Ben J. Riepe

“I have originally studied dance, yet I perceive my work as situated in-between the visual and performing arts. I am fascinated by the tension the body inhabits as well as by its roles as an instrument, an object, as a living work of art and as a human itself. Also, the dimensions of the ephemeral and the enduring, of content and expression, the political, social, emotional and aesthetic aspects, but also the possibilities, opportunities, the problems and requirements interest me. I work on the art of seduction as well as on the seduction of art..”

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Personal Information

  • *1979
  • Studied dance and choreography at Folkwang University of the Arts, Essen
  • Stage dancer for Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, V. A. Wölf/NEUR TANZ and other companies
  • Freelancing choreographer since 2006
  • Guest choreographer/guest lecturer on the subjects of coaching, performing skills, improvisation
  • Recipient of the Support Grant for Leading Artists, awarded by the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, since 2009
  • Has been running his own production venue in Düsseldorf since 2010
  • 2013-2016 Affiliated Artist at PACT Zollverein in Essen
  • Recipient of the Support Grant for Leading Artists, awarded by the City of Düsseldorf, since 2015
  • Recipient of the Support Grant for Excellence, awarded by the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, since 2018
  • In 2018: Ben J. Riepe conceived and initiated FREIRAUM
  • In 2019: Tabori Prize – Award for the Performing Arts
  • In March 2020, Ben J. Riepe has been elected to become a member of the Arts Class at the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts

Ben J. Riepe was born in 1979 and went on to study dance and choreography at Essen’s Folkwang University of the Arts. Following graduation, he held engagements as a stage dancer for Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch in their productions “Das Frühlingsopfer” (The Rites of Spring) and “Tannhäuser”, as well as with V.A. Wölfl/NEUER TANZ and others. The multiple award-winning choreographer has been freelancing since 2006, and he has been operating his proprietary production venue in Düsseldorf since 2010, regularly realising his own productions with various dancers* as well as producing commissioned works for the Malaysian Goethe Institute in cooperation with DPAC DANCE COMPANY, with the Korea National Contemporary Dance Company in cooperation with the Korean Goethe Institute, for the Folkwang Tanzstudio Essen, for the Folkwang University of the Arts dance graduates*, for theatre festival FAVORITEN and a number of others. Time and again, Riepe has also received invitations to guest choreograph for renowned companies such as the Ballett am Rhein (2017), Dance Company Osnabrück (2019) and the AURA Dance Company (2020).

He makes his approach to modes of operation, to research topics, to his understanding of choreography and his handling of space and time accessible to interested parties via workshop formats, most recently, for example, within the frame of SYNERGIZE! hosted by the NRW KULTURsekretariat. Ben J. Riepe was awarded the Support Grant for Leading Artists in 2009 and has been the recipient of the Support Grant for Excellence since 2018, both bestowed on him by the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, while also gaining the Support Grant for Leading Artists as awarded by the City of Düsseldorf since 2015.

In 2018, Ben J. Riepe conceived and initiated FREIRAUM, a collaborative, interdisciplinary conception and work venue for the arts and arts-related sciences, realised by TANZPAKT Stadt, Land, Bund, opening in January 2020.

Ben J. Riepe was an Affiliated Artist at PACT Zollverein in Essen from 2013 until 2016, during which time he developed and premiered several productions. He received a stipend for the Vila Sul residency programme, conducted by the Goethe Institute Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, in the spring of 2017.

In October 2016, he won the distinction of the jury award at FAVORITEN theatre festival Dortmund for his work Livebox: Persona. He became a recipient of the Konrad-Arnold-Preis awarded by the Stiftung der Freunde und Förderer der Nordrhein-Westfälischen Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Künste (Foundation of the Friends and Supporters of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts) as well as the Tabori Prize – Award for the Performing Arts, awarded by the Fonds Darstellende Künste e.V., in 2019. In March 2020, Ben J. Riepe has been elected to become a member of the Arts Class at the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts.

Ben J. Riepe resides in Düsseldorf with his partner and their six-year-old son.

Artist Exchange Programmes/Grants/EU Projects

  • 2017 Goethe Institute, Salvador de Bahia, Brazil
  • 2014 IDENTITY.MOVE!, Prague, Czech Republic
  • 2014 bangaloREsidency, Goethe Institute/Max Müller Bhavan, Bangalore, India
  • 2010 MODUL-DANCE, Barcelona, Spain
  • 2008 Chin-A-Moves, Beijing, China
  • 2006 COLINA – Collaboration in Arts, Aarhus, Denmark

