German Dance Award 2023

Malou Airaudo

Lutz Förster

Jo Ann Endicott

Dominique Mercy

Jury statement

The German Dance Award 2023 will be presented to four outstanding dancers and protagonists of German Tanztheater:

Malou Airaudo, Josephine Ann Endicott, Lutz Förster and Dominique Mercy

From the very beginning, they shaped the work of Pina Bausch and the Tanztheater Wuppertal with their strong personalities and unwavering commitment to a dance aesthetic that broke with existing conventions and inspired a new way of imagining dance. Despite all the initial resistance to this new, theatrical dance language, the impact and truthfulfulness of these physical narratives contributed significantly to Tanztheater Wuppertal’s worldwide success, as well as its influence on the entire international art world.

They have taken on leadership roles in the ensemble, passing on their invaluable knowledge to the next generation of dancers and continue to do so today. The "intangible cultural heritage” of modern dance and dance theater, which they have acquired in the last 50 years, is inscribed in their physical memories.

To this day, they are active as dancers, teachers, choreographers, repetiteurs, lecturers and performers and are in demand internationally. Each of them has a unique personality and a high level of professionalism. Starting in Wuppertal, all four have unfurled their radiance into the world and continue to be sought-after dance personalities.

The German Dance Award 2023 honors their life's work and their relentless, individual commitment to dance to this day.

 

The biographies of the award winners can be found in the press area​​​​​​​.

 

German Dance Award 2023

Malou Airaudo

Lutz Förster

Jo Ann Endicott

Dominique Mercy

Jury statement

The German Dance Award 2023 will be presented to four outstanding dancers and protagonists of German Tanztheater:

Malou Airaudo, Josephine Ann Endicott, Lutz Förster and Dominique Mercy

From the very beginning, they shaped the work of Pina Bausch and the Tanztheater Wuppertal with their strong personalities and unwavering commitment to a dance aesthetic that broke with existing conventions and inspired a new way of imagining dance. Despite all the initial resistance to this new, theatrical dance language, the impact and truthfulfulness of these physical narratives contributed significantly to Tanztheater Wuppertal’s worldwide success, as well as its influence on the entire international art world.

They have taken on leadership roles in the ensemble, passing on their invaluable knowledge to the next generation of dancers and continue to do so today. The "intangible cultural heritage” of modern dance and dance theater, which they have acquired in the last 50 years, is inscribed in their physical memories.

To this day, they are active as dancers, teachers, choreographers, repetiteurs, lecturers and performers and are in demand internationally. Each of them has a unique personality and a high level of professionalism. Starting in Wuppertal, all four have unfurled their radiance into the world and continue to be sought-after dance personalities.

The German Dance Award 2023 honors their life's work and their relentless, individual commitment to dance to this day.

 

The biographies of the award winners can be found in the press area​​​​​​​.

Peter Appel - HONOURING FOR LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT

Jury statement

The artistic and pedagogical work of Peter Appel (born 1933) has influenced the German ballet and contemporary dance scene in a unique way. His ideas continue to have an impact on dance training and artistic work to this day.
Peter Appel's dance career began in Haarlem continued via Paris and Amsterdam and later to Basel, where in addition to his work as a soloist, he first took on ballet master duties between 1962 to 1964. Since then, he has worked as a teacher and ballet master in Hamburg, Cologne, Düsseldorf and Zurich and as a welcomed guest teacher in Munich, Hanover, Vienna among others.
At the beginning of his career, Peter Appel’s experiences with Olga Preobrajenska, Victor Gsovsky, Mathilde Kschessinskaja and Lubov Egorova shaped his pedagogical work. His work with George Balanchine, as well as his training and ballet master engagements with the ensembles from Wazlav Orlikovsky, John Neumeier and Heinz Spoerli, offered him development opportunities to support and challenge dancers in their daily training. 
From 1966 to 1976, Appel was artistic director of the Institute for Professional Dance (Institut für Bühnentanz) in Cologne; from 1966 to 1971, he worked as a soloist, ballet master, and intermittent ballet director at the Cologne Opera House and a founding member of the Cologne Dance Forum. Together with John Neumeier, he founded the ballet school of the Hamburg State Opera in 1978.
His way of working was precise, meticulous, inspiring - both the solo work and the way he rehearsed with the ensemble. He quickly grasped and mastered the ideal of choreography. Conveying the compositions to the ensemble was always an important priority for him.
His insight and sensitivity into the works of respective choreographers, as well as his dedication and humor have accompanied renowned choreographers and profoundly shaped and inspired generations of dancers. 
His lifelong devotion to dance and his pedagogical talent are honored by the jury with the HONOURING FOR LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT.


The biography of Peter Appel can be found in the press area.

Sophia Neises - HONOURING FOR OUTSTANDING DEVELOPMENTS IN DANCE

Jury statement

Sophia Neises is a choreographer, dramaturg, performer and dance educator. Since 2015, she has been developing various performance forms of dance. As a dance teacher, workshop facilitator and dramaturg, she succeeds in communicating the need for action to break down barriers and raise critical awareness of the stigmatized role of disabled people both on stage and in everyday life.

As a performer, she identifies herself as an artist with visual impairment. Not incidentally, this self-description allows her performative practice to interact with the limits that she encounters due to the conditions that define disability. The interaction creates new, lustful relationships between the artist and her audience.

In her work with disabled and non-disabled people, she uses different techniques and tactics on stage. She discovers new skills and develops contemporary forms of artistic expression together with other artists in mutual exchange and learning from each other.
Through her unconventional strategies, she challenges the audience to actively re-examine their own approach to disability by including and applying innovative approaches. The prevailing concepts and criteria of body, space and time are questioned and expanded. This enables new aesthetic approaches not only in dance and performance, but in contemporary culture and society as a whole.

This honor given to Sophia Neises for her outstanding development in dance is also intended to underscore the importance of new approaches and opportunities for action in the various areas of contemporary dance. For example mixed-abled ensembles, audio descriptions, haptic introductions, relaxed performances and improving access to the arts outside of normative standards and processes - all contribute to a self-confident development of a diverse concept of culture.

 

The biography of Sophia Neises can be found in the press area.

Award winners of past years

 

2022

2021

2020

2019

2018

1983-2016