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ecotopia dance productions: biographies Gauthier Dance//Dance Company Theaterhaus Stuttgart



Gauthier Dance // Dance Company Theaterhaus Stuttgart i
Gauthier Dance//Dance Company Theaterhaus Stuttgart is a young, dynamic company of 16 highly individual, versatile dancers, directed by the dancer, choreographer and musician Eric Gauthier. The Dance Company Theaterhaus Stuttgart presents contemporary dance by Gauthier and internationally renowned choreographers such as Mauro Bigonzetti, William Forsythe, Jiří Kylián, Itzik Galili, Lightfoot/León, Hans van Manen, Hofesh Shechter, Ohad Naharin, Sharon Eyal/Gai Behar, Richard Siegal, Nacho Duato, Marco Goecke, Ed Wubbe, Roni Haver & Guy Weizman and Nadav Zelner.

Set up in October 2007, Gauthier Dance established itself in the German dance scene with record speed and has become an international brand. During the first years, the company's acclaim was based on their original, humorous bills that also attracted a big young audience. Today, the programme is every bit as accessible but offers a wider choice of styles and moods. In summer 2010, Gauthier Dance saw the successful world premiere of their first full-length piece, Christian Spuck´s POPPEA//POPPEA, which was included among the 10 top productions of the season 2009/10 by the British specialist magazine Dance Europe and earned Spuck the German Theatre Prize THE FAUST 2011. Two years later, the „German Academy Award“ once again went to a member of Gauthier Dance: Anna Süheyla Harms won THE FAUST 2013 as Best Performer Dance. The company has a reputation for breaking new ground. Following a stereoscopic version of Gauthier's choreography Threesome which was also screened as a supporting film to Wim Wenders' PINA and seen by more than 50,000 German arthouse cinemagoers, Gauthier Dance tackled an even more ambitious project: POPPEA//POPPEA became the first full-length dance piece to be turned into a 3D film and was broadcast on the French-German television channel arte in February 2014.

Parallel to its growing fame, Gauthier Dance has intensified collaborations with international star choreographers. Following the rave success of Mauro Bigonzetti's narrative ballet Alice the next full-length piece saw its world première in June 2016: Marco Goecke's exploration of the myth NIJINSKI – a ballet which was equally celebrated by critics and audiences and is widely regarded as another milestone in the company's development. Awards include a Premio Danza&Danza 2016 for Marco Goecke as Best Choreographer and for Rosario Guerra as Dancer of the Year plus a particularly gratifying distinction: In the Yearbook 2017, the readers of the German specialist magazine tanz voted NIJINSKI the first winner in the new category Favourite of the Year. In January 2019, the partnership between Theaterhaus and the world-famous choreographer was officially sealed when Marco Goecke became the company's first-ever Artist-in-Residence.

In March 2017, the company celebrated its first ten years with the anniversary programme BIG FAT TEN. The seasons since have been just as stacked with highlights. Following Grandes Dames, a tribute to the women of dance premiered in summer 2018, two major new productions marked the Gauthier Dance year 2019: Deuces, a bill of duets featuring eight world premieres by international star choreographers, as well as Classy Classics, the opener of the 3rd COLOURS International Dance Festival. In summer 2020, a smart, short-term swap in the production schedule saved the day for the company. On very short notice, artist-in-residence Marco Goecke agreed to bring forward the creation of his full-length piece Do You Love Gerswhin?, in compliance with all Corona-related hygiene requirements. Instead, the spectacular new programme Swan Lakes, featuring four new contemporary readings of the ballet classic by Marie Chouinard, Marco Goecke, Hofesh Shechter and Cayetano Soto will open the 4th COLOURS festival 2021.

In addition to the performances at its home base Theaterhaus Stuttgart, the company is busy touring to international dance cities including Toronto, New York, Tel Aviv, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Monaco, Québec City, Montréal, Berlin and Chicago.

