“Yoshiko Waki presents perceptional splinters from the compost heap of current social sensitivities. It is great fun to watch her picking up the garbage before throwing it into a shredder... She hits the precise point where fussy social denouncement turns into entertaining, independent theatre.“ Gerald Siegmund, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
bodytalk consistently produces regional dance theatre with political content, mostly with live music. Yoshiko Waki and Rolf Baumgart founded bodytalk in 2008. Their work has been described by the press as "radically local" and a "performing arts laboratory". The productions are often created with the inclusion of public space as well as local, evolved, even off-the-beaten-track cultural activities. Choreographer Yoshiko Waki studied at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik Heidelberg-Mannheim - Academy of Dance and graduated with a diploma in stage dance and dance education. She has worked with Johann Kresnik, Susanne Linke, Rheinhild Hoffmann, Christof Schlingensief at the Volksbühne am Rosa Luxemburg Platz Berlin, Komische Oper Berlin, Theater Bremen and others.
bodytalk has been awarded, among others, the Leipzig Movement Art Prize for the best independent production of the season, the Bremen Author and Producer Prize, the Cologne Dance Theatre Prize and the prestigious Golden Yorick main prize of the 26th Shakespeare Festival in Gdansk.
bodytalk regularly works with national and international partners such as the Polish Dance Theatre (for productions such as JEWROPE, Solidaritot and Romeos & Julias unplagued), Seoul International Dance Festival in Korea (KOREALITY), AURA International Dance Festival in Kaunas, Lithuania, LOFFT - DAS THEATER in Leipzig, Schwankhalle Bremen, MASH Jerusalem, Teatr Rozbark in Poland, Junges Theater Göttingen as well as with the Summer Festival of the Federal President in Bellevue Palace. bodytalk can be seen regularly at national festivals such as the asphalt Festival, FAVORITEN Festival, Move! Krefeld, Festival tanz nrw, Highlights of International Dance at the Theater Bonn, Flurstücke Festival in Münster, TanzArt ostwest - as well as at international festivals such as SIDance, Malta Festival Poznan, Jerusalem Dance Week, International Dance Festival AURA in Kaunas, Lithuania, Shakespeare Festival Gdansk, Oradea International Theatre Festival. Since 2021, bodytalk has also organised its own festivals (Israel is real and umPolen) in cooperation with the Theater im Pumpenhaus and works closely with the city of Münster, most recently as part of the celebrations for the 375th anniversary of the Peace of Westphalia.
bodytalk has been receiving "Spitzenförderung" for dance in NRW since 2012 and has been included in the Doppelpass and Tanzfonds Erbe programmes by the German Federal Cultural Foundation. Since autumn 2016, bodytalk has been "Artist in Residence" at the Theater im Pumpenhaus in Münster and receives "Exzellenzförderung" in Dance from the Ministery of Culture and Science of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia since 2021.
Photo: © Andreas Knapp