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Nanine Linning

Nanine Linning (1977, Amsterdam) consciously leaves the beaten theatrical path with her artistic vision by intensely integrating dance, design, video, music, technology/science, visual arts and fashion. Her extremely physical choreographies and out of the box concepts make reference to human emotions as well as aspects of cultural history and social criticism. As artistic director and entrepreneur, she focuses on creating innovative bridges between art and audience, press, politicians and sponsors. Over the last 18 years she was honoured many times.

In the year 2000 she was nominated for the Dutch Culture Prize. In August 2002 she received the Perspektief Prize for her whole oeuvre. In 2003 she received the Phillip Morris Arts Prize for her whole oeuvre. In 2006 she received for her production BACON the Golden Swan for Best Production of the Netherlands. She was named ‘Diva of Dance by broadcasting channel NPS in 2007. Quote Magazine titled her as Business Babe of 2008; Viva Magazine quoted her as one of the 400 most successful women of the Netherlands. In 2010 she received the Theaterkijk Prize for her production ENDLESS SONG OF SILENCE and the Mus prize for her production DOLBY. In 2012, VOICE OVER was nominated for Der Faust award, Germany’s most important theatre prize. In 2013 Nanine was nominated again for Der Faust, this time for her production ZERO. The German theatre magazine ‘Die Deutsche Bühne’ named Linning in 2013 and 2014 twice in the category: ‘Outstanding contribution to dance’. For REQUIEM she received the prestigious Swiss Dance Award 2015, given out by the Minister of Culture of Switzerland. In 2017 NRC Culture Top 100 ranked her on the 53rd place. Die Deutsche Bühne named her in the top 4 of Impressive Choreographers of 2017 together with Alain Platel and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. Magazine tanz mentioned her in the Category Choreographer of the Year 2017. Her creations and collaborations have been presented in different museums like FOAM, Stedelijk Museum Den Bosch, Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI), Centraal Museum Utrecht and Van Abbe Museum / Design Week Eindhoven.

She holds a Bachelor in Arts with a major in Choreography from Rotterdam Dance Academy (CODARTS). During her training she assisted William Forsythe with his dance film “From a classical position” in 1999.

From 2000 till 2006 Linning was appointed as Europe youngest resident choreographer at Scapino Ballet. She created 12 productions, collaborating with different composers, string quartets, DJs, animation and fashion designers.

In March 2006 Linning left Scapino to focus on her own, Amsterdam based company broadening her work field with directing “dance-opera”, music theatre and film. Linning created with her own company four successful productions, BACON about the painter Francis Bacon; CRY LOVE, a multimedia spectacle of dance and video installation premiering in Holland Festival context; DOLBY, a cross-over between dance and rock concert and ENDLESS SONG OF SILENCE. Alongside she created CRY LOVE DINNER (in collaboration with Food Designer Remco Vellinga and 20 dancers), ENDLESS SONG OF SILENCE EXTENDED (performance art installation with 80 dancers) and her research project Cortex (collaborating with 9 neuroscientists, neurobiologists and neuropsychologists, researching emotional states of audiences). In 2008 she was assigned to create for the opening of Robeco Zomerconcerten in the Concertgebouw in collaboration with Amsterdam Sinfonietta, and did an internship at DNO with Pierre Audi during the creation of Marco Polo by composer Tan Dun.

In August 2009 she was appointed by Intendant Holger Schultze as artistic director of Dance Company / Theater Osnabrück (Germany), for which she created REQUIEM, a monumental production with more than 90 dancers, orchestra members, choir and vocal soloists, set to Fauré’s Requiem; VOICE OVER with composer Michiel Jansen and SYNTHETIC TWIN with Iris van Herpen. Puccini’s MADAMA BUTTERFLY was her debut as opera director in 2010. Together with her dancers and film director Clara van Gool she created her first TV commercial for the Bijenkorf, exposing pure dance to an estimated 11 million viewers in the Netherlands. This commercial won a silver and bronze prize from EPICA, the International Advertising Awards 2012. Beat the Dutch filmed Nanine’s Passion, a documentary (45 min) on the work of Nanine Linning, which was broadcasted on Dutch Television and shown in cinemas in the Netherlands. In the same year Linning was asked to present her work for TED x Amsterdam.

As of October 2012 she moved to Heidelberg (Germany) to set up a new dance company with Mr. Schultze; Dance Company Nanine Linning/Theater Heidelberg is where Linning continues her work as artistic director and chief choreographer until today. Her first Heidelberg-production ZERO with stunning masks and costumes from haute couture designer Iris van Herpen premièred in January 2013 and was welcomed with extraordinary praise from audience and critics. Dance Company Nanine Linning / Theater Heidelberg was invited to open the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Amsterdam with ZERO. Selected as Company of the Year by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung 2013: “Nanine Linning is an unstoppable talent with longevity”.