What's more, Gauthier Dance undertakes an extensive Educational and Community Outreach programme, the first of its kind in Germany: Gauthier Dance Mobile. With a specially tailored repertory of works which can be presented in small spaces, the pioneering format brings contemporary dance to people who cannot come to the theatre themselves. Gauthier Dance Mobile performs at youth centres, hospitals or at old people's homes.

Theaterhaus Stuttgart, which opened its doors in 1985, is a unique cultural center which presents theatre, music, dance, cabaret, comedy, literature, political discussions and more on a total of four stages. Not only has Theaterhaus a long tradition of producing and presenting dance theatre; best known are the collaborations between Marcia Haydée and Ismail Ivo. It has also traditionally been and continues to be, a venue for the free-lance dance scene in Stuttgart. Gauthier Dance is the First Resident Contemporary Dance Company in Stuttgart.

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ecotopia dance productions: biographies Gauthier Dance//Dance Company Theaterhaus Stuttgart Eric Gauthier
artistic director and choreographer, Gauthier Dance // Dance Company Theaterhaus Stuttgart

It only took Eric Gauthier a few years to make it from charismatic soloist of the Stuttgart Ballet to high-profile international choreographer and artistic director of one of Germany's most successful companies. The German Dance Prize »Future« 2011 in the category choreography for Gauthier himself as well as the German Theatre Prize THE FAUST 2011 and 2013 for Gauthier Dance mark the reputation the company of currently 16 dancers has gained since 2007.

Top companies worldwide have taken Gauthier's works into their repertoire, amongst others the Staatsballett Berlin, the St. Petersburg Mariinsky Ballet, the Stuttgart Ballet, Scapino Ballet Rotterdam or Het Nationale Ballet Amsterdam. The latest kudos include the Prize for the Best Duet at the St. Petersburg DANCE OPEN Festival 2016 for Gauthier's Punk Love and the distinction as a „Great Hope“ in the yearbook 2016 of the German specialist magazine tanz. He also collaborates with stars from the world of music, devising a stage show for „panda rapper“ Cro or the music video of Philippe Poisel's song Roman. Most recently, he acted as choreographer for the SWR feature film Mackie Messer – Brechts Dreigroschenfilm, one of the great hits of the German cinema year 2018. Moreover, Gauthier can now also be seen in front of the camera – as the presenter and dance expert of the SWR documentary series Dance Around the World, which takes the television audience to the world's great dance cities. The first film was shot Tel Aviv and broadcast on SWR in July 2020.

The high regard in which the performer Eric Gauthier is held is reflected by the enthusiastic reception of The Gift, created for him by Itzik Galili. What was meant to be Gauthier's final bow as a soloist turned out to be a fresh start, as the sensational success of the premiere in March 2018 left him no choice but to – keep on dancing.

As if the meteoric rise of his company weren't enough, Gauthier has now also made a name for himself as a festival maker: In the summer of 2015, the premiere edition of COLOURS International Dance Festival, conceived by Gauthier and produced by Theaterhaus Stuttgart, took the public, the media and the dance world by storm. With an expanded programme in Stuttgart's city centre and an even more prestigious artistic line-up, the biennial event is now one of the most important dance festivals in Europe. What's more, participatory formats such as COLOURS in the City or COLOURS Playground ensure that Gauthier's vision for dance comes true: to reach everybody. An aim he also achieved with two new online projects that received thousands of views: In times of Corona, his dance-along YouTube channel (living room ballet) and Eric's Tanztee (tea dance), developed for the Ministry of Transport of Baden-Wuerttemberg and its local transport brand, inspired people to get moving at home.

As the son of a leading Alzheimer's researcher, Eric Gauthier has acquired an awareness for social issues early on. With Gauthier Dance Mobile, the company brings contemporary dance to youth centres, hospitals or to old people's homes. Eric Gauthier was awarded the Order of Merit of the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg and is a member of the board of trustees of the Alzheimer's Foundation Baden-Wuerttemberg.

