Dance Dramaturgy and Creation

This four-day workshop is presented by acclaimed Berlin-based choreographer and director Helena Waldmann and leading dance journalist and critic Arnd Wesemann. Working together to offer creative and critical perspectives, the pair lead participants in an “artistic autopsy” – a self-examination that explores the provocative topic “defending ourselves against foreign intruders”.

Known as a “body-language author”, Waldmann produces choreographies that can be read as socio-critical statements. Using dance not just as a physical presentation but also as a personal political statement, her work is thought-provoking, playful, sensual and dramaturgically precise.

To introduce Waldmann’s approach to dance dramaturgy, and her process of creating an evening-long spectacle, the workshop opens with a screening and discussion of a selection of her work. Participants are then assigned to small groups to look at how society and our physical immune systems deal with “the other” (migrants, refugees, transplanted organs, germs…), and to investigate different modes of reaction – inclusion, adaptation, self defence or attack. Working together, participants transform radical and controversial ideas into choreographic interpretations that offer a micro-perspective on a macro-issue.

To find out more about Waldmann’s work, visit her website or view the trailer for Good Passports Bad Passports – A Borderline Experience.




Workshop Leaders

2 – 4 January 2019 (Wed – Fri)

10:00am – 1:00pm and
2:00pm – 5:00pm


Dance Studio 1, 4/F, The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts
(1 Gloucester Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong)

Helena Waldmann

Arnd Wesemann


5 January 2019 (Sat)

Dance Studio 6, 3/F, The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts
(1 Gloucester Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong)


Target participants:
Dance and theatre professionals, including choreographers, dance artists, theatre makers, dramaturgs and interdisciplinary artists, as well as graduate students of performing arts, performance studies and dramaturgy.

Number of participants:

Administration fee:


  • 10% discount for participants who also took part in workshop series 1, 2, 3 or 4
  • 15% discount for participants who took part in any 2 other workshop series
  • 20% discount for participants who took part in any 3 other workshop series
  • 25% discount for participants who took part in ALL workshop series (Series 1, 2, 3 and 4)

Participants will be selected based on their application. Successful applicants will be contacted by email with payment instructions on or before 1 December 2018.

Application Deadline:
18 November 2018

Ms Yvonne Yau: (852) 2200 0841,


  1. Selected participants are required to commit to attending all sessions of the workshop, as well as the Public Seminar on 6 January.
  2. Overseas participants are responsible for their own travel and accommodation expenses.

The organiser reserves the right to change the programme content and speaker. All changes will be announced on the website.

Adverse weather arrangements:
If a black rainstorm warning, or a typhoon signal no. 8 or above is in force 2 hours before the start of an event, the event will be cancelled.

About the workshop leaders:

Helena Waldmann

Photo: Tina Ruisinger

Born in 1962, Berlin-based Helena Waldmann is a freelance director and choreographer whose radical work has received international acclaim. The political force of her choreographies, made in collaboration with German and international theatres and festivals, creates total works of art that go beyond traditional dance-theatre. Her award-winning productions have toured extensively in Europe, Iran, Afghanistan, Egypt, Palestine, Africa, South America, East Asia, India and Bangladesh. Her travels have also inspired new works, such as: Headhunters – Cutting the Edges (2004), produced in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil; Letters from Tentland (2005), produced in Tehran for six Iranian women; Return to Sender – Letters from Tentland (2006), a commentary on European immigration policy performed by six exiled Iranian women; and Made in Bangladesh (2015), a piece on the economic parallels between conditions for workers in the garment industry and those for artists in the West. Her latest piece, Good Passports Bad Passports (2017), is a cross-border work involving dancers, acrobats and local volunteers that examines how we take borders for granted, and how nationalism prevents freedom of thought and choice.

Arnd Wesemann

Photo: Bettina Stoess

Journalist and editor of Europe’s leading dance magazine tanz, Arnd Wesemann is an expert in dance and dance criticism. He has published a number of books on politics and aesthetics, including Immer Feste Tanzen (The Dancing Feast 2006), a German-language collection of essays on the history of dance and dance as antidote to work, and Made in Bangladesh, an essay on how the lives of cultural workers and workers in the garment industry are impacted by society’s expectation that everything should be available at a bargain price.