Press Release 14.12.2018

Press Release:

2019 Spring/Summer season Press Conference,

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch,

14 December 2018


Today, Bettina Wagner-Bergelt, incoming general and artistic director of the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, will present the schedule for the period March to July 2019 accompanied by: Bettina Milz, head of theatre and dance at the Ministry for Arts and Sciences of the State of North Rhine-Westfalia; Ursula Schulz, chair of the board and mayor of Wuppertal; councillor for the arts Matthias Nocke; and the company’s artistic management director, Robert Sturm.


Wuppertal’s arts councillor Matthias Nocke welcomes the appointment of Bettina Wagner-Bergelt and Roger Christmann as an important step for the future of the company and its restructuring. “With Bettina Wagner-Bergelt we have succeeded in attracting someone experienced both in handling repertoires and legacies and in developing innovative performance and festival ideas,” says Nocke. “This is crucial to preparations for the planned Pina Bausch Centre and for ensuring the repertoire is kept alive.”


In the second half of its 45th season, ten years after Pina Bausch’s death and in the tenth anniversary of the Pina Bausch Foundation, the Tanztheater Wuppertal will present three key works from Pina Bausch’s oeuvre: Palermo Palermo, Arias, and, the highpoint of the season, a new production of He Takes Her By The Hand And Leads her Into The Castle, The Others Follow, made in 1978, and last performed twenty-nine years ago. Since 2015 the company has longed to revive the piece, which is seen as an artistic turning point in Pina Bausch’s early work. It was created when Peter Zadek invited Pina Bausch to generate her own version of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Searching for a personal visual and physical language, Pina Bausch began asking her performers associative questions, a way of working which was to characterise all further Tanztheater Wuppertal pieces.


Alongside 15 performances in Wuppertal, the company will be touring internationally with 12 different performances. 1980 – A Piece by Pina Bausch will be shown at the Stadsschouwburg in Antwerp. On the invitation of long-term touring partners in Paris and London the ensemble will be appearing with the two new works created in 2018 by Dimitris Papaioannou and Alan Lucien Øyen. 


Bettina Wagner-Bergelt will be placing a strong emphasis on Pina Bausch’s legacy in the context both of developing new formats and of participative educational projects. “I see the wonderful ensemble, with various generations of dancers from a range of cultural backgrounds, and the extensive oeuvre of Pina Bausch as a wellspring from which we can draw when conserving and securing the repertoire and creating new work,” says the incoming artistic director. “Together with the dancers, the experienced team and external partners from the international dance scene, and in close partnership with the Pina Bausch Foundation, we will keep the work alive and pass our way with the pieces down to new generations of dancers and audiences. Our main aim is to foster the enjoyment of movement, dance and theatre.”


Here a particular emphasis will be placed on anchoring the ensemble more strongly in the city, and on further developing the youth programme as well as finding appropriate formats and schemes for collaborations with schools and colleges. Suchen & Finden (‘searching and finding’), the Tanztheater Wuppertal youth programme, will be an important, continual element of the repertoire, orientated thematically on the pieces in each season’s schedule. The workshop series Tanzen mit ... (‘dancing with...’ dancers and guests of the ensemble), developed during the anniversary season PINA40, will be continued. Here too, connections and access to the work of Pina Bausch will also play a greater role.


Ensuring a living repertoire, says Bettina Wagner-Bergelt, “requires intensive dramaturgical work with the legacy and thus a deeper collaborative relationship with the Pina Bausch Foundation, both when it comes to new works created by invited artists and guests choreographers, who will explore the wealth of pre-existing material to create something new – as radical and questioning as Pina Bausch – and also in terms of a programmatic reorientation ready for the planned Pina Bausch Centre. 





Incoming General and Artistic Director

Bettina Wagner-Bergelt


will take over artistic direction of the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch from 1 January 2019. From 2000 to 2016 she was deputy director of the Bayerisches Staatsballett and from 1990 to 2016 its head dramaturg. In Munich she built up an outstanding, international repertoire of modern and avant garde works. With the education programme she developed, CAMPUS Staatsballett, Bettina Wagner-Bergelt initiated a benchmark interdisciplinary outreach scheme for dance and ballet. In 1987 she founded the Munich festival DANCE – Internationales Tanzfestival der Landeshauptstadt München and was its artistic director in 1987, 1989, 2008 and 2010. 

Bettina Wagner-Bergelt has received awards including the 2016 TANZPREIS der Landeshauptstadt München, the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2014, and the Kinder zum Olymp Prize. She is a board member of the Bavarian association Tanz BLZT and the umbrella association Tanz Deutschland DTD.

Bettina Wagner-Bergelt studied German and Spanish literature with theatre and film studies in Cologne and Berlin. She is married with two children.





Incoming General and Managing Director

Roger Christmann


will take over as managing director of the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch from 1 January 2019. Since 2012 Roger Christmann has been a freelance consultant for management and finance for organisations including the Berliner Festspiele (co-ordinating the touring production Einstein on the Beach), the Kultur Ruhr GmbH (interim management in 2017, project development in 2018) and the Asian Art Theatre Guangju (developing a master plan in 2015).

From 2001 to 2011 Christmann worked as managing director for organisations including the Theater der Welt 2010 in Mülheim an der Ruhr and Essen, and Brussels’ kunstenfestivaldesarts. During this period he developed and co-ordinated the project NXTSTP as part of the European Union’s EU-Programme.

In 1993 Roger Christmann completed his degree in business and finance studies at the École des Hautes Études Commerciales in Liege, Belgium. He currently lives in Berlin.


The programme in detail

March – July 2019




A piece by Pina Bausch

Wuppertal Opera House

21, 22, 23 and 24 March 2019

Tickets on sale from 21 December 2018


Palermo Palermo

A Piece by Pina Bausch

Wuppertal Opera House

29, 30 and 31 March 2019

Tickets on sale from 21 December 2018



Er nimmt sie an der Hand und führt sie in das Schloß, die anderen folgen / He Takes Her By The Hand And Leads Her Into The Castle, The Others Follow

A piece by Pina Bausch

Premiered 1978, New production

Wuppertal Opera House

17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 24, 25 and 26 May 2019

Tickets on sale from 22 March 2019



Further dates for Suchen & Finden, the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch youth programme, as well as workshops in the series Tanzen mit... (‘dancing with...’ members and guests of the company) will be announced later on


Hotline for Wuppertal tickets + 49 202 563 7666


International Performances


1980 – A piece by Pina Bausch

Antwerp, Stadsschouwburg

13, 14, 17 and 18 June 2019


New Piece II

Bon voyage, Bob... – A Piece by Alan Lucien Øyen

Paris, Chaillot – Théâtre national de la Danse

Scheduled by the Théâtre de la Ville, Paris

29 and 30 June, 2 and 3 July, 2019



New Piece I

Seit sie / Since she – A Piece by Dimitris Papaioannou

Paris, La Villette

Scheduled by the Théâtre de la Ville, Paris

8, 9, 10 and 11 July 2019


Subject to change!