Performers/Now

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Cree Barnett Williams

dancer

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Born in the UK, Cree studied at Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance in London and graduated with First Class Honours in her BA. She began to work as a freelance dance artist with choreographers such as Dane Hurst, Hubert Essakow and Mark Bruce, amongst others, as well as working collaboratively as a guest artist with London based New Movement Collective. She has taught extensively for Rambert School on both their degree course and their pre-vocational summer course, and has also been involved in education and outreach for non-professional adults and young people. Cree joined Johannes Wieland as a guest at the Staatstheater Kassel in March 2015 and is a full time member since the season 2016/17.

Pin Chieh Chen

dancer

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Pin-Chieh Chen, born1980, studied dance at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen. Right after that she was guesting at the Tanztheater Wuppertal and from 2004 bis 2008 she was working at the Staatstheater Kassel under a full contract. From 2008 until 2013 was a member of the company at the Staatstheaters Oldenburg. Since 2014 she is part of the Dutch company WArd/waRD (Ann Van den Broek). She worked with choreographers like Pina Bausch, Wu Kuo-Chu, Johannes Wieland, Guy Weizman and Roni Haver, Tero Saarrinen, Ina Chistel Johannessen, Iztok Kovac, Ann Van den Broek, Jan Pusch, Arco Renz, Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar, Samir Akika.

Meimouna Coffi

dancer/singer

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Born in Berlin, Meimouna Coffi received her Bachelor of Dance at the Rotterdam Dance Acadamy. In the following years she danced with Dance Works in Rotterdam, Compagnie Linga in Lausanne, in the Opéra Bastille production "La damnation de Faust", the Geraldine Armstrong Jazz Ballet and Compagnie Georges Momboyes in Paris as well as Dorky Park in Berlin to mention a few. Since recently she also performs as a singer. She appeared for example in the role of "Hud" in the Musical Hair at the Theater Basel before going on with a solo program she performed in her home country Benin. "golddigger" is her second collaboration with Johannes Wieland at the Staatstheater Kassel.

Luca Ghedini

dancer

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Luca was born in Verona, Italy in 1988. He started his dance education in 2002 and attended different workshops in Europe (Italy, UK, France, Sloveny, Holland, Germany) and New York. He is a dancer of Hip Hop, Jazz Rock, House Dance, Popping, Contemporary. Luca is a teacher of Hip Hop and House Dance. He danced in Oxygen Hip Hop Company, Tha Leaf Hip Hop Company, Hdemy Cru Company, Iuvenis Danza Company, M&N Dance Company. He graduated in Psychology in University of Padua.

Beth Griffith

actress/singer

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Beth Griffith, a Texas-born soprano, studied voice in Graz, Munich and Cologne and was a pupil of Hanni Mack-Cosack. Specializing in contemporary music, she has sung at festivals across Europe, the US and South Africa and appeared with such groups as London New Music, Musikfabrik, Ensemble 13, L'Art pour L'Art, Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra, Paris Nouvel Orchestra Philharmonique and New York City Operais VOX. Of special significance to Ms. Griffith has been her work with contemporary composers, among them Morton Feldman, Mauricio Kagel and Karlheinz Stockhausen. Apart from her career as a singer, she has performed as an actress in numerous production, was a guest artist at State Theater of Kassel in 2011 and johannes wieland in New York.

Jon Guymon

dancer

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Jon Guymon was born in Utah, grew up in West Virginia, and studied dance at North Carolina School of the Arts. He has performed in New York City and abroad for bopi's black sheep, the Saeko Ichinohe Dance Company, Cornfield Dance, and others. He is excited to be entering his seventh season with johannes wieland.

Zoe Gyssler

dancer

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Zoe was born in Basel and grew up in Spain. After a long training in gymnastics she went on to contemporary dance formation in Barcelona (Varium). Later on she studied in the Music and Dance Academy in Jerusalem, where she formed part of the Repertory Dance Ensemble JADE, which performed pieces by Sharon Eyal, Vertigo, Johan Inger and others. Back in Switzerland she worked as a freelancer for the Cathy Sharp Dance Ensemble, Marcel Leemann, Edan Gorlicki and performed in different other projects in Spain, Germany, Switzerland and Israel. Whilst working as a freelancer Zoe also taught classes for non-professional adults and young people and lead educational dance theater school projects. 2013 she co-founded Bufo Makmal (www.bufomakmal.ch) and created together with the collective Into Pieces and ALL.ES. She is currently part of the ensemble of Staatstheater Kassel under the direction of Johannes Wieland and is involved in Production and Public Relations for Bufo Makmal.

Thomas Jordan

performer

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Thomas Jordan was born in 1969 in Germany. He is performing since 2000 at the Staatstheater Kassel, most often in the productions of Johannes Wieland. Besides the theater, he is also working as an actor for television and movies.