Residencies

  • 2016 Art Stations Foundation, Stary Browar, Poznan, Poland
  • 2015 Theaterhaus, Berlin
  • 2014 PACT Zollverein, Essen
  • 2013 Goethe Institute Montreal in collaboration with Circuit-Est | PACT Zollverein, Essen
  • 2012 Navtej Johar/Studio Abhyas, New Delhi, India
  • 2011 Mounsonturm, Frankfurt on the Main | O Espaço Do Tempo, Montemor-o-Novo Portugal
  • 2010 Mounsonturm, Frankfurt on the Main | Danshuis Station Zuid Tilburg | tanzhaus nrw, Düsseldorf
  • 2009 tanzhaus nrw, Düsseldorf | Mounsonturm, Frankfurt on the Main
  • 2008 Schwankhalle Bremen, Tanzplan Dresden | Danshuis Station Zuid, Tilburg, The Netherlands
  • 2007 ImpulsTanz, Vienna, Austria
  • 2006 PACT Zollverein, Essen
  • 2005 PACT Zollverein, Essen

Commissioned Works

  • 2019 Geister (Say Goodbye), Dance Company Theater Osnabrück
  • 2018 Ballett am Rhein, Düsseldorf (Ballet of the German Opera On The Rhine)
  • 2016 HAHAHA, Goethe Institute Malaysia in co-operation with DPAC DANCE COMPANY
  • 2015 Opening – Display of an Attitude, Korea National Contemporary Dance Company in co-operation with the Korean Goethe Institute
  • 2014 WHITE VOID #14, FAVORITEN theatre festival Dortmund | Der letzte Schrei, Kunststiftung NRW
  • 2009 shy-wild, Folkwang Tanzstudio Essen
  • 2007 LAH, Goethe Institute Malaysia in co-operation with Kwan Tung Dance Company

Exhibitions

  • 2017 ENVIRONMENT. Eine Bestandsaufnahme zum Werk von Ben J. Riepe (Taking stock of the works of Ben J. Riepe), Städtische Galerie im Park, Viersen
  • 2016 UUUUU(topia). Choreographierte Atmosphären (Choreographed Atmospheres), as part of the Planet B exhibition “100 Ideen für eine neue Welt”, NRW-Forum Düsseldorf
  • 2015  Ausstellung einer Einstellung, Städtische Galerie im Park, Viersen
  • 2014 WHITE VOID # 14, MAO Dortmund
  • 2013 THE WHITE VOID_SERIES | SCHWARZ WEISS DENKEN, Galerie Kunstraum, Düsseldorf

Art in Public Spaces

  • 2016 LIVE BOX, Goethe Institute Pop Up Pavillon | Plac Nowy Targ, Wroclaw, Poland
  • 2008 LIEBE, TOD UND TEUFEL – Aktion: üben Schönheit zu sehen – Bild 3: Liebe, Sex und Eitelkeit”, Forecourt Düsseldorf Schauspielhaus
  • 2007 Performance für drei Tänzer und zwei Autos, Parking Deck tanzhaus nrw, Düsseldorf | CSW Zamek Ujasdowski, Warsaw, Poland

Awards

© North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts

Catalogue of works

Geister (Say Goodbye) (2019)
Premiere: 09 nov 2019, Theater Osnabrück

MEDO/ANGST (2019)
Premiere: 25 apr 2019, Vivadança Festival Salvador, Brazil
Guest Performances:
2019 Schauspiel Köln | Sommerblut Kulturfestival
2019 Alte Farbwerke, Düsseldorf | asphalt festival

GEISTER_Fragment (2018)
Premiere: 23 nov 2018, Kunstraum Düsseldorf
Guest Performances:
2019 Schauspiel Köln | tanz nrw

ENVIRONMENT (2018)
Premiere: 27 apr 2018, Deutsche Oper am Rhein (German Opera On The Rhine)

CARNE VALE! (2017)
Premiere: 10 nov 2017, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf
Guest Performances:
2018 Rautenstrauch-Jost-Museum, Cologne
2018 Balletthaus der Deutschen Oper am Rhein (Ballet of the German Opera On The Rhine)
2018 Dietrich-Keuning-Haus, Dortmund | FAVORITEN theatre festival

Corpo Carga Calma Alma (2017)
Premiere: 17 mar 2017, Teatro Vila Velha, Salvador de Bahia, Brazil
As part of the Vila Sul residency programme conducted by the Goethe Institutes Salvador de Bahia and as part of the international VIVADANÇA festival

ARENA ARCTICA (2016)
Three days in an open transformation space
8 – 10 dec 2016, PACT Zollverein Essen

UUUUU(topia) (2016)
Choreographierte Atmosphären (Choreographed Atmospheres)
17 oct – 6 nov 2016, Art Stations Foundation, Stary Browar, Poznan, Poland

Livebox: Persona (2016)
23 sept 2016, in the outdoor tent on the Dortmunder U parking lot | FAVORITEN theatre festival

