Ben J. Riepe Kompanie
The Ben J. Riepe Kompanie’s artistic works display a provocative poetics, drama and irony are closely intertwined and beauty has preserved its critical potential. Choreography is more than an arrangement of dancing bodies. Ben J. Riepe developed a wilful artistic language that is both uncompromisingly in its consequence and experimental in its search for new means and forms of expression. This creates compositions that combine multi-layered movement-images with self-reflexive references to the principle situation of theatrical performance. In the work of the Ben J. Riepe Kompanie choreography becomes an exploration of the emotional complexities of our contemporary reality.
“Ben J. Riepe knows how to fascinate. His works, drawing from mythology, theatre, popular culture and fine arts, defy categorization and most interpretations. Due to this, their impact is all the more emotional.“ (Thomas Hag, Neue Rhein Zeitung)
Ben J. Riepe studied dance and choreography at the Folkwang Hochschule Essen. He worked with NEUER TANZ in Düsseldorf and was a guest dancer in Pina Bausch’s ensemble at the Tanztheater Wuppertal. He already won first acclaim with his own plays while doing his post-graduate studies in choreography. The Ben J. Riepe Company was founded in 2004 and, as of now, comprises a team of twelve. Having won multiple awards, the choreographer presented his productions in China and Southeast Asia in 2009 and was invited to the German Dance Platform 2010 with the production LIEBE | TOD | TEUFEL – DAS STÜCK. In March 2009 the company was selected as one of four ensembles for the “Spitzenförderung”, a three-year basis funding by the Government of North-Rhine-Westphalia, and since June 2010 the group has their own production space in Dusseldorf. In 2011, Ben J. Riepe recieved the award for the performing arts of the City of Düsseldorf.
Ben J. Riepe
The work done by Düssedorf choroegrapher Ben J. Riepe, at its core, may well be regarded as a dynamic, constantly debating form in progress. In a consistent quest for new aesthetic means, forms and strategies, Ben J. Riepe remains dedicated to the boundaries and possibilities provided by the human body – in a polarising stance between “having a body” and “being a body”, whilst also delving into adjacent art forms such as dance, performance and installation.
“I originally studied dance, yet I view my work positioned between visual and performing arts. I am fascinated by the tension the body finds itself in as well as its roles as an instrument, as an object, as a living object of art and as a human being itself. I am also interested in the constant as well as ephemeral aspects, in content and expression, in political, social, emotional and aesthetic issues, yet also in potential, chance, problems and demands. I work on the art of seduction and on the seduction of art.” Ben J. Riepe
Ben J. Riepe studied dance and choreography at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen. After graduation, he took up work as a stage dancer in different contexts, among them with the Tanztheater Wuppertal (Dance Theatre Wuppertal) Pina Bausch as well as with V.A. Wölfl/NEUER TANZ. Having been a freelancer since 2006, the award-winning choreographer has maintained his own production venue in Düsseldorf since 2010, realising commissioned works in cooperation with the Goethe Institute for, among others, the Malaysian DPAC DANCE COMPANY, the Korea National Contemporary Dance Company, Vivadança Salvador in Brazil, Stary Browar Poznan in Poland as well as for the Folkwang Tanzstudio (Folkwang Dance Studio) Essen and theatre festival FAVORITEN. Interested audiences may access his mode of operation, his research topics as well as his approach to space and time in dedicated workshops. He has been a recipient in the Support for Excellence Programme of the State of North-Rhine Westphalia as well as having gotten support through the Support for Excellence Programme of the City of Düsseldorf since 2015. In October 2015, he was awarded the jury prize of Dortmund theatre festival FAVORITEN for his work “Livebox: Persona”. From 2013 until 2016, he held the position of Affiliated Artist at PACT Zollverein in Essen and was granted a stipend for the Goethe Institute residence programme Vila Sul in Salvador Bahia in Brazil in spring 2017.
Photo: © Ursula Kaufmann