About Us

tanzfuchs PRODUKTION & Biographies

tanzfuchs PRODUKTION

“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)

Biographies

Barbara Fuchs
Barbara Fuchs has been working as a dancer and choreographer for over 30 years. She is convinced of the enormous expressive possibilities of dance and its potential to convey bodily awareness and sensitivity. She also sees the need to get involved in pedagogical, cultural-political, structural and organisational work. She has therefore co-founded various non-profit associations such as the Cologne Dancers’ Initiative or the choreographers’ network Barnes Crossing, and has been artistic director of festivals such as the 3 Käse-HOCH-Tage, TANZhautnah or the Movement & Art Development Festival in Cologne, in which she accompanied diverse rehearsal processes. She was invited by the Goethe Institute to give an impulse workshop “Art for the very young” in Moldova. She is currently involved in the development of YOUNG DANCE NETWORK – Global Network for Exchange under the umbrella of ASSITEJ.

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.

Art Direction
Jörg Ritzenhoff
Jörg Ritzenhoff works continuously on the further development of acoustic spaces in the context of contemporary choreography, sound installation and electro-acoustic composition. A regular collaboration connects him with choreographers such as the former Forsythe dancer Rafaele Giovanola (CocoonDance, Bonn), Barbara Fuchs (Cologne), Eric Trottier (Mannheim/Fürth) and Shang-Chi Sun (Berlin/Taipei). On the occasion of the reopening of the Museum Angewandte Kunst Frankfurt/M. in 2013, he was commissioned to design the acoustic spatial staging for the exhibition spaces of “1607”. As a commissioned work for the “European Capital of Culture Marseille-Provence 2013”, he created the composition/live music for the production “Bulls Eye” by the French director Phillipp Vincent in addition to the sound installation “Voices for the crisis”. In 2012 he was invited to participate as a composer in the European artists’ laboratory Tryangle in Montemor-o-novo at the choreographic centre “O espaco do tempo” by Rui Horta in Portugal.

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.

 

Composition & Music
Sonia Mota
The dancer, who was born in Sao Paulo in 1948, has lived and worked in Cologne since 1989 and has already played a significant role in shaping the dance landscape in NRW for many years. The artist is an experienced solo and stage dancer who has danced in ballet companies and dance theatre companies in Brazil, Spain, Austria and Germany since 1966. Among others, she was engaged by the Sociedade Ballet São Paulo, Brazil, Balé da Cidade de São Paulo, and the Royal Ballet of Flanders. She has presented her own solos and choreographies at festivals worldwide, such as her pieces VI-VIDAS and QuaaDriDuuo, which were shown at the Neue Orient Festival NRW, Tanz Herbst in Dresden and in theatres in Brazil. Already in the early 90s she founded the youth company “Dance for Teens” at the Tanzprojekte Köln. Between 2010-2014 Sonia Mota directed the Companhia de Dança Palacio das Artes in Brazil where she realised the piece Segredos Masculinos & Segredos Femininos among others.

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

Henrike Kollmar
After training as a dance and movement teacher, she studied theatre, film and television studies and German language and literature at the Albertus Magnus University in Cologne (MA). She worked as a freelance author, editor and assistant director for Westdeutscher Rundfunk and Deutsche Welle and was a freelancer for ballet/tanz international, tanzdrama and the German Dance Archive Cologne. Together with Madeline Ritter, among others, she founded tanzperformance köln and taught contemporary dance history at the Cologne University of Music and Dance. As dramaturge at tanzhaus nrw until 2016, she curated programme focuses and residency programmes, supervised productions and developed laboratory projects and conference formats. Since 2016, Henrike Kollmar has been responsible for the education programme at tanzhaus nrw and works as a freelance dramaturge. Since 2017, she has been working at the nrw landesbuero tanz, where she develops concepts of cultural education through and with dance and formats of cultural mediation.
Dramaturgy
Odile Foehl
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. Last year she was in the production Mira7_Thuley by MIRA/ Julia Riera, which received the Cologne Dance Award 2018. For more than 16 years she has been working closely with Barbara Fuchs/tanzfuchs PRODUKTION in both children’s and adult productions. She designed the stage set for the pieces “In one Direction” and “Piece of Paper”.

She also teaches regularly at Simply Yoga Bonn as a trained yoga teacher. One of her focuses is on 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 field of mediation, she worked at various primary and secondary schools in Bonn in the context of project weeks on the interrelationship of music and dance.

