William Forsythe (*1949) has been active in the field of choreography for over 50 years. His work is acknowledged for reorienting the practice of ballet from its identification with classical repertoire to a dynamic 21st century art form. Forsythe danced with the Joffrey Ballet and later the Stuttgart Ballet, where he was appointed Resident Choreographer in 1976. In 1984, he began a 20-year tenure as director of the Ballet Frankfurt after which he founded and directed The Forsythe Company until 2015. Forsythe's deep interest in the fundamental principles of organization of choreography has led him to produce a wide range of projects including installations, films, and web-based knowledge creation. While his work for the stage resides in the repertoire of ensembles worldwide, his Choreographic Objects are presented internationally in exhibitions and museums.
Nik Haffner was a dancer with William Forsythe at the Frankfurt Ballet from 1994 to 2000, then worked as a freelance dancer and choreographer and has been artistic director of the Inter-University Centre for Dance (HZT) Berlin since 2012.
As a dancer and choreographer, he has realized collaborative projects together with the collective “commerce,” with artists from the field of dance, including Christina Ciupke, Mart Kangro, July Weber, as well as from other artistic disciplines such as media art, including Jarosław Kapuściński and Harout Simonian. From 2012 to 2013, Nik Haffner worked with Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion on their online score Seven Duets as part of MotionBank.org.
In 2015/2016, he initiated the international conference and publication Artistic Needs and Institutional Desires together with Hendrik Quast at the UdK (University of the Arts) Berlin. Within the framework of BAS (Berlin Centre for Advanced Studies in Arts and Sciences), Nik Haffner led the Einstein Circle “bod-y-motion” together with Jenny Fuhr from 2017 to 2019. In 2022, Nik Haffner and Ariane Jeßulat realized the Einstein Strategic Professorship “Choreography, Dance and Disablity Arts” with choreographer Claire Cunningham, who will take up the professorship at HZT and UdK Berlin in 2023.
Nik Haffner was a long-standing member of the advisory board of the Dance Congress Germany and jury member of the German Dance Award.
Volker Kuchelmeister is an expert in presence, embodiment and place representation for immersive applications and has worked extensively in cinematography, interactive narrative, experimental imaging, spatial mapping, interactive systems, immersive visualization and in the performing arts while exploring and exploding the boundaries of the cinematic image. He has established and directed leading media art research labs (ZKM | Centre for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Germany – Multimedia Studio; UNSW iCinema Centre Media Lab and UNSW National Institute for Experimental Art – Immersive Media Lab, UNSW felt Experience and Empathy Lab) and his award-winning immersive experiences, interactive installations and experimental video projects are exhibited in museums, galleries and festivals around the world.
Volker Kuchelmeister is currently working as lead immersive designer and research fellow at the UNSW felt Experience and Empathy Lab (fEEL).
Yvonne Mohr (*1966), media artist and filmmaker, studied visual communication at the École des Arts Décoratifs Strasbourg (HEAR) and the UdK Berlin, where she also studied experimental and documentary film with Valie Export, Heinz Emigholz, and Elfi Mikesch. Since 1993, Mohr has realized interdisciplinary freelance and commissioned projects ranging from interactive CD-ROM and DVD productions, video installations and video stage sets to concert and exhibition documentaries as well as films for cinema and television (for, among others, the ZKM | Karlsruhe, the Berliner Festspiele and the Donaueschinger Musiktage as well as for NDR, SWR, ZDF and Arte). The collaboration with composers in the field of music theater is of particular importance in her work: Mohr has realized numerous video installations in collaboration with and documentaries about composers such as Olga Neuwirth, Bernhard Lang, Jorge E. López, Lucia Ronchetti, Amelia Cuni & Werner Durand, Charlotte Hug, Stevie Wishart, Richard Barrett, Pierre Henry, and Karlheinz Stockhausen.
Astrid Sommer, a theater scholar, lives in Essen and works as translator, editor, and dramaturge. A graduate of Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen and Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg, she was affiliated with ZKM | Karlsruhe’s Institute for Visual Media, first as a researcher, then as a freelance editor (1993–2008). Her translations include works by Tim Etchells and Tom McCarthy.
Roslyn Sulcas is a dance critic and culture writer for The New York Times, for which she began to review dance in 2005. She grew up in South Africa and first encountered the work of William Forsythe while pursuing a doctorate in Paris. Her dance writing began with an essay about Forsythe's work for the British Dance Theater Journal, and she subsequently became the Paris correspondent for Dance & Dancers, Dance Magazine, and Dance International. In 1996, she moved to New York where she worked as a writer and editor at several magazines while continuing to write about dance. In 2011, she moved to London and now covers culture in Britain and Europe for The New York Times.
Christian Ziegler is a digital artist on stage, director, performer and architect. In 2022, he returned to Europe following an eight-year teaching assignment as Professor of Interactive Media at Arizona State University’s School for Arts, Media and Engineering/Synthesis Lab.
He started his career at ZKM | Karlsruhe’s Multimedia Studio in 1994, where he was part of the core team of the Improvisation Technologies project, developing the design and the line animations of the prototypes and the final CD-ROM. Improvisation Technologies and several other CD-ROMs he designed won international design awards.
In 2002, he founded his theater company “movingimages” which focuses on the development of immersive stage environments as well as the production and direction of digital dance projects in collaboration with various choreographers. In addition, the company collaborates with renowned theater directors, at, for example, the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, the Wuppertal Opera House, the Karlsruhe State Theater, the Konzert Theater Bern, and the Neue Oper Vienna.
Christian Ziegler joined several academic dance research projects with IRCAM Paris, the Choreographic Center ICKAmsterdam, Utrecht University, and AHK Amsterdam. In the European Theater Lab of the Europe Theater Convention he developed interactive technologies for digital theater productions at several European theaters using GPS and AR/VR. His latest theater production, ANA, uses AI and is supported by the VW Cultural Foundation.