Helena Waldmann

Helena Waldmann is a German theater director,[1] set designer,[2] and choreographer[3] who was born in Burghausen, Germany in 1962.[3]

Helena Waldmann
Helena Waldmann.jpg
Helena Waldmann
Helena Waldmann

Occupationecotopia dance productions
Known forTheatre director, choreographer, set designer

Life and educationEdit

Since her beginnings studying Applied Theatre Studies in Gießen, her first works at the German State Theatres in the early 90s with teachers such as Heiner Müller, George Tabori and Gerhard Bohner, several years at the Mousonturm in Frankfurt, and with her free-lance productions made in coproduction with German and international theatres and festivals, she points to social sore spots, creating total works of art that go far beyond traditional dance-theatre.

Helena Waldmann's works have won prizes and travelled around the world – to Europe, India, Iran and Afghanistan, Egypt, Palestine, Kenia, South America, Korea and Vietnam. Her opinion is in demand in symposiums, as a lecturer and in workshops in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Germany, Greece, India, Iran, Japan, Korea and Switzerland. These journeys have also continually inspired her to make new works: works such as "Letters from Tentland", produced in Tehran for six Iranian women, "Return to sender", her commentary on European immigration policy, performed by six exiled Iranian women, as well as "Feierabend! - das Gegengift -", her anarchic, delirious antidote to the dictatorship of our modern meritocracy. In the captivating "BurkaBondage" she presented the Muslim veil and Japanese bondage in an uptempo relationship between shackle and protection. "get a revolver", a solo for Brit Rodemund, who in 2011 was named "Dancer of the Year", is a celebration of forgetting in which Helena Waldmann senses a possible happiness. In "Happy Piece" she declares the smallest stage to a powder keg of dance. Four fearless heralds of fortune find happiness in the rebelliousness of energy and in their dignity.


Helena Waldmann's works, such as Die Krankheit Tod, Vodka konkav, and Cheshire Cat, created between 1993 and 1999, were internationally acclaimed.[citation needed] The political force of her choreographies after 2000 resulted from a mimicry of exile and inner immigration. She became the first female director from the West to be invited to work in Iran. The result was Letters from Tentland, which was produced recently in Tehran for six Iranian women.[4] Her ballet, Crash, about extreme sports was produced in Saarbrücken. Other works include Return to Sender,[5] a commentary on European immigration policy, and Feierabend! das Gegengift, produced in Berlin.

In 2003, Waldemann received the UNESCO Prize[6] for her Brazilian production Headhunters. Her teaching positions, workshops, and numerous commissions have taken her to Switzerland, Greece, China, Brazil, Iran, Palestine, India, Afghanistan, Japan, and Bangladesh.[7] Waldmann's performance has toured through India and Sri Lanka at the invitation of the Goethe-Institut.[8]

Burka Bondage is about the passion and pain of two women struggling for freedom under the burka and the restraints of Japanese bondage.[9] Waldemann juxtaposed the Muslim burqa and Japanese bondage—a technique that shackles, and created Burka Bondage "to illustrate the interdependence and knotting together of practices, cultures as well as individuals".[10]

Revolver Besorgen (Get a revolver), another of her productions, is dedicated to people with dementia. Waldmann focuses on the social stigma associated with the loss of memory.[11] Waldmann describes the ability to forget as an essential, basic function of the human memory; it is one that brings freedom like the "Delete" key on the computer.[12]

Main choreographiesEdit

  • Made in Bangladesh (2014)
  • HappyPiece (2011)
  • Get a revolver(2010 )
  • BurkaBondage (2009)[13]
  • Feierabend! - das gegengift (2008)
  • Return to Sender (2006)
  • Emotional Rescue (2005)[14]
  • Letters from Tentland (2005)
  • Headhunters -cutting the edges (2005)
  • Waschen schneiden fönen (2003)
  • The Invasion of the Penguins (2002)
  • Odyssee (2002)
  • Right across the Ages (2001)
  • Banquet for Long Pigs (2001)
  • Show window, Atelier Markgraph, YelloMiles Multimedia Show (2001)
  • The Expansion of the Fighting Zone(2001)
  • Artist in residence (2000)
  • See and be scene(2000)
  • CheshireCat® (1999 )
  • lucky Johnny(1998)
  • Vodka konkav(1997)
  • Face....à (1996)
  • Circuit (1995)
  • The malady of death (1993)

Created as free-lanced directorEdit

  • Affaire Rue de Lourcine (1993)
  • Amphitryon (1992)
  • Ungeduscht, geduzt und ausgebuht (1992)
  • In der Einsamkeit der Baumwollfelder (1991)
  • Verkürzte Landschaft (1990)[11]

Prizes and awardsEdit

  • Stimuli Prize for "vodka concave" (1997)
  • EVA award for "Show-window"(2001)
  • UNESCO Prize for "Headhunters" (2003)
  • Infant Price (Serbia) for "Return to Sender"(2006)


  • Hans-Thies Lehmann: Post-Dramatic Theatre, published by the authors, Frankfurt / M 1999
  • Susan Vincent (ed.): Letters from Tentland, transcript Verlag Bielefeld 2005
  • Arnd Wesemann: Always dancing festivals, transcript Verlag Bielefeld 2008
  • Arnd Wesemann: "Made in Bangladesh." Editie Leesmagazijn, Amsterdam 2014, ISBN 978-94-91717-16-1.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "'Burka Bondage'...A Music/Dance/Theatre Performance by Helena Waldmann and Ecotopia Dance Productions..." 14 December 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2011.
  2. ^ http://d-nb.info/gnd/130286818
  3. ^ a b [1]
  4. ^ Staude, Sylvia (20 October 2005). "Please God, come back from holiday". Retrieved 10 March 2011.
  5. ^ "Creator Information". Retrieved 10 March 2011.
  6. ^ Weickmann, Dorion (3 December 2010). "Helena Waldmann". Retrieved 10 March 2011.
  7. ^ "Introducing Helena Waldmann". Daily Independent. 26 December 2010. Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 10 March 2011.
  8. ^ "Burka Bondage". 3 December 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2011.
  9. ^ "Burka Bondage". Daily Sun. 23 December 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2011.
  10. ^ Belarmino, Vanini (9 November 2009). "Interview: German theatre director". Retrieved 10 March 2011.
  11. ^ a b [2]
  12. ^ Spatz, William (4 November 2010). "The abolition of the World". Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 8 March 2011.
  13. ^ "Revisiting history". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 30 November 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2011.
  14. ^ "Helena Waldmann - LETTERS FROM TENTLAND - dance under cover". 25 February 2006. Retrieved 10 March 2011.

External linksEdit