Performance & Outreach 

Wolfgang Pütz
Wolfgang Pütz has been working in the Cologne dance scene as a technician, stage designer and light and sound designer since 1989. His collaboration with Barbara Fuchs began with Sonia Mota’s children’s and youth project “Dance for Teens”. He was responsible for the lighting and technology for the projects of the series Tanzhautnah Köln from 2000 – 2009, as well as the technical direction for the small stage at Tanzhaus nrw for “Global Dance 2002” & “Tanzmesse 2002”. At Barnes Crossing e.V. he was technical director from 2009-2015 and was responsible for festivals including “3-Käse hoch Tage”, “Solo Duo Festival NRW + friends, “MAD Festival”, “Chance Tanz – Tanzkomplizen” and “CrissCross”.

In addition, Wolfgang Pütz creates the lighting design and supervises the sound and lighting technology for various dance productions by regional and international artists such as Marcio Valeriano, Koni Hanft, Katharina Gadelha, Ilona Pászthy/IPtanz, Britta Lieberknecht, Sonia Mota, Yoshie Shibahara, Julia Riera/MIRA, Marion Dieterle/Dossier 3D Poetry, Emily Welther/FLUKE dancecompany, Silke Z. resistdance and at the TanzTausch festival in Cologne.

Technical Direction
Kerstin Rosemann
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 University Düsseldorf in 2010. Since then she has worked freelance in press and public relations for various choreographers and companies in North Rhine-Westphalia as well as in communications for the nrw landesbuero tanz and the internationale tanzmesse nrw. Since 2015 she has been working in press and public relations and organisation for tanzfuchs PRODUKTION.
PR & Organisation
Emily Welther
Emily received a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre from the Experimental Theatre Wing, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University and a Bachelor’s degree in Dance from ArtEZ (formerly European Dance Development Center) in Arnhem, The Netherlands. As a yoga teacher she was trained at the Soboco Yoga Institute Cologne. Since then she has worked with various choreographers such as Angie Hiesl, Ilona Paszthy/IP Tanz and Marion Dieterle/Dossier 3D Poetry. She has had a continuous collaboration with tanzfuchs PRODUKTION for 10 years. Together with Julia Riera and Julia Franken she founded the dance/media group MIRA. Her own projects are the solo “Headless” (2014), “D O O R” (2018) and “FLAW/MAKEL” (2018).

She also works intensively in the field of mediation with children and young people. For over seven years, she has developed pieces with the youth ensemble SpinaTheater under the direction of Olek Witt, which have been shown at festivals throughout Germany. Emily Welther has also created pieces for the Junior Company of the Echo Echo Dance Theatre Company (GB) and teaches at various schools with the support of Chance Tanz of the Federal Dance Association and Kultur und Schule, where she won 2nd prize at the Solingen Theatre Days, among others. She also offers acting courses for teens at the OPEN creativesenses Studio in Pulheim and represents various children’s courses such as children’s dance and yoga for children.

Performance & Outreach

Arthur Schopa
Arthur Schopa completed his studies as a contemporary stage dancer at the University of Music and Dance in Cologne in 2010 and has been working as a freelance dancer, choreographer and trainer ever since. Many dance productions in which he has participated have been produced and performed throughout Germany and internationally. He has been invited to festivals and guest performances in countries such as South Korea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Malta, Poland, Austria and France. In 2013 he co-founded the FREIraum Ensemble in Cologne and has been developing contemporary dance productions ever since. From 2013 to 2018 he choreographed at the Schauspielhaus Bochum and in 2018/19 he developed the production “POST EUROPA” at the DNT – Deutsches Nationaltheater und Staatskapelle Weimar as artistic director and choreographer. In addition to his activities as a dancer and choreographer, Schopa teaches contemporary modern technique and was invited to the Kulturakademie in Plön in 2018 and 2019 to train teachers in dance theatre work with young people.

For more information, please visit: www.arthurschopa.de.

Performance & Organisation
Olivia Bott
Olivia Bott born 27.09.1992 in Aachen – studied media science and social sciences at the Ruhr University Bochum.

Olivia Bott has been working and living in Cologne since January 2020. She organised the Tumaini Festival 2018 in Malawi under the direction of the artist Trésor Nzengu Mpauni and supported the düsseldorf festival! in the production. As a research assistant, she worked on DFG funding proposals for the Research Training Group “The Documentary” and took on administrative/organisational tasks at events/conferences/symposia.

Since January 2020, she has taken over the administration for tanzfuchs PRODUKTION, Silke Z. resistdance and ehrenfeldstudios e.V. and works on project concepts.

Administration