The company Sasha Waltz & Guests was founded by Sasha Waltz and Jochen Sandig in Berlin in 1993. To date, more than 300 artists and ensembles from 30 countries have collaborated as “Guests” on over 80 productions, Dialoge projects and films. In Berlin, the company cooperates with a wide range of institutions such as municipal theatres, opera houses and museums and has contributed to the establishing of innovative production sites for artistic dialogue such as Sophiensæle (1997) and Radialsystem, Space for Arts & Ideas (2006). 2013 the company has been named European Cultural Ambassador by the European Union. In 2014 Sasha Waltz & Guests was awarded the “george tabori ehrenpreis” by the Fonds Darstellende Künste. Exodos was created in the company’s 25th anniversary season. Sasha Waltz & Guests are working towards new productions for 2019 and beyond. Apart from her leading role in Berlin stagings and international guest performances, Sasha Waltz has been increasingly committed to educational and social projects. In 2007 she founded the Children’s Dance Company in Berlin and in 2016 the interdisciplinary and open exchange platform ZUHÖREN which serves as a Third space for art and politics. Alongside these initiatives, Sasha Waltz continues to propose diverse offers for professional dancers.
Sasha Waltz, born in Karlsruhe, is a choreographer, dancer and director. After her first studies at the School of New Dance Development in Amsterdam she joined the postmodern oriented New York City dance scene. Driven by the spirit of that scene, she developed the improvisational format Dialoge in the early 1990s in Berlin. She chose the young German capital as the center of her activities where together with Jochen Sandig she founded the dance company Sasha Waltz & Guests in 1993 and in 1996 the Sophiensæle as a venue for dance and more, nowadays a center of the independent dance and theatre scene. From 2000 – 2005 she was one of the directors of the Schaubühne at Lehniner Platz Berlin. Simultaneously Sasha Waltz has been pursuing the sharing and teaching of dance knowledge and promoting dance as a medium of social and sociopolitical communication. In 2016 she founded the event format ZUHÖREN to open a Third space for art and politics. She expanded the Dialoge-concept to incorporate danced responses to architecture. With the choreographic installation Figure humaine she inaugurated the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie in 2017. In collaboration with Soundwalk Collective and the costume designer Iris van Herpen (among others) she created her latest piece Kreatur which premiered in 2017 at the Radialsystem in Berlin. In parallel with the artistic direction of her dance company for which she creates pieces on a regular basis, Sasha Waltz will take over the direction of the Berlin State Ballet in 2019 / 2020 together with codirector Johannes Öhman.
Soundwalk Collective, founded by Stephan Crasneanscki, is an international art and genre-bending music group based between New York City and Berlin. The Collective consists of a continuously rotating constellation of sound artists and musicians. Their approach to composition combines anthropology, ethnography, non-linear narrative, psycho-geography, the observation of nature, and explorations in recording and synthesis. The source material of their works is always linked to specific locations, natural or artificial, and requires long periods of investigative travel and field work. Their latest sound artwork Illuminations featuring Patti Smith, Abel Ferrara, Gudrun Gut, Hanns Zischler, Charlotte Rampling, Melvil Poupaud and Mulatu Astatke won the Gold Prize at the NY International Awards in 2018. Ulysses Syndrome, a sonic installation composed of radio interceptions recorded by the Collective from a vessel drifting along all coasts of the Mediterranean Sea, is currently on view at the Manifesta 12 in Palermo.
Costume designer Federico Polucci, born in Rome, works since 2008 as a freelancing designer, mainly in the fields of dance and visual art, in projects of Sasha Waltz & Guests and other artists in Berlin and Italy. Among Federico Polucci’s prior design projects are the costumes for Sasha Waltz’ production Figure Humaine (2017) on the occasion of the inauguration of the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg.
Succeeding his studies of photography, in the years 1995 – 1998 Urs Schönebaum collaborated with Max Keller as a part of the lighting department of the Münchner Kammerspiele. Afterwards he worked as assistant director there, as well as at Grand Théâtre de Genève and Lincoln Center New York. His career as a lighting designer began in 2000 and now includes over 130 productions at major theaters. Further he has created lighting designs for art projects by Vanessa Beecroft, Anselm Kiefer, Dan Graham, Taryn Simon and Marina Abramović. He was director and set designer of the operas Jetzt and What Next? (2012) as well as Happy Happy (2014) composed by Mathis Nitschke. For the opera Bomarzo at Teatro Real Madrid he designed set and lighting in 2017. With Marina Abramović, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Damien Jalet he collaborated for their adaptions of Ravel’s Boléro (2013) und Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande (2018). After Kreatur in 2017, Exodos is his second collaboration with Sasha Waltz & Guests.
Heike Schuppelius studied architecture and set design at Universität der Künste Berlin as well as the Architectural Association and Central Saint Martins School, both in London. Grants and awards brought her to places such as Marseille, New York and Kairo. Schuppelius’ set designs and installations were presented at the Athens Festival, Zeche Zollverein in Essen and Maxim Gorki Theater in Berlin. Since 2012 Schuppelius is professor at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Karlsruhe. In the academic year of 2017 / 2018 she is also teaching at the Athens School of Fine Arts (ASFA).
Sergiu Matis was born in Cluj-Napoca, Romania where he studied dance at Liceul de Coregrafie and afterwards at Akademie des Tanzes Mannheim as a scholarship holder of Tanzstiftung Birgit Keil. He started his professional career at Tanztheater Nürnberg. Since 2008 Sergiu Matis has lived in Berlin. He completed the Masters Programme Solo / Dance / Authorship (SODA) at HZT / UDK (University of the Arts) Berlin in February 2014 and was a scholarship holder of the German National Academic Foundation. He choreographed his own pieces, presented in Berlin and internationally. Since 2009 he has danced in various productions of Sasha Waltz & Guests. Exodos is the first piece for which he works as a repetitor.