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The globetrotter of dance
*1962, lives in Berlin

Her work has been receiving international acclaim since 1993, mainly because of the political force of her choreographies. In her free-lance productions made in coproduction with German and international theaters and festivals she points to social sore spots, creating total works of art that go far beyond traditional dance-theatre. Her mastery lies in gradually tightening the dramaturgical screw. Her messages subtly sneak up on you in moccasins only to finally drive a lightning bolt of recognition through your brain.
Her works have won prizes and travelled around the world – to Europe, Iran and Afghanistan, Egypt, Palestine, Kenia, South America, Korea, Vietnam, India and Bangladesh. These journeys have also continually inspired her to make new works: works such as “Headhunters – cutting the edges”(2004), produced in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil – a piece awarding the UNESCO prize; Letters from Tentland” (2005), produced in Tehran for six Iranian women, in which she took a closer look at Islam; “return to sender – Letters from Tentland ” (2006), her commentary on European immigration policy, performed by six exiled Iranian women; her short movie “emotional rescue“ (2005) produced in Ramallah and Gaza, Palestine on circumstances of the blockade; as well as her anarchic-delirious antidote to the dictatorship of our modern meritocracy oriented society, „Feierabend! – the antidote“ (2008). In the captivating “BurkaBondage” (2009) she presented the Muslim veil and Japanese bondage in an up-tempo relationship between shackle and protection. In “get a revolver” (2010) she pushed dementia off its pedestal of pity. She dismantled the happy-go-lucky circus of our consumer-driven existence in „HappyPiece“ (2011). „Made in Bangladesh“ (2015), produced in Dhaka, is a gripping piece on the working conditions in the garment industry and in dance; in her piece „Good Passports Bad Passports“ (2017) she 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“ – a production together with contemporary dancers & acrobats, and local volunteers. „We Love Horses“ (2018) is acknowledging the human propensity to be tamed and domesticated and makes a fervent plea for more bad behavior. Her new show, „The Intruder – an autopsy –“ (2019) deals with defense and attack by dancers capable to perform Martial Arts. It is about fear, the fear of intruders – into our bodies, into our society. And our desperate attempts to shield ourselves from them, to ward them off, to keep them away from us. In the winter semester 2018/19 she was Bertolt Brecht Visiting Professor of the City of Leipzig at the Centre of Competence for Theatre, University Leipzig. From the end of 2019 until the lockdown in March 2020 she worked with four choreography collaborators (Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Richard Siegal, Rainer Behr and Gintersdorfer/Klaßen) on a joint piece 'Encounters' for Tanztheater Wuppertal|Pina Bausch. Most recently she directed a short film "Cloakroom Encounters" with five Pina Bausch dancers and the singers of the WoW-Women of Wuppertal for Tanztheater Wuppertal | Pina Bausch.

2020 «Cloakroom Encounter» - a dancefilm made in Wuppertal -, Tanztheater Wuppertal | Pina Bausch (D)
2019 «The Intruder» Theater im Pfalzbau Ludwigshafen (D)
2018 «We Love Horses» for Gauthier Dance//Dance Company Theaterhaus Stuttgart (D)
2017 «Good Passports Bad Passports» Theater im Pfalzbau Ludwigshafen (D)
2014 «Made in Bangladesh» Theater im Pfalzbau Ludwigshafen (D)
nominated for DER FAUST theatre prize
2011 «HappyPiece» Radialsystem V Berlin (D)
2010 «get a revolver» Festival DANCE 2010, Munich (D)
2009 «BurkaBondage» Haus der Berliner Festspiele
2008 «Feierabend! - the antidote» Kampnagel Hamburg (D)
2006 «return to sender» Festival Montpellier Danse 2006
awarded the INFANT Prize, Serbia
2006 «CRASH - a fence dance» guest choreography for Saarländisches Staatstheater Saarbrücken (D)
2005 «Emotional Rescue - a dance movie», Al Jazeera film festival, Ramallah (Palestine)
awarded the “Special Prize” of Al Jazeera film festival
2004/5 «Letters from Tentland - a dance under cover» Festival Dance 2004, Haus der Kunst, München (D) premiere: Fadjr Festival Teheran (Iran)
2003 «Headhunters - cutting the edges» Vila Dança, Salvador de Bahia (Brasil)
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» guest directing for Luzerner Theater (CH)
2001 «Right across the Ages: China on the Catwalk» China Festival Berlin/Peking, Arena Berlin (D)
2001 «Banquet for Long Pigs» Podewil Berlin (D)
2001 «Show Fenster» Atelier Markgraph, YelloMiles, GDS Düsseldorf (D)
awarded the 1. Prize of Exhibition Events: EVA 2001
2001 «The Expansion of the Fighting Zone» according to Michel Houellebecq guest directing for Luzerner Theater (CH)
2000 artist in residence at Podewil Berlin (D)
2000 «see and be scene - a catwalk banquet» Berliner Festspiele / Haus der Deutschen Wirtschaft, Berlin (D)

