festival Berlin/Peking
2001 «Banquet for Long Pigs» Podewil Berlin
2001 Show window, Atelier Markgraph, YelloMiles Multimedia Show for GDS Düsseldorf, awarded 1st prize in the catgory Exhibition Events: EVA 2001
2001 «The Expansion of the Fighting Zone» according to Michel Houellebecq at Luzerner Theater (CH)
2000 artist in residence at Podewil Berlin,
«2000 see and be scene» -a catwalk banquet- Berliner Festspiele and Podewil Berlin

created at Künstlerhaus Mousonturm Frankfurt/Main:
1999 CheshireCat® -a little revue-
1998 lucky johnny -a boat movie-
1997 vodka konkav -optics break dance- awarded the IMPULSE'97 Prize
1996 face....à -an erotic phantasmagoria-
1995 circuit -a raging roundabout-
1993 the malady of death -an overhead show-

created as free-lanced director:
1993 Affaire Rue de Lourcine by Eugène Labiche
1992 Amphitryon by Heinrich von Kleist created at Schauspielhaus Bochum:
1992 ungeduscht, geduzt und ausgebuht according to Max Goldt/Wiglaf Droste
1991 In der Einsamkeit der Baumwollfelder by Bernard-Marie Koltès
1990 Verkürzte Landschaft according to Georg Paulmichl

Part-time lectureship at Universities of Frankfurt/Main (1994/95 + 2001/02), Paris (1995)
From 1989 to 1990 assistant with Frank-Patrick Steckel, Gerhard Bohner, Jürgen Gosch and Urs Troller at Schauspielhaus Bochum.
working on theatre projects e.g. with Heiner Müller, Adolf Dresen, Emma Lewis Thomas, Molly Davies; with George Tabori at Munich Kammerspiele; with Axel Manthey at TAT Frankfurt/Main.
educated in Applied Theatre-Studies at University in Giessen, Germany, graduated in 1987

ecotopia dance productions: biographies Helena Waldmann

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