HAHAHA (2016)
Premiere: 28 jul 2016, DPAC Arts Festival Malaysia
Work commissioned by Goethe Institute Malaysia & DPAC
Guest Performances:
2016 Sibu International Dance Festival, Malaysia

UUUUU(topia) (2016)
Choreographierte Atmosphären (Choreographed Atmospheres)
2 jun – 8 2016, NRW-Forum Düsseldorf
As part of the Planet B “100 Ideen für eine neue Welt” exhibition

Untitled: Persona (2015)
Premiere: 20 nov 2015, PACT Zollverein Essen
Guest performances:
2016 Ballhaus Ost, Berlin
2017 Festhalle, Viersen | tanz nrw
2019 National Drama Theatre Kaunas, Lithuania | International Dance Festival AURA

Multiplex Dance Sarajevo – zwei Länder, zwei Künstler (2015)
11 – 18 oct 2015, Workshop in co-operation with the Academy of Performing Arts Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina
19 oct 2015, Workshop performance with subsequent artist talk, Academy of Performing Arts Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina

OPENING – Display Of An Attitude (2015)
Premiere: 19 jun 2015, Korean National Contemporary Dance Company, Seoul, Korea

Der letzte Schrei – 4. Edition (2015)
Premiere: 23 apr 2015, Generatorenhalle Viersen | tanz nrw

Wesen. Ausstellung einer Einstellung (2015)
19 – 26 apr 2015, Städtische Galerie im Park, Viersen | tanz nrw

Der letzte Schrei – 3. Edition  (2015)
Premiere: 18 apr 2015, PACT Zollverein Essen | tanz nrw

LIVE BOX (2015)
Premiere: 13 mar 2015, PACT Zollverein Essen, Atelier Spezial
Guest Performances:
2016 Goethe Institute Pop Up Pavilion, Plac Nowy Targ, Wroclaw, Poland
As part of the programme of the European Capital of Culture Wroclaw 2016

WHITE VOID #14 (2014)
25 oct – 1 nov 2014, former Museum am Ostwall, Dortmund | FAVORITEN theatre festival
Guest Performances:
2015 Alte Feuerwache Cologne | tanz nrw

Der letzte Schrei– 2. Edition, Artists are alive (2014)
Premiere: 28 aug 2014, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf | Internationale Tanzmesse (International Dance Fair)

Der letzte Schrei – 1. Edition (2014)
Premiere: 27 jun 2014, Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus, Central

Happy Together (2013)
Premiere: 19 oct 2013, tanzhaus nrw, Düsseldorf
Guest Performances:
2013 Fabrik Heeder, Krefeld, MOVE! Festival
2013 Moduldance Festivals
2013 Circuit-Est Centre Chorégraphique, Montréal, Canada
2014 11. German Week, Theater Skorohod, Saint Petersburg, Russia

THE WHITE VOID_SERIES (2013)
TWV_S # 1 – Premiere: 4 may 2013, PACT Zollverein Essen
TWV_S # 2 – Premiere: 16 may 2013, PACT Zollverein Essen
TWV_S # 3 – Premiere: 7 jun 2013, Tanzkongress (Dance Congress) 2013, HPZ Stiftung, Düsseldorf
Guest Performances:
2013 Galerie Kunstraum, Düsseldorf

schwarz weiss denken (engl. black white thinking, 2013)
schwarz_weiss_denken # 1: 25 jan 2013, PACT Zollverein Essen, Galerie Kunstraum, Düsseldorf
schwarz_weiss_denken # 2 + 3: 22 mar 2013, PACT Zollverein Essen

Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (2012)
Premiere: 2 nov 2012, IGNITE! Festival, New Delhi, India
Guest Performances:
2012 National Centre for the Performing Arts, Mumbai, India
2012 Sir Mutha Venkatassubba Rao Concert Hall, Chennai, India
2013 Theaterhaus, Stuttgart
2013 tanzhaus nrw, Düsseldorf
2013 Halle Kalk, Cologne
2014 MMB Hall, Bangalore, India
2014 FTII, Pune, India
2014 Shilpakala Academy, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Open Studio Series (2012)
Showing “Opening” | “Better than Disneyland”, DADT, Ben J. Riepe Studio, Düsseldorf

Untitled: Natura (2011)
Premiere: 9 sept 2011, Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, Frankfurt on the Main
Guest Performance:
2011 tanzhaus nrw, Düsseldorf