created at Künstlerhaus Mousonturm Frankfurt/Main:
1999 «CheshireCat® -a little revue»
1998 «luckyjohnny - 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, guest directing for Landestheater Hannover (D)
1992 «Amphitryon» by Heinrich von Kleist guest directing for Landestheater Castrop-Rauxel (D)
1992 «ungeduscht, geduzt und ausgebuht» by Max Goldt/Wiglaf Droste, Schauspielhaus Bochum (D)
1991 «In der Einsamkeit der Baumwollfelder» by Bernard-Marie Koltès, Schauspielhaus Bochum (D)
1990 «Verkürzte Landschaft» by Georg Paulmichl, Schauspielhaus Bochum (D)

2018/2019 Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum – Kulturen der Welt, Köln (D)
Film: Made in Bangladesh as part of the exhibition Fast Fashion. The Dark Side of Fashion
2016/2017 Textilmuseum St. Gallen (CH)
Film: Made in Bangladesh as part of the exhibition Fast Fashion. The Dark Side of Glamour
2016 Haus der Brandenburgisch-Preußischen Geschichte, Potsdam (D)
Film: Made in Bangladesh as part of the special exhibition uni-form? Body, Fashion and Work made to measure

Visiting Professorship
2018–2019 Bertolt Brecht Visiting Professorship of the City of Leipzig at the Centre of Competence for Theatre, University Leipzig (D)

WS 2004/05 Institut für Theater-, Film- und Medienwissenschaft, Universität Frankfurt/Main (D)
WS 1994/95 Institut für Theater-, Film- und Medienwissenschaft, Universität Frankfurt/Main (D)
SS 1995 Institut d’Etudes Théâtrales de la Université Paris 8, Saint-Denis, Paris (F)

Juror and curator
2018-2020 Juror @ German Dance Award / Deutscher Tanzpreis
2016 Juror @ 30. International Competition for Choreographers Hannover (D)
2016 Juror @ 20. International Solo-Dance-Theatre Festival Stuttgart (D)
2014 Juror @ dance platform Bern Konzert Theater Bern (CH)
2012 Curator for the TryAngle Performing Research Laboratory Tanzhaus NRW, Düsseldorf (D) / Théatre Les Bernardines, Marseille (F) / O Espaco do Tempo, Montemor-o-Novo (P)