In December 2013 her multimedia dance production ENDLESS in collaboration with Iris van Herpen set on Symphony No. 3 of Gorecki premiered in Heidelberg and was received with standing ovations and raving press: “A Triumpf” according Suddeutsche Zeitung. In June 2014, Nanine premiered her second ‘dance opera’, directing and choreographing Philip Glass' ECHNATON. Opernwelt named it 'a new opera/dance cult, this moving and vivid stage direction is so far Linnings’ highlight in her creative period in Heidelberg”; it did a run of 30 sold out performances. “Her concepts and productions are of the most innovative and interesting signatures one can experience in the field of dance and theater in Central Europe” wrote Fuldaur Zeitung and according Mannheimer Morgen: “As a stage director and choreographer of the opera ECHNATON by Philip Glass, Nanine Linning created with orchestra, choir, dancers, actors, singers, video projections, costumes and set design, a fabulous multidisciplinary work of art.”

In the 2014/2015 Season, Linning created HIERONYMUS B., a dance triptych about the life and work of Dutch master painter Hieronymus Bosch. Theater magazine Die Deutsche Bühne deemed Hieronymus B. “a triumph“. Mannheimer Morgen stresses its “aesthetic opulence and consistency”. Tanz found it “ferociously beautiful”. In February 2016, Hieronymus B. was honored to perform during the opening ceremony of the Bosch 500 year in ‘s Hertogenbosch, a year-long event celebrating the fifth centennial of Bosch’s death.

In the 2015/2016 Season, she premiered her production SILVER. In collaboration with high-tech material designer Bart Hess she addresses the intimate – and increasingly intrusive – relationship between the human and the technological, creating a dystopian world where the boundaries between men and machine become blurry. The press about SILVER: “Linning’s vision of what will happen when humanoids develop the faculty of self-improvement, looks sensational.” according to Süddeutsche Zeitung. Darmstädter Echo praised the “athletically powerful, highly virtuosic and furiously danced group scenes”. Her “experimental setup about the question of humanities future in a technologized world” is according to Stuttgarter Nachrichten “astonishingly relevant”. Dance journal tanz considers SILVER a dance production that “is likely to stay with you for a while.”

Linning collaborated for six of her dance productions with Haute Couture designer Iris van Herpen; and most recently was invited by van Herpen to collaborate with her for her SEIJAKU Couture show launched in Paris in 2016. November 2016 saw the premiere of her celebrated multi-sensory experience production KHÔRA together with Food Artist Remco Vellinga, visual designer Bart Hess and longtime collaborator composer Michiel Jansen. Die Deutsche Bühne wrote “Phantastical, cosmic and phenomenal”.“Nanine Linnings new piece KHÔRA culminated in a multi-sensory experience for dancers and audience.”

In spring 2017 she recreated BACON in collaboration with Staatsgallerie Stuttgart around the huge retrospective of painter Francis Bacon in collaboration with composer Jacob ter Veldhuis, scenographer Jan Boiten and video designer Juliane Noß. Linning: ‘I’m interested in animalistic impulses, the instinctive. I challenge my dancers to transgress their own boundaries. According to the Mannheimer Morgen: “She paints. With bodies. With light. With reedy feral sounds (Jacob ter Veldhuis). And her dancers provide brilliant colours, structures and nuances for the world of Bacon.“  

In her last season in Heidelberg, Linning created one more dance production in collaboration with the upcoming Russian fashion designer Irina Shaposnikova. DUSK premiered in November 2017 with music of Gustav Mahler, Arvo Pärt and John Adams performed live by the Philharmonic Orchestra Heidelberg. All 23 shows of DUSK in the season 2017/18 were sold out up within weeks.  

Apart from her work as an artist, Linning is a founding member and on the board of directors of the international dance festival Tanzbiennale Heidelberg (2014) as well as the Choreographic Center in Heidelberg (2012). As of June 2016 Linning is named artistic director of the International Competition for Young Choreographers in Hanover.

Linning will leave her position at Theater Heidelberg early summer 2018 to take on new challenges, develop her European collaborations further and continue her projects through partnerships with festivals, museums, theaters, artists and companies.

Recently, February 2018, she was appointed as artistic director of the dance program of the Festspiele Ludwigshafen for the years 2018 and 2019. In March 2019, Nanine will create a new piece for the Stuttgarter Ballett in context of the 100 Years Bauhaus Celebration, which will premiere in Stuttgart and trav