The time before Gauthier Dance

Eric Gauthier was born in Montréal, Canada. He received his initial ballet training at the school of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in his hometown and subsequently studied at the National Ballet School in Toronto, where he also received music and voice lessons. In 1995 he became an apprentice with the National Ballet of Canada under the artistic direction of Reid Anderson.
When Reid Anderson was appointed Director of the Stuttgart Ballet in 1996, he invited Eric Gauthier to come to Stuttgart with him as a member of the corps de ballet. In 2000 Eric Gauthier was named demi-soloist, and in 2002 he was promoted to Soloist.

In Stuttgart Gauthier danced many classical and neo-classical roles including Alain in Frederick Ashton's La fille mal gardée, Mercutio in John Cranko's Romeo and Juliet, the Joker in Cranko's Jeu de Cartes as well as in works by George Balanchine and Kenneth MacMillan. It was his abilities as a contemporary dancer, however, which were instantly noted by every choreographer who worked with the Stuttgart Ballet between 1996 and 2006. For ten years, Eric Gauthier danced in almost every world or company premiere, and in so doing he danced the works of, or worked directly with, an impressive roster of internationally acclaimed choreographers including Hans van Manen, John Neumeier, Jiří Kylián, Nacho Duato, Paul Lightfoot, Uwe Scholz and James Kudelka. He especially made a name for himself as an outstanding interpreter of the works of William Forsythe, dancing five of his ballets and working often with the American choreographer both in Stuttgart and in Frankfurt. During his time with the Stuttgart Ballet (1996-2007), Gauthier also inspired an impressive list of choreographers to create roles for him, most especially Christian Spuck, former resident choreographer of the Stuttgart Ballet and current Artistic Director of Zurich Ballet. Gauthier danced in eight world premieres by Spuck who created the role of Schigolch in Lulu and the leading role of the painter in peau blanche... for him. Other choreographers who have created roles for Eric Gauthier include Mauro Bigonzetti, Itzik Galili, Kevin O'Day, Marguerite Donlon, Daniela Kurz, Dominique Dumais, Nicolo Fonte, Matjash Mrozewski, Douglas Lee, Marc Spradling, James Sutherland, Pascal Touzeau and Trey McIntyre.

In 2005 Gauthier made his debut as a choreographer in the prestigious „Young Choreographers“ programme of the Stuttgart-based Noverre Society. In 2006 he was invited back and created Ballet 101, which won the Critics as well as Audience Prizes at the 21. International Choreographic Competition in Hanover, Germany. In 2007, Gauthier created Air Guitar for the Noverre Society. In September 2007, shortly after leaving the Stuttgart Ballet, Eric Gauthier starred alongside the legendary dancer Egon Madsen in Christian Spuck's Don Q. which Spuck created for the Theaterhaus Stuttgart. The world premiere was a "sensational success" in the words of the critic Hartmut Regitz of "ballet-tanz" magazine. Don Q. has toured to Austria, Italy, Spain, Luxembourg, Korea and many cities in Germany.

In summer 2015 Eric Gauthier presented his idea of a biannual dance festival over three weeks called COLOURS – International Dance Festival which delighted the people in the whole region and turned the Theaterhaus into a house of dance.


Cesar Locsin Ballet Master
Born to dance: Cesar comes from a family of dancers from the Philippines. He started his ballet training with lessons by his grandmother and aunt and continued his education with scholarships from the CCP Dance School in Manila and the San Francisco Ballet School. Following stints with the Ballet Philippines, Jeune Ballet de France, Ballet Gulbenkian, Aterballetto and the Staatsballett Karlsruhe, he joined the Ballet of Deutsche Oper am Rhein in 2004. He soon became one of the most distinguished dancers in the company and also made his debut as choreographer with Fourmis (2017) for the Young Moves programme. In summer 2020, Cesar finally changed sides – as ballet master with Gauthier Dance.

Luis Sayago Ballet Master
Born in Venezuela, Luis studied both ballet and electrical engineering before dedicating himself entirely to dance. After first engagements in his hometown Caracas, Luis moved on to Europe. Following stints with the Spanish IT Dansa Jove Companya and the abcdancecompany in St. Pölten, he was a member of Kevin O´Day´s and Dominique Dumais´ Ballet of Nationaltheater Mannheim for 13 years. In 2014, he embarked on a freelance career as dancer, choreographer and lecturer in the Rhine-Neckar region. He regularly cooperated with Unterwegstheater as well as projects such as ARTORT or HD moves in Heidelberg. From the 2019/20 season, Luis will be ballet master of Gauthier Dance.

