"tanzfuchs PRODUKTION is looking for new strategies to develop theatre for an intergenerational and intercultural audience. We want to find a direct path from artists to visitors in order to enter into a lively dialogue" (Barbara Fuchs)
The artistic director and choreographer Barbara Fuchs founded the label tanzfuchs PRODUKTION in Cologne in 2003. For 17 years tanzfuchs PRODUKTION has been working continuously and successfully in the NRW dance scene and beyond. Choreographer Barbara Fuchs has been creating pieces for young audiences since 2009 and is one of the pioneers in this field in Germany. In close collaboration with the composer Jörg Ritzenhoff, she creates installation works and stage performances that focus on the interweaving of movement, composition and spatial conception. Tours have taken the company to Finland, Norway, Italy, Poland, Belgium, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Lithuania and Japan. Barbara Fuchs has also directed guest productions at the tjg Dresden, Staatstheater Karlsruhe and Comedia Theater Cologne. tanzfuchs PRODUKTION is one of the four top-funded companies for children’s and youth theatre in NRW.
The works of tanzfuchs PRODUKTION stand for innovative, interdisciplinary dance theatre art for an intergenerational audience. In their productions, choreographer Barbara Fuchs and composer Jörg Ritzenhoff open up and explore new artistic spaces at the interface between acoustics and dance. The artistic research processes are inspired by questions about the body as a “memory” of both social experience and individual “location” in social reference systems. In this way, tanzfuchs PRODUKTION pursues a working approach that presents a spectrum of social narratives and the idea of diversity as a positive and enriching perspective through the artistic reflection of different body images and movement concepts.
Since 2019, tanzfuchs PRODUKTION has been the only dance ensemble to receive top-level funding in the field of children’s and youth theatre from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Thanks to this funding and several years of support from the City of Cologne and the RheinEnergieStiftung, it was possible to launch the Querfeldein programme series. Dance pieces for a young audience are continuously offered in the centrally located ehrenfeldstudios in Cologne. The name Querfeldein stands for the concept of the programme: taking a variety of paths through very different artistic offerings and daring to use unusual forms of presentation. The aim is to connect the theatre programme to the urban society through targeted strategies for intercultural and intergenerational encounters by maintaining intensive contact with institutions in the district and urban space. In addition to the production of new dance pieces, the outreach programmes Querfeld-rein and Querfeld-raus offer low-threshold access to dance art.
As a founding member of the choreographers’ network Barnes Crossing and now also based in the ehrenfeldstudios, Barbara Fuchs/tanzfuchs Produktion is well networked in Cologne. The two production and performance venues of the independent scene offer a solid starting point for the development of productions. In addition, tanzfuchs PRODUKTION and FELD – Theater für junges Publikum (Berlin) are planning to set up an event network and jointly develop projects on the topic of artistic research in the field of dance for a young audience.
Awards and festival invitations: Cologne Dance Award 2004, Cologne Children and Youth Award 2018, Nomination Cologne Dance Award (2003, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2019), Nomination Theaterzwang 2006, Invitation Tanzstraße 2005, Final Choreography Competition No Ballet 2006, Biennale tanz 09 + 11, 15. Jury Prize + Audience Prize international SzoloDuo Festival/Budapest, Selected regionally and nationally: SPIELARTEN NRW 2015 and 2017 (Cologne, Duis-burg, Paderborn, Mönchengladbach), ARENA Festival junger Künste, Duo-Biennale Nürnberg, Hildesheimer Kindertheaterwoche, KUSS Kin-der- und Jugendtheaterwoche in Marburg,), Oldenburger Tanztage, tanzOFFensive in Hannover, Festival auf dem Sprung in Aachen, K3-Hamburg, Kulturfabrik in Detmold, Lessingtheater Wolfenbüttel, Tanzgipfel Ulm, internationale tanzmesse nrw, Theaterstarter (Aachen, Eupen, Nettersheim), Theater Baden Baden, Festival Dynamo -junge Tanzplattform, MOVE! Festival in Krefeld, Theater im Pfalzbau in Ludwigshafen, Kinder- und Jugendtanztage in Potsdam, LOT Theater in Braunschweig, FELD Theater für junges Publikum in Berlin.
