New curator and artistic director of the Basel ballet company

Adolphe Binder
© Christian Knörr

The dramaturge and curator Adolphe Binder is to take over as artistic director of ballet at Theater Basel for two seasons from 2023 to 2025.

Adolphe Binder is an internationally renowned personality of contemporary dance. As artistic director, curator and programme director, Binder was most recently re-sponsible for the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch and the dance company of Göteborg Opera. Binder’s curatorial approach focuses on the conception and de-velopment of hybrid artistic dance projects, and she combines contemporary dance with other theatre and art forms.

In her two years at Theater Basel, her aim is to present as wide a range of different signatures as possible and open up the horizon of what is possible in dance. The German American dance artist Tilman O’Donnell will support her in this task as associate and company manager.

I am delighted to be invited to join Theater Basel, and particularly to work with the dance company. Basel is an inspiring city with a rich artistic tradition in the heart of Europe. Theater Basel is home to an exceptional offering of opera, dance and theatre with a versatile ensemble and highly motivated manage-ment. This is a great opportunity to create a diverse dance program with this thea-tre and for its audience – a program that will take both the public and the ensemble on an unforgettable aesthetic, physical and intellectual journey. We are interested in what moves people and what gets them moving, in and within the personal, so-cial, and political arenas. At the same time contemplating everything that choreog-raphy can be as we look towards the future together, taking into consideration what inspires people in these times and what makes sense in the context of Basel as a city and region.
Adolphe Binder
Theater Basel will benefit greatly from Adolphe Binder’s multi-layered approach to the subject of dance as a curator. She has gained a great deal of experience in various systems in the course of her career – both in the independent scene and at state theatres, as well as in an international context. For me, Adolphe Binder’s two-year engagement for Theater Basel is a kind of biennale, and it will give her the freedom and space to create something new. I look forward to an exciting time with her at Theater Basel.
Intendant Benedikt von Peter

Biography Adolphe Binder

Adolphe Binder (born 1969) was previously artistic advisor to international theatres, artistic director at the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, artistic director and co-director at the State Opera in Gothenburg in Sweden, founder and artistic director of the production agency B+P Berlin, artistic director of the Berlin Ballet at the Komische Oper Berlin and chief dance dramaturge at Deutsche Oper Berlin. She has also worked as a curator and programme director for international dance festivals and the World Expo 2000 in Hanover. Adolphe Binder was invited to the Goethe Institute Vila Sul in Brazil as an artistic resident, she realised several of her own pieces, installations, events and location-specific creations, wrote various publications on gender and body identity, volunteered on university advisory boards (Essen, Dresden, etc.) and cultural policy committees, and has been a jury member for international choreographic competitions. Her theatre calling began in 1994, following her studies, as an intern at Schauspiel Hannover.

In 2018, she was responsible for the legendary company’s first full-length premieres in a decade with the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch. Her ensemble castings, premieres and revivals have earned her nominations for the Faust German Theatre Prize and the Bessie Awards in New York, among others

From 2011 to 2016, she directed the Göteborg Opera dance company (formerly Göteborg Ballet) at the Swedish State Opera and curated for its ensemble of 38 dancers from 17 countries until the 2016/17 season. There, Binder initiated numerous national and international projects, including a large number of astounding world premieres. The largest dance ensemble in the Nordic countries premiered 50 productions under her direction (including over 30 world premieres and six participation projects), with a focus on original works in terms of staging and music. The company toured in more than 30 cities worldwide.

Adolphe Binder was born in Romania (Transylvania) in 1969 and emigrated to West Germany with her family in 1978. Binder’s academic background is in the humanities (MA), with studies in literature, philosophy, history and political science. Binder has one child and lives in Berlin with her family.

Tilman O'Donnell

Biography Tilman O'Donnell

The German American Tilman O’Donnell (born 1981) has been part of the transnational community of contemporary dance for over twenty years, in the roles of dancer, choreographer, teacher, rehearsal director, assistant, producer and dramaturge. He has worked in various international contexts, from fringe festivals to opera houses, producing over twenty productions in this capacity. As a dancer he was a long-standing member of the Cullberg Ballet (Stockholm) and the Forsythe Company (Frankfurt am Main). O’Donnell and Binder began their collaboration in 2014 when she engaged him as rehearsal director of the Göteborg Opera dance company, and the two have maintained a dynamic creative exchange ever since. He may be new to the role of company manager and associate, but brings a range of different skills – he moves confidently through epochs and styles, from classicism to the contemporary paradigm. O’Donnell has been named Dancer to Watch (2005 and 2017), Choreographer to Watch (2005) and Hopeful (2015) by the dance magazine tanz.

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