Bruna Andrade
The native Brazilian began her dance training in Rio before moving on to the Mannheim Academy of Dance, thanks to a scholarship of the Birgit Keil Dance Foundation. Birgit Keil, both head of the Academy and Artistic Director of Staatsballet Karlsruhe, saw her potential and made her a member of her company. Bruna danced her way up to the top, and was appointed First Soloist in the season 2012/13. She did not only shine in the title roles of MacMillan´s Romeo and Juliet, Cranko´s The Taming of the Shrew and Peter Wright´s Giselle, but also in the highly virtuoso Forsythe piece The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude. The highlight of her career so far: in 2014, Bruna was awarded The German Theatre Prize THE FAUST as Best Performer Dance.

Louiza Avraam
Louiza started ballet training in her hometown Limassol in Cyprus. Following a two-year stint with the Ballet School of John Neumeier´s Hamburg Ballet, she moved on to the renowned CODARTS University for the Arts Rotterdam in 2013. In her final year at university, she already danced with Scapino Ballet Rotterdam in choreographies by Wubbe, Goecke, Landerer and Serussi. From the season 2015/16 to 2017/18, she was a member of the Ballet of Saarländisches Staatstheater Saarbrücken and soon stood out: She was awarded the SponsorClubPrize 2017 as Best Performer Ballet and appeared in pieces by Stijn Celis, Jiří Kylián, Ohad Naharin, Andonis Foniadakis and Alexander Ekman.

Nora Brown
American-born Nora Brown trained at the Boston Ballet School and the North Carolina School of Arts. Following stints with the Boston Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal and The Metropolitan Opera Ballet Nora moved on to Europe, first to Ballett Dortmund under Artistic Director Xin Peng Wang and then to Ballett im Revier, the company headed by the former Stuttgart Soloist Bridget Breiner. In Gelsenkirchen, she danced works by Breiner, Marco Goecke, Jiří Bubeníček, Cathy Marston and Demis Volpi. From September 2015, she has been a member of Gauthier Dance and distinguished herself in pieces by Ohad Naharin, Hans van Manen and Sharon Eyal–Gai Behar.

Anneleen Dedroog First Artist
A Belgian, Anneleen started her dance education at the Balletschool Marijke Clijsters. In 2003 she decided to study at the Royal Ballet School of Antwerp. From there she was engaged at Dantzaz Konpainia, a young contemporary dance company in San Sebastián, Spain. She danced works by Sophie Antoine, Itzik Galili, Eric Gauthier, Hilde Koch, Jone San Martin, Kudo Satoshi and Lukas Timulak. Her talent was spotted by Eric Gauthier during a gala – and this is how she was engaged for the Dance Company Theaterhaus Stuttgart in September 2011. The part of the evil Queen in Mauro Bigonzetti's Alice won her wide critical acclaim.

Barbara Melo Freire
The Brazilian left her home city Rio de Janeiro at the age of 13 for a scholarship at the State Ballet School in Berlin. Her extensive repertoire includes works by William Forsythe, Christian Spuck, Mauro Bigonzetti, Benjamin Millepied, and Xin Peng Wang. As early as 2005, she won a prize at the Tanzolymp Berlin. In 2012, she was awarded the Bajazzo as Best Female Dancer of North Rhine-Westphalia. Barbara was a soloist with Theater Rostock, the Mecklenburg State Theatre in Schwerin and most recently with Theater Dortmund. She joined Gauthier Dance at the beginning of the season 2016/17. Her virtuoso, high-spirited dancing makes her the ideal partner in Eric Gauthier´s humorous pas de deux Ballet 102.