Gotaute Kalmataviciute

dancer

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Gotaute was born in Kaunas, Lithuania in 1992 and started dancing in Kaunas dance theatre Aura studio (artistic director Birutė Letukaitė) when she was a child and became a full-time dancer in 2011 through 2014 in the company. During that time she worked with different Lithuanian and foreign choreographers such as Birutė Letukaitė (Lithuania), Anne-Linn Akselsen (Norway), Adrian Minkowicz Amos Ben-Tal (Netherlands) Ferenc Feher (Hungary) and Deborah Light (UK). Gotaute performed in various international dance festivals in Lithuania, Poland, Italy, Sweden and Germany. In 2011/2013 she worked with Johannes Wieland for the creation of “box mélancolique” commissioned by Kaunas dance theatre Aura. Currently she is also studying political science in Kaunas Vytautas Magnus University in Lithuania. (photo: Svetlana Batura)

Annamari Keskinen

dancer

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Niv Melamed

dancer

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Niv Melamed was born in ocean-side Haifa, Israel in 1988, where he trained in and taught Capoeira, acrobatics, and Afro-Brazilian dance. After his army service, Niv followed his interest in theater, taking courses at the "Nissan-Nativ" acting school (Tel Aviv), and continued to contemporary dance and choreography studies in Haifa, and co-founding a dance collective. In 2013, moved to Austria to study in SEAD (Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance). Niv is fascinated by creation and the political function of body and choreography, considers himself a naïve optimist, and loves the desert. He has presented pieces in festivals in Israel and Austria, and collaborated with Roy Assaf (IL), Deganit Shemy (IL), Theo Clinkard (UK), and Paul Blackman (AU). Niv is excited to collaborate with Johannes Wieland's dance company of Staatstheater Kassel in the 2016 season.

Safet Mistele

dancer

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Safet Mistele was born November 19th in 1992 in Laupheim, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany. He began to dance Hip-hop when he was 14 years old in Wuppertal. A year later, he was part of the teenage cast of “Kontakthof mit Teenagern ab 14” from Pina Bausch in which he was dancing until 2012. This experience convinced him to become a professional dancer. To realize this wish, he took part in the audition for the Folkwang University of Arts, Essen in 2010. During his bachelor studies, he had the opportunity to learn and dance repertory from Pina Bausch and José Limon. One highlight during his bachelor program was perticipating in the piece “Le Sacre du Printemps” from Pina Bausch. He graduated and decided to continue studying at Folkwang in their master program.

Victor Adrian Marinus Andreas Rottier

dancer

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Dancer Victor Rottier is coming from the small city of Doetinchem,The Netherlands. He started dancing hip-hop related styles before entering the Dance Academy of Lucia Marthas in Amsterdam. While freelancing as a dance teacher he did more commercial work like back up dancing for Diana Ross, he finished his MBO dance education in 2010. That same year he enrolled in the Bachelor of Dance program at Artez Dance Academy in Arnhem. After dancing in pieces from Angelin Preljocaj, Joerie Dubbe, Jerome Mayer, Amos Ben Tal and the 'Think Big' Künstlerresidenz Programm 2013 in Hannover he was part of Club Guy & Roni's Poectic Disasters Club and finished his Bachelor in 2014.

Alessia Ruffolo

dancer

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Born in Toronto, Canada, Alessia is currently pursuing her BFA in dance, on scholarship, at Point Park University Conservatory of Performing Arts in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In January 2016, during her third year, Alessia joined Johannes Wieland as a guest dancer at Staatsheater Kassel. After graduation, she is excited to return again as a guest for the 2017 season. She has worked with choreographers Maxine Doyle, Tom Weinberger, Luke Murphy, Jessica Hendricks and Terrance Marling, and has performed works by Lar Lubovitch, Dwight Rhoden and Aszure Barton. Alessia was part of the Springboard Danse Montreal project under the direction of Alexandra Wells for two consecutive years, along with Le Domaine Forget with Victor Quijada(Rubberbandance), and Gallim Dance. She trained in theater/acting for film at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, and The New York Film Academy, Los Angeles, CA. Alessia is a touring faculty member in Canada with The Fresh Dance Intensive, and has also taught workshops in South Carolina, and at The School of Alberta Ballet.

Shafiki Sseggayi

dancer

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Shafiki Sseggayi stole many hearts at 'So You Think You Can Dance Netherlands' in 2011.
 Because of his power, energy, devotion and humble attitude he made a big impression on the jury and audience. He was born in a small African village in Uganda far from the city. When he was 15 he moved to the city to his father, brothers and sisters. 6 Years later he got in touch with dance and he never stopped ever since, dancing every day. Dance, mostly African contemporary, brought and taught him so much in movement as well as character. He loves to bring this dance and African mentality forward to anyone interested and make cultures meet. In Uganda he was part of different companies like Keiga dance company, Mutumizi dance company, and Latin Flavor where he was performer, choreographer and teacher. Because there was no dance school like in the West, he learned to choreograph and dance in his own, unique and very creative way. He worked for Wim Vandekeybus in Brussels in December 2013. Right now he lives in Germany and is very excited to work with the Staatstheater Kassel for all of next season.