Selected internationally: POSITIONS Carinthia//Network (AT), DEBETOVERING Festival (NL), 2 turven Hoog Festival (NL), International Exchange Meeting `Theatre 0-4 (NL), Festival Y Generation (IT), Festival Danza Estate (IT), Krokus Festival (BE), Babelut Festival (BE), Spinrag Festival (BE), Dansema – Vilnius (LT), L1 Festival (HU), J’amais vu (FR), TRAFFO Festival (LU), Theaterfrühling (CH), Stadttheater Lindau (CH), Dansehus Oslo (NO), Sandnes Kulturhaus (NO), Skånes Dansteater, Malmö (SE), KUULAS International Childrens Theatre Festival (FI), Brighton Dom Festival (UK), ECHO ECHO Festival (UK), Kagawa (JPN), TACT FEST, Osaka (JPN)
She started dancing at the age of 6 and was trained at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen, with James Saunders in Cologne and during an extended study visit to New York. Her range as a performer can be seen in the diversity of the artists she has worked with: among others, Frey Faust (ABC DANCE Company), Misael Lopez (Largo Camino), Gabrielle Staiger (Arrazzo Tanztheater), Koni Hanft (Maja Lex Ensemble), Ingo Reulecke (Prof. Hochschulübergreifendes Zentrum Tanz in Berlin) , Bettina Elmpt (sculptor), Andrea Kramer (Consol Theater) Silke Z. (resistdance), Britta Lieberknecht and Paulo Ribeiro (Companhia Paulo Ribeiro in Portugal).
In 2002/2003 she also gained extensive experience as a lighting and stage technician. During this time, she created several lighting and stage designs at the Consol Theatre in Gelsenkirchen.
In 2003 Barbara Fuchs founded the label tanzfuchs PRODUKTION in Cologne, which stands for innovative, interdisciplinary dance theatre art for adults and children. Together with her team, the artists explore the interface between acoustics, dance and visual aspects in order to open up new artistic spaces for dance. Over the past 17 years, their artistic approach has undergone an enormous metamorphosis in more than 35 productions and encompasses a wide spectrum. For the past 10 years, her artistic focus has been on the creation of dance pieces for the very young and, more recently, on intergenerational dance theatre productions such as “PAPIERSTÜCK – ein Tanzkonzert für Schaulustige von 1 -99 Jahren” and research on dance pieces in immersive theatre spaces for older and oldest audience members (supported by the mentoring programme of the Landesbüro DaKu).
12 pieces have already been realised for young and intergenerational audiences. The artistic research processes are inspired by questions about the body as a “storehouse” of both social experience and individual “location” in social reference systems. In this way, tanzfuchs PRODUKTION pursues a working approach that presents a spectrum of social narratives and the idea of diversity as a positive and enriching perspective through the artistic reflection of different body images and movement concepts. Through the visual power of dance, the often multinational cast and the musical use of languages, dance enables direct identification possibilities and emotional participation. In this way, Barbara Fuchs and composer Jörg Ritzenhoff produce innovative, interdisciplinary theatre art for an intergenerational audience.
Barbara Fuchs, who has been creating “dance for the very young” since 2009, is one of the pioneers of this genre in Germany and is consistently developing her work further with the Querfeldein series, which goes beyond the simple reception experience to enable participatory experience of movement and music.
Her works have been nominated and awarded several times: Kölner Tanztheater Preis, Kölner Kinder- und Jugendpreis, invitation to tanzstrasse, Bienale tanz nrw 09 & 11 & 15, 1st prize and audience award of the Szolo Duo Festival in Budapest, nomination Theaterzwang, the L1 Festival in Budapest.