Garazi Perez Oloriz First Artist
Garazi Perez Oloriz was born in Spain and received her training at the Dance Conservatory in Pamplona and at the Institut del Teatre in Barcelona. From 2007 until 2009 she was a member of Dantzaz Konpainia in San Sebastián where she danced works by Itzik Galili, Christophe Garcia, Hilde Koch and Thierry Malandain. In September 2009 she joined Gauthier Dance where, right in her first season, she performed in the title role of Christian Spuck`s widely acclaimed ballet POPPEA//POPPEA. At the beginning of her second season she debuted as choreographer with Rouge Lippen Fish (2010) in the Gauthier Dance production Out of the Box II. With her piece Naked Eyes from the production Out of the Box III she got invited to the international competition for Choreographers in Hannover 2012. In the same year Garazi Perez Oloriz got nominated from the magazine tanz in their yearbook as best dancer. By now her repertoire embraces choreographies by Eric Gauthier, Alejandro Cerrudo, Paul Lightfoot & Sol León, Jirí Kylián, Stephan Thoss, Cayetano Soto, Alexander Ekman and Mauro Bigonzetti.

Izabel Szylinska
As the daughter of a dancer and choreographer, Izabela literally grew up in the studio. In 2008, she completed her training with the Polish National Ballet School in Warsaw with a very special distinction: the Prize of the Best Graduate of Ballet Schools in Poland. She danced for four years at the Polish National Ballet! There she performed in all pieces of the classical and contemporary core repertoire. In 2014 Izabela reinvented herself. She moved to New York, drawing inspiration from her work with the cutting-edge choreographers Karole Armitage and Emery LeCrone. Following her stint with the renowned BJM – Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal, Izabela will bring her experience to Gauthier Dance from the season 2019/20.

Sidney Elisabeth Turtschi
While she was stilling training at the Ballet School of Basel Theatre, Sidney´s great talent earned her the Study Award Dance of Migros-Kulturprozent 2011 & 2012 and the Cultural Advancement Award for Young People Basel-Stadt 2013. From the season 2013/14 to 2017/18, she was a member of both Richard Wherlock´s Ballet Theatre Basel and, for two years, of the independent company Carta Blanca Dance. Sidney danced in pieces by, amongst others, Stjin Celis, Johan Inger, Ed Wubbe, Richard Wherlock, Alexander Ekman, Alejandro Cerrudo and Hofesh Schechter – almost exclusively artists who also feature in the Gauthier Dance repertoire. The signs are good for Sidney´s start in Stuttgart in autumn 2018!

Andrew Cummings
Trained in the UK, active as a dancer all over Europe: Andrew attended the Knightswood Dance School of Scotland and the famous Elmhurst Ballet School before taking up engagements across the continent, first with Heinz Spoerli`s Zurich Junior Ballet, then the Greek National Ballet under Renato Zanella and the dance company of Theater St. Gallen. In the 2016/17 season, Andrew became a freelancer and danced numerous leading roles in a wide range of productions, amongst others in Cottbus, Lübeck and Linz, the Théâtre des Champs Elysées in Paris, Frankfurt and Graz Opera, the Komische Oper Berlin and the Salzburg Festival. In January 2020 Andrew joined Gauthier Dance as a guest dancer.

Alessio Marchini
Alessio was educated at the Passione Danza School of his home city Rome and the Balletto di Toscana School in Florence. He won prizes at the Mediterranean Dance Competition, the Grand Prix Festival and the Rieti Danza Festival 2011. Alessio was a member of the Junior Balletto di Toscana and the Oniin Dance Company Bologna before he joined Gauthier Dance in 2014. He appeared in pieces by Mauro Bigonzetti, Hans van Manen, Jiří Kylián, Cayetano Soto, Nanine Linning, Alejandro Cerrudo, Marco Goecke, Andonis Foniadakis, Itzik Galili, Nacho Duato, Ohad Naharin and Hofesh Shechter. He also gave a strong performance in Nadav Zelner´s duo Alte Zachen, the popular trailer for the COLOURS festival 2017.

