Factory Artists

Love Story  

tanzhaus nrw invites up to three choreographers with distinctive signature styles for a duration of two years with the aim of encouraging and engaging in intensive exchange with the house, its staff and visitors. In doing this, the house as permanent point of reference seeks to establish a continuous working relationship with the artists. Such a connection enables the provision of more air for thinking, try-outs and experimentation in a usually tightly organised productions structure with a move towards a constant partner, as well as the strengthening of a local bond. By means of the idea of Factory Artists, tanzhaus nrw makes a statement about contemporary choreographer’s work conditions that are marked by nomadic production, project-based funding and high-pressure work.

Factory Artists 2020 - 2022  

Details will follow soon.

Reut Shemesh  

Porträt Reut Shemesh

Choreographer and performer Reut Shemesh lives and works in Cologne. She received her education at ArtEZ in Arnhem and followed up with her post-graduate studies at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne.

As already evidenced in her works “The Virgin’s Voice”, “LEVIAH” and “ATARA”, she dealt with crosslinks between visible self-portrayals of femininity and imagined ascriptions, both from within and without. In “WITNESS”, Reut Shemesh herself becomes a witness and a spectator, but also a dancing and choreographing dialogue partner to the dance mary majorettes of the Katholische Karnevalsjugend Düsseldorf (Catholic Youth Carnivalists Düsseldorf). Together with the young, uniformed women, guard dancing and plumaged costumes combine to form a perceptive deconstruction of movement and represented imagery of women*.

Reut Shemesh, distinguished as one of 2019’s hopes by trade magazine “tanz”, received several invitations, among those one to biannual “Tanzplattform Deutschland” (German Dance Platform) with her work “ATARA”, co-produced by tanzhaus nrw, in March, 2020. On the occasion of the invitation to Munich, journalist Melanie Suchy wrote a portrait titled “Frauen in Uniform (Women in Uniform)”, very much worth reading, about Reut Shemesh’s artistic work.


Next Stop Düsseldorf: September 26th, 8 pm + September 27th, 3 pm

“Cobra Blond” Premiere / In co-operation with the Karnevalsfreunde dance guard dancers* of the Düsseldorf Catholic Youth

Alfredo Zinola  

Porträt Alfredo Zinola_2

Details will follow soon.


Gruppenbild nutrospektif

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Factory Artists 2017 – 2019  

Details will follow soon.

Claire Cunningham  

Frau in einem Kostüm des Rock'n'Roll der 1950er Jahre liegt auf dem Boden und singt in ein Mirko.

Claire Cunningham is an interdisciplinary artist and performer, currently living and working out of Glasgow, Scotland. Her work is informed by her physicalness and her crutches with which she creates her own action radius by expanding their use and original purpose. While rejecting classically connotated movement techniques that have been devised almost exclusively for non-disabled bodies as well as attempts for orientation towards styles or bodies that are not her own, Claire Cunningham develops a special movement technique with her crutches. In this, she views her art, decidedly originating from her perspective as an artist with disability, always as activism, too.
With the site-specific, adapted Düsseldorf restaging of her project Guide Gods, she negotiated the perspective on disability by different religious teachings again in 2018. In autumn of 2019, she followed this with her new production Thank you very much in which she directs the gaze, along with three more performers, onto moments in which humans slip into the bodies of other humans and movements skip their context. Claire Cunningham provided significant impulse to tanzhaus nrw as an institution geared towards inclusion.

Read here what the press writes about the German premiere of Claire Cunningham’s “Guide Gods” at tanzhaus nrw in November 2018. Kultur.west (Author: Honke Rambow), Rheinische Post (Author: Christian Albustin), Westdeutsche Zeitung (Author: Julia Nimführ)

Find a portrait of Claire Cunningham by Klas Libuda for the Rheinische Post from 28 March 2018 HERE. 


Ligia M. Lewis  

As a choreographer and performer, Ligia Lewis devises works that make the diverse social and historic inscriptions into the body palpable in all their complexity in an affective, empathetic and sensory manner. She does not only challenge presentation and narrative forms with this, she also constantly puts the theatre as context into focus. Ligia Lewis concluded her trilogy “BLUE RED WHITE” with “Water Will (in Melody)”, co-produced by tanzhaus nrw and HAU Hebbel am Ufer in 2018. She won the Prix Jardin d’Europe for her choreography “Sorrow Swag”, and “minor matter” was distinguished with the 2017 “Bessie Award” as well as with the “Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award” while also receiving an invitation to Tanzplattform Deutschland 2018 in Essen. Ligia Lewis will curate a symposium in collaboration with tanzhaus nrw in 2020.

Dancing in the Dark is the title of an article by Catherine Damman/Artforum about Water Will (in Melody) in 09/2019.


Choy Ka Fai  

Choy Ka Fai is widely regarded as an expert in connectivity, the search for modes of spirituality by way of as well as in digital technologies. He drafts choreographic procedures with the aid of avatars into which he feeds historical and current movement studies and which calculate artificial intelligence, and he transfers those, of living as well as ghostly bodies, into the here and now, as he did in UnBearable Darkness, a piece that premiered at tanzhaus nrw in 2018. In it, transcendence meets enlightened technology, and Hijikata’s ghost finds its embodiment in an animated avatar. He also revived international dance history in a position between design, technology, performance and fiction, all the while collecting works of Southeast Asian artists in his multimedia archive and performance cycle SoftMachine, thus opposing exoticising portrayals. In the tanzhaus nrw co-produced Dance Clinic, however, he takes on the assignment to heal the ills of the contemporary creativity impetus.
Choy Ka Fai was, among other things, also co-curator for Festival TEMPS D’IMAGES, one of tanzhaus nrw’s longstanding formats with a focus on digitisation and dance. His new production Cosmic Wanderer, dedicated to digital transfer and the reconstruction of shamanist practice and trance conditions, will premiere in 2020.

Read HERE what trade magazine tanz wrote about Choy Ka Fai in its June 2018 issue. (Author: Arnd Wesemann)

Read HERE what the Westdeutsche Zeitung says about “UnBearable Darkness” on the occasion of its premiere (Author: Christian Laki).

Read HERE what the Rheinische Post says about Choy Ka Fai on the occasion of a January 2018 showing (Author: Klas Libuda).




Anaïs Emilia Rödel

*19.06.1987 †15.05.2020