The project documentation offers insights into the rehearsals for some of the commissioned choreographies while the artists involved talk about their specific access to Mary Wigman and Hexentanz (Witch Dance).

Witch Dance Project

The 1926 version of Mary Wigman’s solo Hexentanz 2 (Witch Dance 2) is one of the most famous works of German Expressionist Dance and it influenced generations of choreographers. The earthbound character of the dance, the rugged gestures and the opening of the legs not only offered an alternative to the ballet ideal but also confronted contemporary audiences with a new image of women.

Curated by Franziska Werner and Christoph Winkler, the Witch Dance Project at the Sophiensaele was a three-day dance event to reinterpret Wigman’s Hexentanz from a wide range of different perspectives, the main focus being on extra-European and queer-feministic views.

The core of the project were ten choreographies commissioned from Melati Suryodarmo (Indonesia/Brunswick), Darlane Litaay (Papua New Guinea), Jahra Rager (New Zealand), Dana Michel (Canada), Nadia Beugré (Ivory Coast/France), Rodrigo Garcia Alves (Brazil/Berlin), Danya Hammoud, (Lebanon), Claire Vivianne Sobottke (Berlin), Christine Joy Ritter (Berlin) and Melanie Jamie Wolf (Berlin).

These performances were supplemented with a comprehensive fringe programme including lecture performances, films, live rituals, readings and discussion rounds.

Interview with former Wigman students (German)

In the interview, Brigitta Herrmann and Katharine Sehnert look back on their training with Mary Wigman and talk about their role in the reconstruction of 'Le Sacre du Printemps' at Theater Osnabrück.

Lecture by Nora Amin (Script)


How does dance threaten authority and order? Why is a female dancer seen as a witch? When will the stage become a seat of rebellion? And what roles do sexuality, beauty and the crossing of boundaries play in this?

The author, performer, choreographer and director Nora Amin founded The Egyptian National Project of Theatre of the Oppressed and its Arabic network in 2011. Her current book Migrating the Feminine is available on

Performance Dates

06 – 08 October 2016 | Sophiensaele Berlin

October 6
6.30 pm: Introduction by Tanzscout
6.30 pm: Nora Amin – Which is the Witch?
8 pm:  Jahra Rager – Bloo/d/runk, Dana Michel – Palna Easy Francis, Claire Vivianne Sobottke – In the Woods, Darlane Litaay – Rider
10 pm: Young girl reading group – #134

October 7
7 pm: Lecture performance by Francesco Macarone Palmieri aka Warbear +
Alessia D’artino aka A/Ona
8 pm: Rodrigo Garcia Alves / Studio Disorder ­– Roots Bloody Rots, Christine Joy Alpuerto Ritter – Babae, Nadia Beugré + Manou Gallo – untitled
Followed by  Attis Silke Beyn – Ritual zu Samhain (Halloween)

October 8
6 pm: Screening of She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry by Mary Dore
8 pm: Melanie Jame Wolf ­– Nature/Nature/I Am Your Bride/Take Me,
Danya Hammoud – untitled, Melati Suryodarmo – Your Otherness ­– I’ve Never Been So East
Followed by  Closing panel with keynote speech by Susan Manning and audience discussion with Irene Sieben
11 pm: Party with DJ Ziúr and DJ Pam Bam

October 9
11 am – 6 pm: WITCHESWOMENPOWER – Female Shamanism – Workshop with Attis Silke Beyn




Die Folterungen der Beatrice Cenci

The ballet company at Saarländisches Staatstheater is reconstructing Gerhard Bohner’s 1971 work The Tortures of Beatrice Cenci, described by the FAZ newspaper as “Germany’s most successful post-war ballet”. MORE


Städtische Bühnen Osnabrück reconstructed Mary Wigman’s Totentänze I and II, and used exhibitions, installations and symposia to look at the death-dance theme. MORE