Born 1970 in Leoben, Austria, Letonja studied classical dance in Graz and Amsterdam as well as modern dance under Alvin Ailey and Erick Hawkins in New York. He performed in a wide range of styles: from ballet at Oper Graz to Jan Fabre, Montréal Danse to the Tanztheater in Bremen under Susanne Linke among others. At Tanztheater Bremen, Helge began to create his own pieces in 1995. The following year, he founded and still is the artistic director of steptext dance project. In 2003, steptext dance project became company-inresidency at the Schwankhalle, which he co-designed, as a production facility and center of contemporary dance art.
In addition to his 50 or so dance pieces to date, which have often been realized in interdisciplinary and transcultural collaboration and presented worldwide, he choreographs for opera productions, including productions at the Salzburg Festival, Zurich Opera House, Berlin State Opera, New National Opera Tokyo and Semperoper Dresden.
In his impressively sensual aesthetics, Letonja creates vital frictional surfaces and vibrating mirror images of social conditions and processes. His works reflect the inner-societal and cross-cultural coexistence, combining emotional and mental movements of individual and social bodies with metaphorical contexts. His trilogy DisPLACING Future, for example, looks at global migration flows, and the European-African co-produced and cast pieces Homescapes (2012), Boxom (2014) and Out of joint (2017) negotiate transcultural designs.
As festival director and experienced project initiator, as well as board member of the
Dachverband Tanz Deutschland, Letonja is involved in diverse institutional and artistic cooperations for the regional and international development, networking and mediation of dance art. He was head of the “independent companies” section of the Norddeutsche Tanztreffen – Tanzplan Bremen, and was one of the main initiators of the projects KoresponDance Europe, zuhause.anderswo and Sehnsucht Europa, which involve several countries and municipal partners, as well as the festival AFRICTIONS. Nominated for the BKM Prize for Cultural Education 2013 and the George Tabori Prize 2014 and awarded the Bremen Diversity Prize 2016, Letonja develops dance as a mediator of cultural diversity, social participation, interdisciplinary art and research. He is always looking for new, interdisciplinary fields and cooperates, among others, with the scientific fields of the Hochschule Bremen.
Photo: Arne Gutknecht
Hanover-born in 1975, Landerer completed his education at the Gymnasium Essen-Werden and at the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts. For the 2000/01 season, he performed with the Thoss Dance Company at the State Theatre Kiel and from 2001 to 2006 with the ensemble of State Theater Hanover in Lower Saxony, also under the artistic direction of Stephan Thoss. Parallel to his career as a dancer, Landerer began to choreograph for the ensemble of the State Opera Hanover and the Bale Teatro Guaira in Curitiba, Brazil. In 2006, he became a full-time choreographer and the following year was commissioned by the Commedia Futura, Theater in the Eisfabrik (Ice Factory) Hanover, until he founded his own company Landerer & Company in Hannover in 2010, supported by the state of Lower Saxony.
In April 2010, Felix Landerer won first prize at the International Competition for Choreographers in Hanover for his duet “Suits” and also received the production prize from Ed Wubbe for the Scapino Ballet Rotterdam. In 2011, he became in-house choreographer for the Scapino Ballet Rotterdam and since then has been creating regularly for the ensemble. The production “Blind Spot”, choreographed for the Scapino Ballet Rotterdam, was nominated “Best Dance Production” at the Dutch dance award The Swan in 2013. In 2017, Landerer & Company received the Pro Visio Prize for exceptional artistic achievements for the production “Revolte!” as well as the Hanover City Culture Prize for outstanding civic involvement in art and culture.
Felix Landerer is in demand internationally as a guest choreographer. In recent years, he has created choreographies for the Netherlands Dans Theater (NDT), the dance company of the Gothenburg Opera, the Lucerne Theater, the Concert Theater Bern, Norrdans in Sweden as well as for the Theater Münster, the Theater Regensburg, St. Gallen and NWDP in Portland, Oregon. He also leads inclusion programs and workshops in Hannover, Germany to share his passion for movement and non-verbal communication with people from all walks of life.
Photo: Arne Gutknecht