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Recording: 2017-03-13 , phase7/Christoph Winkler Studio (© Walter Bickmann)

Interview / Portrait

Christoph Winkler

Christoph Winkler

Christoph Winkler is one of the most versatile choreographers in Germany. His work covers a wide range of formats and deals with topics both of a very personal nature as well as highly political contributions to current social discourse.

Born in Torgau in the former GDR, he was a multiple Spartakiad winner in the disciplines weightlifting and judo as a teenager. He then studied martial arts and breakdance, before being accepted at the National Ballet School in Berlin. After the fall of the wall, he danced in video productions for MTV and worked as a bodyguard and construction worker. In the early 1990’s, he performed in underground techno clubs. Then he studied choreography for four years at the prestigious School for Drama “Ernst Busch“ and founded Klangkrieg Productions, a platform for experimental music. Under this label, he produce work by numerous acclaimed musicians such as the Venetian Snares or Current Value. At the same time, he also curated the festival AvantPop and organized parties and concerts e.g. for the Fuckparade.

After graduating from the Ernst Busch in 1998, he consciously chose to continue working as an independent choreographer in Berlin. Right from the start, he received much critical acclaim and numerous invitations to festivals for his innovative dance style and minimalist, rigorously composed, discursive dance dramas.

In 2007, he founded the agency BERLIN GOGOS with “ehrliche arbeit – freelance office for culture” as a way to commercially market contemporary dance and address the economic situation of contemporary dancers today.

His works consistently deal with topics that reference issues currently discussed in society at large, but that also directly pertain to and affect the art form of dance.

Recent works are: “Dance! Copy! Right?” (2012) about copyright in art, especially in dance, “RechtsRadikal” about neo-Nazi women and “The True Face – Dance Is Not Enough”, an entertaining overview of protest art forms, both 2013. The solo “Baader – A Choreography of Radicalisation” was invited to the German Dance Platform in 2012 and dancer Martin Hansen was named Dance of the Year by the German leading dance journal “tanz” that same year for his role in the piece. In 2014, Winkler produced the solo “Hauptrolle” with Ahmed Soura from Burkina Faso about the role of people of color on German stages, as well as the dance heritage Tanzfonds Erbe piece “Abendliche Tänze” about the subjective process of memory. That same year “The True Face” won the FAUST Prize of the Deutsche Bühnenverein in the category “Best Choreography”; it was the first time that this prize was awarded to a piece produced entirely outside the German municipal and state theater system.


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