Luca Pannacci
Italian-born Luca began his training at ballet schools in Bastia Umbria and Milan. He graduated from the Scuola di Ballo del Teatro dell´Opera di Roma and was immediately taken on by the Ballet of Opera Rome. The Italian capital was to remain his home for the following years, during six seasons with the Balletto di Roma, one of Italy´s leading contemporary companies. There he distinguished himself in modern interpretations of the great ballet classics, including Itamar Serussi´s Giselle and as Iago in Othello or Rothbart in Swan Lake, both by Fabrizio Monteverde. Most recently Luca danced with the Ballet of the Hanover State Opera under Jörg Mannes. He joined Gauthier Dance in the season 2019/20.

Mark Sampson
The Canadian faction in the company is growing! In addition to Eric Gauthier and Robert Stephen, there is now a third Canadian. Mark trained at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. For his degree, however, he moved on to the more contemporary-oriented Juillard School in New York, which he left in 2016 with the Martha Hill Prize for Leadership and Excellence in Dance in his pocket. He got off to an excellent start with one of his home country´s top companies: BJM – Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal. There he danced in pieces by choreographers whom he is sure to meet again in Stuttgart, such as Itzik Galili, Barak Marshall and Andonis Foniadakis. Mark joined Gauthier Dance in the 2019/20 season.

Jonathan dos Santos
The Brazilian Jonathan dos Santos was educated at several ballet schools in Barra Bonita, Jundiai, Sao Paulo, at the Pacific Dance Arts in Vancouver (Canada) under the direction of Li Yaming and at the RNB Dance Theatre Arts. He started as a dancer with the company of Sao José dos Campos (Brazil) and later moved on to Ballett Nordhausen and, most recently, to Ballet Rossa at the Opera Halle/Saale. Jonathan joined Gauthier Dance in the season 2015/2016. His Stuttgart repertoire includes choreographies by Marco Goecke, Mauro Bigonzetti, Nanine Linning, Cayetano Soto, Hans van Manen and Ohad Naharin. Also mastering a big speaking part, he stands out as showman in „the best ballet in the world“ – Itzik Galilis My Best Enemy.

Theophilus Veselý
At the age of seven, the Austrian started his dance education at the Ballet Academy of the Vienna State Opera before moving on to the John Cranko School in Stuttgart. Even before he received his diploma, the highflyer performed at the Vienna State Opera, the Staatstheater Stuttgart and in guest performances in Moscow, England and Switzerland. At the beginning of the 2012/2013 season, he joined the ballet company of Theater Augsburg where he was awarded the Augsburg Theatre Prize and the Bavarian State Award for the Advancement of Arts. His start with Gauthier Dance in autumn 2016 proved just as smooth: Eric Gauthier immediately cast him as the hilariously conceited duo partner in his pas de deux spoof Ballet 102.

Chen-Chiang Wu
A real high-flyer! Born in Taiwan, Chen-Chiang studied dance at the National University of the Arts Taipei and the Hong Kong Academy for The Performing Arts. In addition to ballet and contemporary dance, he also trained in Chinese dance, acrobatics and martial arts. Even during his studies Shawn, as he calls himself, was showered with awards: Gold at the Taiwan Grand Prix IBC competitions in 2016 and 2017 as well as scholarships for the Escola de Dança do Conservatório Nacional Lisboa and The Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet New York. After two years of studies in Hong Kong, Shawn became a soloist with Theater St. Gallen under dance director Kinsun Chan. In the 2020/21 season, Shawn joined Gauthier Dance.

Shori Yamamoto
Born in Japan, Shori was trained at the Yamamoto Sanae Ballet School and the prestigious Hungarian Dance Academy in Budapest. His first engagement took him to the National Theatre Brno before his career really took off in Germany: He made a strong impression during his four years with the Kiel Ballet as well as in the three seasons he danced with Augsburg Ballet – in both companies he was awarded the Prize of the local Friends of the Theatre. Shori's extensive repertoire now ranges from classical (Mercutio, Rothbart, Prince Siegfried) to contemporary, with pieces by renowned choreographers such as Trey McIntyre, Cayetano Soto and Ricardo Fernando. In autumn 2020, he became a member of Gauthier Dance.

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