In addition, she has been invited to develop productions for children at theatres in recent years. This has resulted in plays for the Tonhalle Düsseldorf (Himmelblau), the Comedia Köln (“Out of the house” & “Max always wants to kiss”), the Staatstheater Karlsruhe (“Frierschlotterschwitz”) and the tjg Dresden (“BOING!”). In 2020 Barbara Fuchs will guest direct the play “Schalalalaufen” at the Consol Theater in Gelsenkirchen.
In 2016, Barbara Fuchs was portrayed for the second time as one of the 50 most important choreographers within the framework of Tanzplattform Deutschland. Since 2019, tanzfuchs PRODUKTION has received top-level theatre funding from the state of NRW for the first time. The projects are also supported by the RheinEnergie Stiftung Kultur, Kunststiftung NRW, Fonds Darstellende Künste and Landesbüro Freie Darstellende Künste.
The composer, who lives in Cologne, has developed music theatre and performance projects in collaboration with the WDR and SWR on the occasion of the ARD Radio Play Days at the ZKM/Mannheim and Deutschlandfunk Berlin, the Bundeskunsthalle as well as Schauspiel Bonn and the Capital of Culture Weimar. Among others, the Schauspielhaus Cologne commissioned him to compose for “Der Sturm” directed by Karin Beier. International co-productions were invited to the “Fabbrica Europa” festival in Florence or “Theaterspektakel” in Zurich.
He led a WDR television band, worked as an arranger for chamber orchestras, TV and big bands and as a piano accompanist for cabaret. As a member of the performance group Adam Noidtl Intermission Orchester with Frank Köllges, he was invited to the opening of Documenta 8 and Art Basel. In the music theatre production “Friedrich Holländer or the laughter of loneliness” he appeared as a singer and performer at the Jazz Festival in Moers, among others. Born in Düsseldorf in 1961, Jörg Ritzenhoff studied classical composition at the Hochschule für Musik Wuppertal/Köln, among others.
She received her training at the Arnhem School of Art (EDDC), the Folkwang University of the Arts and through a scholarship from the Kunststiftung NRW at the Limon Institute in NY. She received another scholarship from the Ministry of Culture and Sport NRW. She has worked with Nicole Seiler (CH), Marc Sieczkark (D), Csilla Lakatos (NL), Karel Vanek (in collaboration with the WDR Rundfunkchor Köln) and was a permanent member of the Compagnie Buissonniere/ Cisco Aznar in Lausanne for many years, with whom she toured internationally. In recent years she has taken part in several productions by MIRA/ Julia Riera. For more than 18 years she has been working closely with Barbara Fuchs/ tanzfuchs PRODUKTION as a performer and stage designer for both children and adults.
She also teaches regularly at Simply Yoga Bonn as a trained yoga teacher. One of her main focuses is working with teenagers. By combining yoga, dance, meditation and breathing exercises, the teenagers learn and experience a more differentiated and sensitive body and self-awareness. In the area of mediation, she worked at various primary and secondary schools in Bonn as part of project weeks on the topic of the interrelationship between music and dance.
Performance & Outreach
Since 2010 she has been developing her own projects with women and refugees at Kabawil e.V., Düsseldorf and offers workshops for seniors at the Senioren Theater Konferenz NRW, the Paritätische NRW and at Ceno & die Paten e. V.. She is currently writing a book on dance as “art between presence and absence.” Especially in an art form like dance, which is characterised by fleetingness, artists like Sonia Mota can not only embody the memory of developments in contemporary dance, but she is also a positively occupied protagonist in the art of dance that deals with the multifaceted topic of age.