HUNDSTAGE (engl. Dog-Days, 2010)
Premiere: 24 sept 2010, tanzhaus nrw, Düsseldorf
Guest Performances:
2010 Kino Siska, Ljubljana, Slovenia
2010 Station Zuid, Tilburg, The Netherlands
2010 Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, Frankfurt on the Main
2011 Stary Browar, Poznan, Poland
2011 Impart Art Centre, Wroclaw, Poland
2011 Alte Feuerwache Cologne | Sommerblut Festival
2011 tanzhaus nrw, Düsseldorf | tanz nrw

shy wild (2009)
Premiere: 17 jul 2009, Neue Aula, Folkwang University of the Arts, Essen

LIEBE | TOD | TEUFEL – DAS STÜCK  (2009)
Premiere: 23 oct 2009, Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, Frankfurt on the Main
Guest Performances:
2009 South Asia Tour: Bangalore, New Delhi
2009 Hyderabad, Chennai, Dhaka
2010 Brigittines Festival International, Brussels, Belgium
2010 Würzburger Hafensommer
2010 Tanzplattform Deutschland, Nuremberg
2010 tanzhaus nrw, Düsseldorf
2012 Théâtre La Chapelle, Montréal, Canada

Liebe, Tod und Teufel – Aktion: üben Schönheit zu sehen – Bild 5: Das Labyrinth (2009)
Premiere: 12 mar 2009, tanzhaus nrw, Düsseldorf
Guest Performances:
2009 Stadtmuseum Düsseldorf

Liebe, Tod und Teufel – Aktion: üben Schönheit zu sehen – Bild 4: Der Weiße Raum (2008)
Premiere: 14 nov 2008, Schwankhalle Bremen
Guest Performances:
2009 tanzhaus nrw, Düsseldorf | tanz nrw

Liebe, Tod und Teufel – Aktion: üben Schönheit zu sehen Bild 3: Liebe, Sex und Eitelkeit (2008)
Premiere: 29 aug 2008, Tanzmesse (Dance Fair) Düsseldorf
Guest Performances:
2009 Theater im Ballsaal, Bonn

Liebe, Tod und Teufel – Aktion: üben Schönheit zu sehen – Bild 2: Der Schwarze Raum (2008)
Premiere: 13 aug 2008, Theater aan de Parade, ’s Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands
Guest Performances:
2008 Fringe Festival Shanghai, China
2008 Crossing Festival Peking as part of Chin-A-moves.
2009 tanzhaus nrw, Düsseldorf

Liebe, Tod und Teufel – Aktion: üben Schönheit zu sehen – Bild 1: Das Schachbrettzimmer(2008)
Premiere: 17 apr 2008, tanzhaus nrw, Düsseldorf

amour espace the movie (2007)
with Tomasz Jarosz, presented by tanzhaus nrw as part of the TEMPS D’IMAGES Festival, Düsseldorf and Warsaw
Screenings: Berlin POOL Festival, Bassano del Grapa, Beijing, Essen, Kuala Lumpur etc.

amour espace (2007)
Premiere: 6 sept 2007, tanzhaus nrw, Düsseldorf
Guest Performances:
2008 Tanzmesse (Dance Fair) Düsseldorf
2008 Opera Estate Festival Bassano del Grappa, Italy
2008 Festival del Mayo, Guadalajara, Mexico
2008 Riga, Latvia
2009 Festival International de Danse de Lausanne, Switzerland
2009 International Festival of Modern Dance, Vilnius, Lithuania
2009 Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, Frankfurt on the Main
2009 Aarhus, Denmark

Happy End | Dealing Night Again (2006)
Premiere: 9 oct 2006, tanzhaus nrw, Düsseldorf
Guest Performances:
2006 Saalbau Witten
2007 Opening 8:tension Serie | ImPulsTanz Festival, Vienna, Austria
2007 Festival 638 Kilo Tanz, Essen
2007 tanzhaus nrw, Düsseldorf | tanz nrw
2007 Théâtre Sévelin 36, Lausanne, Switzerland
2007 Théâtre le Colombier, Bangnolet, Paris, France | “jamais vu!”
2007 Saalbau Witten

weisse ratte (engl. white rat, 2005)
Premiere: 2 dec 2005, Folkwang University of the Arts, Essen
Guest Performances:
2006 Ikonoklaste Festival, Wuppertal

Flügelschlag (engl. Wing Beat, 2005)
Premiere: “Dance in May” festival, Burghausen
Work commissioned as a youth play by Nota Bene support program

Anderland (2004)
Premiere: 1 dec 2004, Folkwang University of the Arts, Essen
Guest Performances:
2004 University Witten/Herdecke
2005 “Dance in May” festival, Burghausen, Theater Wasserburg

Alpha, Beta (2002)
Premiere: “Junge Choreographen” (“Young Choreographers”), Folkwang University of the Arts, Essen

Rede nur (engl. Talk just, 2001)
Premiere: “Junge Choreographen” (“Young Choreographers”), Folkwang University of the Arts, Essen