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  

Reut Shemesh, nutrospektif and Alfredo Zinola are the Factory Artists 2020 – 2022! All of them are based in North Rhine-Westphalia and “their works are original, sometimes radical in form and content and inspiring, in short: they set an example for the vast creativity of our local dance scene”, says Bettina Masuch, artistic director of tanzhaus nrw. Furthermore this third generation of Factory Artists represents the three foundational departments of tanzhaus nrw: Stage, Academy and Young Tanzhaus.

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.

Alfredo Zinola  

Porträt Alfredo Zinola_2

Alfredo Zinola devises dance performances for a young audience with a rotating cast of different artists*. The audience receives its first tasks already during the creative process while asked to accompany initial drafts and rehearsals. In this close collaboration, Alfredo Zinola channels his artistic research into surprising as well as touching imagery and materiality, as can be seen, for example, in “PARTY”, where the adults become sidelined while the children celebrate, and in “PELLE”, co-produced by tanzhaus nrw, a piece he dedicated to the skin, its intimacy and vulnerability.

Alfredo Zinola grew up in close proximity to theatre and arrived at dance by way of guidance received by Italian choreographer Raffaella Giordano. He completed his dance studies at the Folkwang University of the Arts and graduated in intercultural communication. He will continue to receive a basic grant by the City of Munich until 2021 and currently participates as a student in the training course “Kuratieren in den Szenischen Künsten (Curating in the Scenic Arts)” at Salzburg University.


Gruppenbild nutrospektif

nutrospektif are Friederike Frost, Bahar Gökten, Daniela Mba, Yeliz Pazar and Daniela Rodriguez Romero. The collective, founded in 2012, is dedicated to the examination of movement principles as well as to the cultural practice of urban dance cultures, among them hip hop, breaking, Popping, Locking or Waacking, transferring them into a contemporary, performative and theatrical context.

The dance artists* aim to provide urban dance with more visibility, from an artistic standpoint and from different perspectives, making it accessible for an outside experience. Out of this claim arose stage plays and improvisational formats such as, most currently, “moment(urb)an”. Additionally, the collective developed genre-crossing projects in tandem with other artists* as well as presences at biannual festival “Tanz NRW”, at the Internationale Tanzmesse NRW, (International Dance Fair North Rhine-Westphalia), at Tanz.Tausch festival and at Schrittmacher Festival Generation 2.

The interdisciplinary exchange is mirrored by several collaborations with a number of cultural and educational institutions, such as the Museum für Angewandte Kunst (Museum of Applied Art/ MAKK) Cologne, Oper und Schauspiel (Opera and Theatre) Cologne, the Institute of Dance and Movement Culture at the German Sport University Cologne and Pottporus e.V. as well in their recurring co-operations with MichaelDouglas Kollektiv and ZAIK. nutrospektif created their urban dance theatre festival “STREET PERSPEKTIF- Raum für urbane Tanzkunst (space for urban dance art)” as a platform for innovative performance, workshops and international exchange in 2017.

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