The Tanztheater Münster

1996 - 2012

Goldin became the Tanztheater direction of the Municipal Theatre of the city of Münster in 1996. His 16-year artistic residency in Münster enabled him to establish and project his work in the German dance scene thanks to the extraordinary quality of his choreography. Under his direction, the Tanztheater des Städtischen Bühnen Münster became one of Münster’s emblematic cultural institutions.

He was named the most important young choreographer of the 1996-97 season by Ballett International / Tanz aktuell, an international dance magazine, and today he enjoys the recognition of his artistic maturity. The high quality of his work is unanimously acknowledged, as evidenced by critical comments published in the national specialized press. “A masterpiece of German dance theatre” (Tanz Affiche on  “Hinter des Nacht”); “well above the average level of new modern dance works (FAZ on “Die anderen Leute”) and “a brilliant light in modern dance’’ (Theatre pur on “Lachrimae mundi”) are representative comments his work has received in the last few years. Jochen Schmidt, one of the most important German dance critics and an authority on the German and international dance world, described the piece “Stimmen Hände, brüchige Stille” (2001) as “one of the most unusual and important new works in the national scene ‘’ and in Balletanz he qualified “Brahms.Varationen” (2004) as Goldin’s best piece by far.

The roots of Goldin’s choreographic style can be found in German Expressionist dance, an artistic form he first encountered and studied in Argentina, his native country, thanks to Renate Schottelius, his German dance teacher and a graduate of Mary Wigman’s school. His unusual choreographic style is enhanced by the deep expressiveness of his dancers, who form a strong, homogeneous company, which has developed artistically through more than thirty works created for them in Munster. Almost all the dancers trained at the renowned Folkwang Art School, located in Essen, Germany and they all dance at the highest technical level. An impressive number of them have been dancing with Goldin for many years. ‘’The polyfacetic virtuosity and the individual charisma of these dancers is endlessly fascinating’’, wrote Marieluise Jeitschko. Other critics speak of an ensemble that is ‘’out of the ordinary’’, of ‘’a very expressive group, technically very strong and dancing at the highest level’’. The company also collaborates in outreach programs by offering workshops for teachers and educators in which they share their dance knowledge so that it can be transmitted to children and adolescents.

In the fall of 2002, Goldin was included in the select circle of the 101 best choreographers whose work was analysed in the ‘’History of dance of the XX Century’’, written by the acclaimed dance critic Jochen Schmidt.

In the summer of 2004, Goldin was included in the Best Choreographers group in the annual poll of the magazine Ballettanz dance critics for his choreography ‘’Winterreise’’, to Franz Schubert’s music. In 2006, Die Deutsche Bühne, the most important theatre publication in Germany, nominated the Tanztheater Münster in two categories, Remarkable contributions to dance development and Remarkable contribution for Staging and Costumes. That very same year, Goldin celebrated his 10th anniversary with the company in the Städtische Bühnen Münster with the double programme ‘’L’espace de Ravel / L’enfant et les sortilèges’’, dedicated to the French composer Maurice Ravel. The programme was a joint realisation with the Münster Symphonic Orchestra and the Münster Opera Company and was funded by the Art Foundation and the state of Northern Rhineland-Westphalia.

In the 2007-2008 season, Goldin joined three of his works (“Papirene Kinder-Ein choreographischer Roman”, “In Öl und Nebel” - about the Jewish painter Felix Nussbaum - and “Tagelang und Nächtelang” - a portrait of Milena Jesenská, the journalist and famous recipient of Kafka’s letters -) under the title The Persecution Trilogy, which was presented in cooperation with the itinerant exhibit ‘’The special death trains: deportations in German trains’’, organized by the Deutsche Bahn AG and Beate Klarsfeld. In the next season Goldin created ‘’Von Licht und Fremde’’, in cooperation with the LWL-Landesmuseum für Kulturgeschichte Münster, for this museum’s exhibit ‘’Places of nostalgia. Travelling with artists’’.

Another remarkable production was ‘’Projekt Cage’’ in 2010, with live music by the American composer John Cage interpreted by The Lilac Truth Band, in cooperation with the Folkwang Tanzstudio Company. Thanks to this project, Goldin was able to work for the third time with the dancers of this renowned company, which he had been a member of twenty years earlier. To strengthen his kinship with the Folkwang School and the Tanztheater style, the following season Goldin invited the choreographers Mark Sieczkarek and Susanne Linke, the grande dame of German Dance Theater, to stage two new works for his company. At the same time, Goldin choreographed the lied cycle Dichterliebe, by R. Schumann, turning once again to classical music, as he had previously done with Der Tod und das Mädchen or the Goldberg-Variationen in ‘’Myriaden”. In ‘’El galpón’’ he shows instead his affinity with world music in an invitation to the public to explore with him his native city, Buenos Aires. In June 2012 and after 16 years of intense artistic collaboration, Goldin and his company put an end to the Munster cycle of his work with ‘’Finissage: ...quien me quita lo bailado’’, where he revisits his previous choreographic work.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              


’... A contemporary company who manages to repeatedly fill the thousand seats of the Munster Big Stage is decidedly unusual. It is also unusual to educate a public on greater artistic openness in the more intimate environment of the Little Stage, which Goldin does via his lyrical and poetical language. The choreography follows a narrative thread, which carves a perceptual path not through spoken language but precisely through wordlessness. Goldin does not chain contrasting, disconcerting or irritating scenes; instead, he introduces clear choreographic lines with the aim of developing contradictory phenomena. He thus builds a tension that opens a new way of perceiving in the spectator, one, which is transmitted corporeally and does not translate into words but into depth of meaning.

Goldin’s very own expression is fed by many cultures and for this reason; it skirts fads, which aim at creating perplexity and confusion in the spectator. There is the tango of the courtyards, the music of the Schtetl, the classic string quartet as well as the intimacy of a Schubert Lied cycle. There is the extreme stage presence of the dancers, totally conscious of their vulnerability and their corporealness; there is also a deep musical understanding, which leads to new connections between melody, rhythm, movement, light and colour.

In sixteen years there have been numerous changes in the company, with each incoming dancer bringing to it new nuances and sometimes something even stronger. In an artistic discipline so linked to each dancer’s expressive power, every new member adds new weight, turns every restaging into a fresh discovery for the spectator and represents a new source of inspiration for Goldin. The choreographer has crucially left every dancer the space to recreate the expression and the sense of a new and touching artistic manifestation. The Tanztheater Münster has managed to move its spectators over and over again and it has made them discover something significant and deeply human at a highly personal level."

Helga Boldt, May 2012 

Education, Culture and Sports Secretary for the city of Münster from 1996 to 2004  

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