Sasha Waltz (2007)
Sasha Waltz

Sasha Alexandra Waltz (born 8 March 1963, Karlsruhe) is a German choreographer, dancer and leader of the dance company Sasha Waltz and Guests.


Waltz is the daughter of an architect and a curator. At the age of five years she had her first dance lesson in Karlsruhe with Waltraud Kornhass, a student of Mary Wigman. From 1983 until 1986, Waltz studied at the School For New Dance Development in Amsterdam.

Between 1986 and 1987, Waltz did further training in New York. During that period she was a dancer for Pooh Kaye, Yoshiko Chuma & School of Hard Knocks and Lisa Kraus. After that, she collaborated intensely with choreographers, visual artists and musicians such as Tristan Honsinger, Frans Poelstra, Mark N Tompkins, and David Zambrano.

From 1992 onwards Waltz was an artist in residence at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien. There she developed a series of "dialogues" in interdisciplinary projects with dancers, musicians and visual artists (Nasser Martin-Gousset, Takako Suzuki, Charlotte Zerbey, Ákos Hargitai).[1] A year later in 1993, she founded her company "Sasha Waltz and Guests" with Jochen Sandig. Over the next 3 years they developed the Travelogue-Trilogy.

Together with Jochen Sandig, Waltz founded the Sophiensæle in central Berlin, as a center for the development of free theatre and dance. Here they developed Allee der Kosmonauten (1996), Zweiland (1997) and Na Zemlje (1998), as well as the project Dialoge `99/I.

In 1999, Waltz took over as artistic director at Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz in Berlin alongside Thomas Ostermeier, Jens Hillje and Jochen Sandig. She opened the Schaubühne under new direction with the debut of Körper (2000). This was followed by S (2000), noBody (2002), insideout (2003), Impromptus (2004) and Gezeiten (2005).

Once her 5-year period with the Schaubühne finished, Waltz reactivated Sasha Waltz & Guests as an independent company again, with a base in Berlin. It was established as an international project with 25 permanent and 40 associate collaborators.

In 2008, she was awarded the X Europe Prize Theatrical Realities, in Thessaloniki.[2]

In 2016, Michael Mueller, Mayor of Berlin, announced that Waltz and Johannes Ohman would succeed Nacho Duato as joint artistic directors of the Berlin State Ballet in 2019.[3]

In an online conversation with Octavian Saiu, Waltz declared that she "does not want to go back to the same world" as before the pandemic. She further explained that she thinks important lessons should be drawn from the global crisis, with crucial implications for humanity, ecology, and culture.[4]

In July 2022, Sasha Waltz became the Inaugural Fellow of the International Association of Theatre Leaders (IATL).[5]

Artistic phases


After high school, from 1983 to 1986, Waltz studied dance at the School For New Dance Development[6] in Amsterdam.

She then furthered her education in New York from 1986 to 1987. In New York she worked as a dancer in the companies of Pooh Kaye, Yoshiko Chuma & School of Hard Knocks and Lisa Kraus. She then went on to collaborate with choreographers, visual artists and musicians such as Tristan Honsinger, Frans Poelstra, Mark Tompkins, David Zambrano, and others.

During her training in Amsterdam and New York she created her first Sasha Waltz's choreographies, among them: Das Meer in mir (1985), Gold Dust (1986), How come we go (1987), Schwarze Sirene (1987) and Rifle (1987).


In 1992, Waltz received a scholarship from the Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin as an Artist-in-residence It was in that context that she created her first of five dialogues in collaboration with the dancers Frans Poelstra, Nasser Martin-Gousset, Takako Suzuki, Kitt Johnson, Carme Renalias and David Zambrano, as well as the musicians Tristan Honsinger, David Moss, Dietmar Diesner, Sven-Åke Johansson, and Peter Hollinger. They performed their own dance productions at various locations in Berlin, such as the two solos False Trap (Tanzfabrik Berlin, 1991) and Paulinchen – allein zu Haus (Kunsthaus Tacheles, 1996) and in 1993 the Duet Bungalow in Hackescher Markt.

Over the next three years her career took off with productions including Travelogue-Trilogie with Twenty to Eight (1993), Tears Breakfast (1994) and All Ways Six Steps (1995). Through this work, she laid the foundation for the rest of her career: After the premiere of Twenty to Eight in October 1993, Waltz founded, together with Jochen Sandig, her own dance company Sasha Waltz & Guests in order to appear in the Dance Platform in Berlin in 1994. The Dance Platform brought her more public attention. Then, Sasha Waltz & Guests toured with the trilogy Travelogue through Europe, and in 1995, with the support of the Goethe Institute, she toured North America (including the cities of Atlanta, New York, Chicago, Montreal, Houston and Los Angeles).


In 2007 a new generation of dancers took part in the first play of the trilogy Twenty to Eight. Up to this date the play is still on the repertoire of the company and is regularly performed.

Selected works

Year and location of world premieres by Sasha Waltz:



  1. ^ "SW&G | Sasha Waltz & Guests". Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  2. ^ "XII Edizione". Premio Europa per il Teatro (in Italian). Retrieved 2 January 2023.
  3. ^ Sulcas, Roslyn (9 September 2016). "2 New Faces for Staatsballett Berlin, When Nacho Duato Leaves in 2019". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  4. ^ "Program FITS 2020" (PDF). Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  5. ^ "IATL". IATL. 4 July 2022. Retrieved 9 November 2022.
  6. ^ "Academie voor Theater en Dans". Academie voor Theater en Dans. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  7. ^ "Europe Theatre Prize - XII Edition - XII Edition Europe Theatre Prize". Retrieved 2 January 2023.
  8. ^ "Deutscher Tanzpreis 2024". Retrieved 24 April 2024.

Further reading