Heike Hennig
Heike Hennig is a German dancer, choreographer and director of the opera
Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...

 and dance
Dance is an art form that generally refers to movement of the body, usually rhythmic and to music, used as a form of expression, social interaction or presented in a spiritual or performance setting....

 ensemble “Heike Hennig & Co”.


Heike Hennig had her first dance-lessons at the age of 5 years in Leipzig. In 1989, through her escape from East Germany (GDR), she was able to study modern dance
Modern dance
Modern dance is a dance form developed in the early 20th century. Although the term Modern dance has also been applied to a category of 20th Century ballroom dances, Modern dance as a term usually refers to 20th century concert dance.-Intro:...

, choreography
Choreography is the art of designing sequences of movements in which motion, form, or both are specified. Choreography may also refer to the design itself, which is sometimes expressed by means of dance notation. The word choreography literally means "dance-writing" from the Greek words "χορεία" ...

 and Body-Mind Centering (BMC) in Cologne
Cologne is Germany's fourth-largest city , and is the largest city both in the Germany Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than ten million inhabitants.Cologne is located on both sides of the...

 and at Moving on Center - School for Participatory Arts and Research in Oakland, California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 and in the USA with teachers such as Steve Paxton
Steve Paxton
Steve Paxton is an experimental dancer and choreographer. His early background was in gymnastics while his later training included three years with Merce Cunningham and a year with José Limón. As a founding member of the Judson Dance Theater, he performed works by Yvonne Rainer and Trisha Brown...

. Following that, Heike Hennig worked in Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 and Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...


In 1995, Heike Hennig came back to Germany, where she worked from 1998 as freelance choreographer and teacher. She instructed body- and moving-oriented teaching-methods at the Gret Palucca
Gret Palucca
Gret Palucca was a German dancer and teacher.Shortly after birth, her family moved to San Francisco, returning with her mother to Dresden in 1909. There she received ballet lessons with Heinrich Kröller from 1914 to 1916...

-School in Dresden
, the University of Leipzig
University of Leipzig
The University of Leipzig , located in Leipzig in the Free State of Saxony, Germany, is one of the oldest universities in the world and the second-oldest university in Germany...

and the Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig as well as in interdisciplinary workshops including anatomy
Anatomy is a branch of biology and medicine that is the consideration of the structure of living things. It is a general term that includes human anatomy, animal anatomy , and plant anatomy...

, painting
Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface . The application of the medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other objects can be used. In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action. However, painting is...

 and choreography
Choreography is the art of designing sequences of movements in which motion, form, or both are specified. Choreography may also refer to the design itself, which is sometimes expressed by means of dance notation. The word choreography literally means "dance-writing" from the Greek words "χορεία" ...


In 2000, Heike Hennig founded together with Friedrich U. Minkus  in Leipzig the FZTM - (Forum of Contemporary Dance
Contemporary dance
Contemporary dance is a genre of concert dance that employs compositional philosophy, rather than choreography, to guide unchoreographed movement...

 and Music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

and her ensemble Heike Hennig & Co. As director she developed numerous stage pieces and interdisciplinary art projects at many different stages and at institutions in Leipzig, Berlin, Dresden and Weimar, among other places. Her team consists of more than 50 artists working in different genres from architects to video artists
Video art
Video art is a type of art which relies on moving pictures and comprises video and/or audio data. . Video art came into existence during the 1960s and 1970s, is still widely practiced and has given rise to the widespread use of video installations...


At the Leipzig opera
Oper Leipzig
Oper Leipzig is an opera house and opera company in Leipzig, Germany.The Leipzig Opera traces its establishment to the year 1693, making it the third oldest opera venue in Europe after La Fenice and the Hamburg State Opera...

, Heike Hennig developed the dance piece Zeit – tanzen seit 1927 (Time – dancing since 1927) in 2005. This autobiographical dance theater was produced in 2007 as the documentary Tanz mit der Zeit Dancing with Time
Dancing with Time
Dancing with Time is a film by Trevor Peters about the autobiography Dance Theater Zeit – tanzen seit 1927 by Heike Hennig.- Plot :...

by the film director Trevor Peters from New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

. The film was coproduced with the national German TV-channel ZDF
Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen , ZDF, is a public-service German television broadcaster based in Mainz . It is run as an independent non-profit institution, which was founded by the German federal states . The ZDF is financed by television licence fees called GEZ and advertising revenues...

 and the French-German TV-channel ARTE
Arte is a Franco-German TV network. It is a European culture channel and aims to promote quality programming especially in areas of culture and the arts...

. In 2008 the piece was shown in German movie theaters, on TV and international festivals. Heike Hennig arranged for the former dancers of the Leipzig opera to return on stage. Ursula Cain
Ursula Cain
Ursula Cain was a German dancer and dance teacher. -Biography:The dancer and the dance teacher Ursula Cain began her dance education at the age of 12 years in the preparatory class of the Mary Wigman Schule for modern dance...

, Christa Franze, Siegfried Prölß und Horst Dittmann, who at this time were about 80 years old, told and danced their dance and life stories which were shaped by Mary Wigman
Mary Wigman
Mary Wigman was a German dancer, choreographer, and dance instructor.A pioneer of expressionist dance, her work was hailed for bringing the deepest of existential experiences to the stage...

