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

Mary Wigman: "Witch Dance" - Video of the original

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Idea – Christoph Winkler
Curation – Franziska Werner, Christoph Winkler
dramaturgy – ehrliche arbeit – freies Kulturbüro
Technical production management, lighting design – Arne Schmitt
Production – Franziska Schrage, Johanna Withelm

Choreography – Nadia Beugré + Manou Gallo, Rodrigo Garcia Alves, Danya Hammoud, Darlane Litaay, Dana Michel, Jahra “Rager” Wasasala, Christine Joy Alpuerto Ritter, Claire Vivianne Sobottke, Melati Suryodarmo, Melanie Jame Wolf

Supporting programme – Attis Silke Beyn, Alessia D`artino aka A/ONA, Francesco Macarone Palmieri aka WARBEAR, Susan Manning, Irene Sieben, young girl reading group and others

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




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