Performance & Outreach
is a trained toolmaker and CNC miller and worked in development at Ford-Werke from 1974-2022. Since 1989 Wolfgang Pütz has been working in the Cologne dance scene as a technician, stage designer and light and sound designer. His collaboration with Barbara Fuchs began with Sônia Mota’s children’s and youth project “Dance 4 Teens”. From 2000-2009 he was responsible for lighting and technology for the projects of the series Tanzhautnah Köln, as well as the technical direction for the small stage at the Tanzhaus nrw for “Global Dance 2002” and “Tanzmesse 2002”. 2009-2015 he was technical director at Barnes Crossing e.V., where he was responsible for the festivals “3-Käse hoch Tage”, “Solo Duo Festival NRW + friends, “MAD Festival”, “Chance Tanz – Tanzkomplizen” and “CrissCross”, among others. He creates the lighting design and supervises the sound and lighting technology for various dance productions by regional and international artists such as Marcio Valeriano, Sônia Mota, Yoshie Shibahara, Britta Lieberknecht, Julia Riera/MIRA, Emily Welther/FLUKE dancecompany, Silke Z. resistdance and Barbara Fuchs. Wolfgang Pütz has been the technical director of tanzfuchs PRODUKTION since 2019.
She received her Bachelor’s degree in Dance Theatre from Laban (now Trinity Laban) in 2005 and her Master’s degree in Media Cultural Analysis from Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf in 2010. Since then she has been working freelance in press and public relations for various choreographers and companies in North Rhine-Westphalia. Since 2015 she has been working in press and public relations and organization for tanzfuchs PRODUKTION as well as in communications for the nrw landesbuero tanz. There she is responsible for the public relations of the festival tanz nrw as well as the international dance fair nrw.
Born in Arizona and raised in Vermont, USA, Emily Welther holds a Bachelor’s degree in Drama from New York University’s Experimental Theater Wing and in Dance/Dance Making from the European Dance Development Center, Arnhem, The Netherlands. In September 2021, she completed her Master of Performance Practices at ArtEZ in Arnhem. Since moving to Cologne in 2004, Emily has worked as a dancer, performer and teacher in the independent scene there. Since 2009, she has been working with Barbara Fuchs/tanzfuchs PRODUKTION in productions for children and adults. She choreographs and develops plays with children and youth in Cologne, Solingen and Bergheim, sponsored by ChanceTanz and Kultur und Schule, and since 2020 teaches movement and performance research at the Technical University in Cologne. Her own piece, “WITHOUT time” was nominated for the Cologne Dance Award 2019. She collaborates with many artists such as musician Daniel Brandl for “INTERFACE” (online, 2022) and “equilibrium” (NI, 2023), Daz Disley for “Body Horizontal” (UK, 2021), and Irina Baldini for “Itations” (NL, 2023). She performs in the Venice International Performance Art Week performance operas “Body Matters” and “Under Scars” (2022), developed by the performance art duo VestandPage. With a research grant from the Performing Arts Fund for “bo dy en vi ron me nt,” she continued to experiment with live and digital performance art, sound compositions, and vocal explorations to explore the sounds and voices that emerge when the human body and nature come into closest contact. She is currently exploring audible, visual and kinesthetic forms of listening, as in the multimedia installation “Rituals of Listening” 2022, and incorporating them into her artistic practice and performance. www.emilywelther.com
Performance & Outreach
For more information, please visit: www.arthurschopa.de.
Carina Graf, born in 1992, studied theater studies and German language and literature at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum. Already during her studies she completed internships at Theater auf Tour Darmstadt and supervised a student theater production at the Università di Pavia (Italy). Since 2016, she has regularly supervised in-house projects and guest performances at the FFT and worked as a production assistant for Rotterdam Presenta. Currently she works as a freelance production manager with Rotterdam Presenta (Düsseldorf) and äöü (Bochum). Since January 2021 she takes over the administration for tanzfuchs PRODUKTION, Silke Z. resistdance and ehrenfeldstudios e.V. and collaborates on project concepts.
Vivica Bocks studied Cultural Studies and Aesthetic Practice with a focus on theater, literature and media at the University of Hildesheim. Since then she has been working as a dramaturg. Permanent engagements have taken her to the municipal theaters of Hildesheim, Gießen and Aachen, as well as to the Staatstheater Hannover, where she was deputy director of the Young Play and curated the “Jugend spielt für Jugend” festival. She particularly enjoys conceiving and supervising productions by and with children and young people. In addition to her theatre work, she holds teaching positions at various universities and has been a course director at the German Student Academy on several occasions. She also works as a yoga teacher.
Photo: Stefan Rogge