Café Philo: Dance Theatre with Susanne Linke

An event curated by Giorgio Thoeni. Wednesday 17 October 2018, 6.30 pm, Aula grande


Susanne Linke, one of the founders of the “dance theatre” is one of the leading advocates of the new German choreographic avant-garde, together with Reinhild Hoffmann and Pina Bausch, from whom she was strongly influenced, particularly in the use of speech and use of the scenic space with simple and poor objects that create poetry out of everyday life. Her style has further developed anti-chauvinist satire and has explored stereotypes of consumer society, already present in the poetics of Bausch, but influenced by personal research and an artistic language related to dance in a strict sense: dance closer to the expressionist tradition of Kurt Jooss, with very fluid movements of the arms and chest following the music, and themes that explore the simplest and most ordinary aspects of life.


Born in Lüneburg, Germany on June 19, 1944, Susanne Linke began dancing quite late, when she was about 20, due to problems with hearing and language. In 1964 she went to Berlin to take lessons at the Mary Wigman Studio where she met Dore Hoyer, one of the most important soloists of German modern dance: for her, this meeting would be an important turning point as an artist.

Encouraged by Pina Bausch, she joined the Folkwang Tanzstudio where she danced from ’70 to ’73, a period in which she developed her first choreographic works that received prizes and awards. Beginning in 1975, she replaced Pina Bausch as director of the Folkwang Tanzstudio together with Reinhild Hoffmann, another pioneer of the German dance theatre. In 1983, she staged her first theatrical show entirely of her own creation, a dance-drama inspired by the Bacchae by Euripides.

In 1994, with her partner Urs Dietrich, she founded a company at the Theater of Bremen, which she directed until 2000. A few years later, she became a founding member and artistic director of the Choreographisches Zentrum in Essen. She continues to work as an independent choreographer for the Scuola Paolo Grassi in Milan, the Kibbutz Dance School in Israel, the Versilia Danza in Florence, and the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen. In 2004 she worked for the Limón Dance Company in New York and choreographed the following year for the Paris Opera. In 2015, Susanne Linke became artistic director of the Theater Trier.

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