The ensemble Sasha Waltz & Guests is Berlin’s most important institution for contemporary dance, and has become known for its spectacular productions and sensational choreographies in empty spaces. At the opening of the Neues Museum, dancers went from room to room exploring the empty building. In the production of the opera Dido & Aeneas, they dive into a giant pool on the stage.
The repertoire: operas and projects
Thanks to her groundbreaking productions, Sasha Waltz is considered the most important innovator in contemporary dance. The ensemble not only specialises in its own productions, but now also in opera choreography. As well as Dido & Aeneas, Sasha Waltz has produced other operas such as Berlioz’s Romeo et Juliette and Monteverdi’s Orfeo at major opera houses, finding new ways to combine music, singing and dance. Dialoge is an innovative series of projects where the audience can participate in the research for new pieces in preliminary studies. The openings of the Neues Museum, the Jüdisches Museum and the Radialsystem were also major Dialoge projects. In spite of all the innovations, Sasha Waltz & Guests are always keen to maintain their repertoire: dance classics such as Travelogue I – Twenty to eight are regularly on the bill.
The history of the company
Sasha Waltz & Guests was founded in 1993 by Sasha Waltz and Jochen Sandig in Berlin. Since then, more than 150 artists from 25 countries – architects, visual artists, choreographers, film-makers, musicians, actors and dancers – have taken part as “guests” in more than 30 productions, Dialoge projects and films. The active repertoire includes 18 dance pieces, and 100 performances around the world each year.
The establishment of the sophiensæle in 1996 created an important creative centre for European theatre and dance in Berlin. From 2000 to 2005, Sasha Waltz and Jochen Sandig were part of a four-strong team of artistic directors at the Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz. In 2005 the company became independent again and produced the first choreographic opera by Sasha Waltz: Dido & Aeneas by Henry Purcell.
Sasha Waltz & Guests have now found a new artistic home in Berlin at the Radialsystem V as the in-house ensemble, and have been rehearsing and performing there since it opened in 2006.