Workshops & lectures
2019 West Kowloon Cultural Center District, Hong Kong/China
1-week-workshop on „anatomical theatre“
2018 Oktoberdans BIT Teatergarasien, Bergen/Norway
Lectureperformance on „Art As Force. Situationism and performing arts. HappyPiece“
2016 New National Theater Tokyo/Japan
2-day-workshop on „Create your personal future body“
2013 Shadona Dance Institut, Dhaka/Bangladesh
3-day-workshop on „deconstruction“
2012 Institut für Kulturpolitik der Universität Hildesheim/D
Lecture on „Playing theatre is dangerous „
2012 Performing Arts Festival Seoul/Korea
2-day-workshop on „The forgetting„
2012 Theaterfestival Basel/CH
1-day-workshop on „strategies“
2011 Goethe-Institut Addis Abeba/Äthiopien
14-day-workshop on „urbanity“
2010 Goethe-Institut Dhaka/Bangladesch
Lecture on „New Commons“
2010 Institut für Theater- und Medienwissenschaft, Erlangen/D
1-day-workshop on „forgetting“
2009 Tokyo Wonder Site, Tokyo/Japan
3-day-workshop on „forgetting“
2009 Japan Foundation und Goethe-Institut Tokyo
Lecture on „Fostering Peace through Cultural Initiatives“
BurkaBondage – The development of a dance theatre project between Germany, Afghanistan and Japan
2009 Osaka University/Japan
Lecture on „realities“
2009 Goethe Institut Tokyo/Japan
Lecture on „realities“
2009 10th Summer Academy of National Theatre of Greece, „Archaelogy of theatre experiance“, Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki/GR
Worktable on „Actor’s Body and Cultural Identities“,
2008 Goethe-Institut Osaka /Japan
2-day-workshop „Shop Without Work“
2008 Goethe-Institut Tokyo/Japan
2-day-workshop „Shop Without Work“
2008 University of Fine Arts, Kabul/Afghansitan
8-day-workshop during the 5. national theater festival in Kabul
Workshop on „tell what lies behind – foretell what lies ahead“
2007 University of Fine Arts, Kabul/Afghansitan
1-day-workshop during the 4. national Theater festival in Kabul
2007 National School of Drama, Dehli/Indien
Lecture & 1-day-workshop on „Reality“
2007 Berliner Theatertreffen, Berlin/D
international 10-day-workshop „Shop Without Work“
2005 6th Summer Academy of National Theatre of Greece, Oia, Santorini/GR
7-day-workshop on „Abduction – Seduction“,
2004 Dramatic Arts Center Tehran/Iran
10-day-workshop on „realities“

Book publications about Helena Waldmann
2014 Arnd Wesemann: Made in Bangladesh, Editie Leesmagazijn, Amsterdam
2013 Claudia Rosiny, Intermediale Beziehungen zwischen Mediengeschichte und moderner Tanzästhetik, transcript Verlag
2012 Natasha Hassiotis, Große Choreografen, CaptainBook, Athen
2008 Arnd Wesemann: Immer Feste Tanzen, Transkript Verlag, Bielefeld
2005 Susanne Vincenz (Hrsg.): Letters from Tentland, Transkript Verlag, Bielefeld
1999 Hans-Thies Lehmann: Postdramatisches Theater Verlag der Autoren, Frankfurt am Main

Publications by Helena Waldmann
Betroffenheitstouristen, in: Konfliktkulturen. Texte zu Politik, Gesellschaft, Alltag und Kunst. Hrsg. Ronald Grätz + Hans-Georg Knopp, Steidl Verlag, 2011
Gefangen oder frei? Die Theaterproduktion „BurkaBondage“ erkundet die Sehnsucht nach Bindungen, in: Kulturaustausch, Zeitschrift für internationale
Perspektiven. Hrsg. Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen ifa, 11/2010

Das Korsett der Befreiung , Fesselkünste in Afghanistan und Japan – eine Reise am Seil, in: Kulturaustausch, Zeitschrift für internationale Perspektiven. Hrsg. Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen ifa, 02/2010
Korsett. Der Raum ist ein Korsett, sonst hätte man alle Welt zur Verfügung, in: ballettanz, Jahrbuch über FREIRÄUME, 2006
Wie Tentland entstand und als Karawane immer weiterzieht, in: Letters from Tentland. Zelte im Blick: Helena Waldmanns Performance in Iran. Hrsg. Susanne Vincenz, TanzScripte, transcript Verlag, 2005

1982-1987 Applied Theater Studies Justus-Liebig University in Giessen, Germany.
Professors: Andrzej Wirth and Hans-Thies Lehmann.
Workes with Visiting Directors: Heiner Müller, George Tabori, Adolf Dresen, Emma Lewis Thomas und Molly Davies.
1987 Diploma

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