Juan José Tirado Pulido

dancer

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Juan José Tirado Pulido was born in 1986 in Jaén, Spain. This dancer, which is also a great computer engineer, started his artistic life at the age of 8 drawing and making martial arts. In 2004 when he discovered a group of bboys dancing on the street and since that moment, his life would never be the same. He founded with his best friend a group called "Freneticos", and they pursued the dream of making their own powerful and differenciate style. They travelled around Europe together compeeting in international events, learning and sharing with the best bboys of the world. Afterwards he met his master, Eva Durban, and he started to dance in her company "Volans Danza" days after. Eva pushed him to reach his dream of being the best possible dancer. He did not doubt about his possibilities, so he started to travel even more, studying the movement from the best contemporary dancers. He moved to Berlin and he founded with three more professional dancers a small company called "Frantics". They created their pieces, exploring through the experimental hip-hop, contemporary dance and bboying.

Will Thompson

dancer

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Will was born in London in 1994 and began his dance training at the age of 16. His training began at Laban CAT and Shoreditch Youth Dance Company, where he worked with John Ross, Lee Smikle, Maciej Kuźmiński and Tom Dale before going on to train at the Rambert School. At the beginning of his final year, he was afforded the time to partake in professional development with DV8 Physical Theatre, lead by Emira Goro, Hannes Langolf and Lloyd Newson. Upon graduation in 2016, Will has worked in Greece, France, Italy and the UK performing Evangelia Kolyra's '10,000 Litres', Tj Lowe's 'Three' and sharing the research for 'I am What I am Not' by INNE | Iván Peréz as well as partaking in a research project with Ferus Animi // Terra Nova facilitated by Tomislav English. Will is excited to begin his next journey and first season with Johannes Wieland!

Katerina Toumpa

dancer

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Katerina Toumpa was born in Athens in 1986. She trained as a dancer in the State School of Dance, in Greece and obtained a Master of the Arts, at London Contemporary Dance School with a Scholarship by Onassis foundation and LCDS. She has worked with various artists in Athens and London, including Athina Vachla, Jonathan Lunn, Jorge Crecis, Kim Brandstrup, Tim Bricknell, Rufus Norris, Calixto Bieito, Apostolia Papadamaki and has participated in international dance festivals in Athens, London, Leicester, Grenoble, Butrint, Scopje and Cyprus. Furthermore, Katerina was awarded with a classical piano diploma and is completing her studies in Psychology in Panteion University of Athens.

Valentine Yannopoulos

dancer

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Valentine Giannopoulou was born in Athens, Greece in 1991. With a background in athletics she starts dancing at the age of 15 at the State School of Dance in Athens (KSOT) and she graduated from Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance (SEAD) in 2013 where she had the chance to collaborate with Rootlessroot, Tony Vezich, Stella Zannou and for the Bodhi Project Company. In 2014 she worked as a dancer and for the education of Jasmin Vardimon Company after being apprentice member for 7 months. Lately she has been working as a freelancer for different projects in Greece for the Athens Video Dance Festival, Konstantinos Rizos and for Eleftheri Ptosi with Christina Mertzani as well as in Slovakia for Novy Priestor. She became a full time dancer for the Staatheater of Kassel in 2015 and is very happy to work for the company of Johannes Wieland.

Sebastian Zuber

dancer

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Sebastian Zuber was born in Basel, Switzerland and graduated in 2015 from Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance. As a dancer, he co-created and performed in several works (“Waving to Virginia”, “Blood for Honey”, “No more Bambies”) of the israeli choreographer Eyal Bromberg. Shortly after his graduation, Zuber became part of the ensemble of “more than naked” by Doris Uhlich. Among several other international venues, it was also performed as the opening show at the Impulstanz Festival in 2015. Together with Edivaldo Ernesto, who strongly influences his work as a dancer, he danced in the site-specific performance “Micro Revolution” by Judith Sanchez Ruiz, ACUD Berlin. Since 2015, he has been a member of the YUGSAMAS Movement Collective, which created “Let the bodies speak”, in collaboration with the choreographer Julia Schwartzbach. In 2016, YUGSAMAS premiered their first independent production “Collage me”. In 2016, several engagements as an acting performer followed at the Opera of Zurich. He thereby had the chance to be part of productions by Christoph Marthaler (“Il viaggio a Reims”), Sebastian Baumgarten (“Hamletmaschine”) and Herbert Fritsch (“Der Freischütz”). The Videoclip, “Inside a Cube”, in which Zuber contributed as its dancer, won the first prize at the Zoom-Festival, Basel '15. Since October 2016, he is a full member of the Johannes Wieland Company at Staatstheater Kassel. As a choreographer and producer, he yielded “A professional Failure”, “LOWBALL” and “Accalia”.