sasha
waltz

Choreographer, Dancer, Director

Sasha Waltz is a choreographer, dancer, and director. After studying at the School for New Dance Development in Amsterdam, the native of Karlsruhe, Germany, joined the post-modern, interdisciplinary New York dance scene. In 1986 and 1987, she danced with companies such as Pooh Kaye, Yoshiko Chuma & School of Hard Knocks, and Lisa Kraus & Dancers. In 1992, Sasha Waltz came to Berlin through a scholarship from the Künstlerhaus Bethanien. In 1993, she co-founded the company Sasha Waltz & Guests with Jochen Sandig, and in 1996, they established the Sophiensæle as a venue for dance and more. From 2000 to 2004, she was a member of the management of the Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz. For the 2019/20 season, Sasha Waltz, together with Johannes Öhman, took over the direction of the Staatsballett Berlin. She explored three works about women with “Dido & Aeneas” (2005), “Medea” (2007), and “Matsukaze” (2011), shaping the genre of choreographic opera. In 2007, she also directed “Roméo et Juliette” for the Opéra national de Paris to Hector Berlioz’s dramatic symphony. She went on to create “Sacre” in 2013, set to Igor Stravinsky’s music for the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, and “Tannhäuser” in 2014 at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin under the musical direction of Daniel Barenboim. In 2016, she introduced the new format “ZUHÖREN,” creating a “third space for art and politics.” She expanded the “Dialogues” concept to include architectural negotiations in which the audience acts as an equal part of the choreographic process. Some of these performances include “Dialogues ’99/II – Jewish Museum” in the then-empty new building of the Jewish Museum by Daniel Libeskind, “Dialogues 09 – Neues Museum” in the still-empty spaces of the New Museum in Berlin, and the choreographic installation “Figure Humaine” for the inauguration of the Elbphilharmonie in 2017. In collaboration with Soundwalk Collective and designer Iris van Herpen, she created the choreography “Kreatur” in 2017, followed by her work “ΕΞΟΔΟΣ | EXODOS” in the summer of 2018 and the production “rauschen” at the Volksbühne Berlin in the spring of 2019. In March 2022, “SYM-PHONIE MMXX,” a work for dance, light, and orchestra by Sasha Waltz and Georg Friedrich Haas, premiered at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin, followed by “Beethoven 7” in March 2023 at the Radialsystem in Berlin. Sasha Waltz faced the unique challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic with various projects in the digital realm and live performances, including a digital “Dance Diary” on YouTube, the open-air event “Dialogues 2020 – Relevant Systems,” which featured a choreography to Maurice Ravel’s “Boléro” and solos for Georg Friedrich Haas’ “I can’t breathe,” and a series of livestream improvisations from the Radialsystem titled “Dialogues 2020 – Relevant Systems II.” In 2021, she developed the work “In C,” based on Terry Riley’s revolutionary and open composition of the same name. For her exceptional contributions, Sasha Waltz received the Order of Merit of Berlin in 2011. She has been a member of the Akademie der Künste Berlin since June 2013. In 2021, she was named a “Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres” by the French Ministry of Culture.

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