, Dore Hoyer, Gret Palucca and Heike Hennig. During the shooting, the next dance piece Zeitsprünge (Leaps in Time) was created. here, the protagonists meet up with their younger colleagues in the ensemble Heike Hennig & Co and DJ cfm. The different generations might be recognized from the various dance-styles from Expressionist dance
Expressionist dance
Expressionist dance is a European dance form that is part of the German Expressionist movement. Although considered a part of the modern dance movement, it is separate from modern dance per se. Other names for it that have fallen out of use include Moderner Tanz, Absoluter Tanz, Freier Tanz,...

 via Street dance
Street dance
Street dance, more formally known as vernacular dance, is an umbrella term used to describe dance styles that evolved outside of dance studios in any available open space such as streets, dance parties, block parties, parks, school yards, raves, and nightclubs, etc...

 and Contact improvisation
Contact improvisation
Contact improvisation is a dance technique in which points of physical contact provide the starting point for exploration through movement improvisation...

 to classical Ballet
Ballet is a type of performance dance, that originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th century, and which was further developed in France and Russia as a concert dance form. The early portions preceded the invention of the proscenium stage and were presented in large chambers with...

. In spring 2008, "Dancing with Time" came out as DVD and a book by the author Marion Appelt with a preface by Renate Schmidt
Renate Schmidt
thumb|Renate SchmidtRenate Schmidt is a German Social Democratic politician.-Early life:Schmidt grew up in Coburg, Fürth, and Nuremberg. Due to a pregnancy at the age of 17, she was forced to leave school a year before she would have received her Abitur...


For the 2007/8 season, Heike Hennig developed the cross-genre
A cross-genre is a genre in fiction that blends themes and elements from two or more different genres.-Examples:*Action comedy *Comedy-drama or dramedy *Comedy-horror...

 series oper unplugged (Opera unplugged) with music, dance, theater and new media at the Leipzig opera. At the season 2008/9 the cooperation with the baroque ensemble Lautten Compagney Berlin started. This hybridity
Hybridity refers in its most basic sense to mixture. The term originates from biology and was subsequently employed in linguistics and in racial theory in the nineteenth century. Its contemporary uses are scattered across numerous academic disciplines and is salient in popular culture...

 of cross-genres, which results in the Tanzoper (dance opera) Rituale (Rituals) for George Frideric Handel
George Frideric Handel
George Frideric Handel was a German-British Baroque composer, famous for his operas, oratorios, anthems and organ concertos. Handel was born in 1685, in a family indifferent to music...

 at the Leipzig opera and the production Timeless at the Neues Museum
Neues Museum
The ' is a museum in Berlin, Germany, located to the north of the Altes Museum on Museum Island.It was built between 1843 and 1855 according to plans by Friedrich August Stüler, a student of Karl Friedrich Schinkel. The museum was closed at the beginning of World War II in 1939, and was heavily...

 of the Museum Island
Museum Island
Museum Island is the name of the northern half of an island in the Spree river in the central Mitte district of Berlin, Germany, the site of the old city of Cölln...

Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 revealed new dimensions for the European contemporary opera. The highlight in 2010 was “Maria” by Heike Hennig, a dance oratorio for three singers, seven dancers, twelve musicians and one DJ on the stage. All artists are part of the choreography with music by George Frideric Handel, Alessandro Scarlatti
Alessandro Scarlatti
Alessandro Scarlatti was an Italian Baroque composer especially famous for his operas and chamber cantatas. He is considered the founder of the Neapolitan school of opera. He was the father of two other composers, Domenico Scarlatti and Pietro Filippo Scarlatti.-Life:Scarlatti was born in...

 and electronic music
Electronic music
Electronic music is music that employs electronic musical instruments and electronic music technology in its production. In general a distinction can be made between sound produced using electromechanical means and that produced using electronic technology. Examples of electromechanical sound...

 by cfm.

Heike Hennig & Co went on tour through Europe with her cross-genre pieces. They gave guest-performances at Deutsches Schauspielhaus
Deutsches Schauspielhaus
The Deutsches Schauspielhaus is a theatre in the St. Georg quarter of the city of Hamburg, Germany. With a capacity for 1192 spectators, it places it as Germany's largest theatre...

 Hamburg, Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar, Staatsschauspiel Dresden
Staatsschauspiel Dresden
The Staatsschauspiel Dresden is a theatre on Theaterstraße in Dresden. It is maintained by the Free State of Saxony, hence its name. It is made up of a main auditorium and a studio theatre...

 and at theater houses in Athen, Nanjing, Travnik, Goethe-Institut
The Goethe-Institut is a non-profit German cultural institution operational worldwide, promoting the study of the German language abroad and encouraging international cultural exchange and relations. The Goethe-Institut also fosters knowledge about Germany by providing information on German...

 Rom, Copenhagen, Vadstena, Mantua and other cities.

On juries and artistic advisory councils, Heike Hennig makes efforts to support contemporary performing art
Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect....

 and music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

. In 2009, Heike Hennig was invited to teach at the University of British Columbia
University of British Columbia
The University of British Columbia is a public research university. UBC’s two main campuses are situated in Vancouver and in Kelowna in the Okanagan Valley...

 in Vancouver and Kelowna as well as at Simon Fraser University
Simon Fraser University
Simon Fraser University is a Canadian public research university in British Columbia with its main campus on Burnaby Mountain in Burnaby, and satellite campuses in Vancouver and Surrey. The main campus in Burnaby, located from downtown Vancouver, was established in 1965 and has more than 34,000...

 in Burnaby, Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 as a "Guest Speaker" via film, workshop and lectures. Since 2010 Heike Hennig has taught at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK).

Literature / DVD

  • Marion Appelt: Tanz mit der Zeit (Dancing with Time), Leipzig, Plöttner Verlag 2008, ISBN 978-3-938442-45-6
  • Trevor Peters: Tanz mit der Zeit (Dancing with Time), Berlin, Good Movies/Ventura 2009, Indigo, DVD 926328
  • Sebastian Göschel über "Estha" in: Arbeit und Rhythmus, München, Wilhelm Fink 2009, ISBN 978-3-7705-4766-1

External links

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