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Nanine Linning

Dutch choreographer Nanine Linning (1977, Amsterdam) consciously leaves the beaten theatrical track.
Moving beyond divisions and working across disciplines, combining dance and opera, concerts and installations. Crossing fields of design, video, visual arts and music, her productions are characterized by an explosive movement language and an equally vivid imagery. Linning designs opulent poetic work; her evening-length productions are worlds on their own in their visual and dramaturgical content. Her out of the box concepts make reference to human emotions as well as aspects of cultural history and social criticism. Her close cooperation with diverse internationally known artists and scientists is reflected in the broad spectrum of her projects, which include European co-productions and touring, exhibitions and installations. 

For over 14 years Linning has worked with her creative partner, artistic advisor and dramaturg Peggy Olislaegers. Linning collaborated for six of her dance productions with haute couture designer Iris van Herpen, and is a collector of her early works.

Other longtime collabrators include dancer and choreographic assistant Kyle Patrick, haute couture designer Irina Shaposhnikova, philosopher Jappe Groenendijk, designer Bart Hess, composers Michiel Jansen, Jacob ter Veldhuis, Alexey Retinsky and Andreas Moustoukis, conductor Teodor Currentzis and visual artist Alexandros Tsolakis. Her creations and collaborations have been presented in various museums, including Foam, Stedelijk Museum Den Bosch, Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI), Centraal Museum Utrecht and the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart.

Nanine Linning studied at the Rotterdam Dance Academy (CODARTS) and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Choreography. During her studies she assisted William Forsythe and Dana Caspersen on their 1999 dance film From A Classical Position.

She founded her own Nanine Linning Dance Company in 1999, with which she developed her own multidisciplinairy signature, touring her productions in Europe, Asia, the UK and the USA. Next to that, she creates contemporary evening length works for contemporary dance and ballet companies, opera houses, choirs, museums and festivals. 

From 2000 to 2006, Linning was resident choreographer at Scapino Ballet which she left to inclreasingly focus on her own Amsterdam Nanine Linning Dance Company with which she increasingly devoted herself to the creation of dance operas, musical theater and film. Nine full-length productions were created, including BACON (2005), a piece about the painter Francis Bacon, for which she received the Swan for the best dance production in the Netherlands in 2006 and which, after more than 100 performances worldwide, is still part of the ensemble's repertoire. This was followed by CRY LOVE (2006), a multimedia performance merging dance performance and video installation for the Holland Festival. In the course of this she created Cry Love Dinner (in collaboration with food designer Remco Vellinga and 20 dancers) in 2007 and DOLBY (2008), for which she received the De Mus award in 2010. She created her dance and video production ENDLESS SONG OF SILENCE (2010) with Henryk Górecki's Symphony No. 3, for which Nanine Linning received the Theater Critics' Prize in 2010. For her research project CORTEX (2010) she collaborated with nine neuroscientists, neurobiologists and neuropsychologists the emotional reactions of the audience.

In August 2009 she was appointed artistic director of Nanine Linning at the Theater Osnabrück. There she created SYNTHETIC TWIN (2009) with Iris van Herpen and VOICE OVER (2010) with composer Michiel Jansen, for which she was nominated for the German theater prize Der FAUST in 2012. Puccini's MADAMA BUTTERFLY marked her debut as an opera director in 2010. With her successful production REQUIEM (2011), a co-production with the Theater Osnabrück and the dance company Nanine Linning to Gabriel Fauré's music for over 90 participants (dancers, singers* musicians, choir singers and soloists), she played more than 30 performances in Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

In 2012, together with film director Clara van Gool, a television commercial for the department store de Bijenkorf was created, which was seen by a good 11 million viewers in the Netherlands alone. This commercial won a silver and bronze award from EPICA, the International Advertising Awards. The documentary Nanines Passion (2012, 45 min) about the work of Nanine Linning was produced by producer Beat the Dutch and was broadcast on Dutch television and shown in selected cinemas. In the same year, Nanine was offered to present her work at TED x Amsterdam. 

From 2012 to 2018, Nanine Linning continued her work as artistic director and chief choreographer of the newly founded dance company Nanine Linning at the Heidelberg Theater and Orchestra. Her first Heidelberg production, ZERO, set by haute couture designer Iris van Herpen, premiered in January 2013 and was immediately nominated for the German theater prize Der FAUST. Among other things, ZERO opened the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Amsterdam and was included in the repertoire of the Tanzcompagnie Konzert Theater Bern in October 2013 as a Swiss premiere.

In 2014, Philip Glass' ECHNATON with dancers, choir, soloists and orchestra, directed and choreographed by Nanine Linning, premiered.

In 2015, Linning choreographed HIERONYMUS B., a danced triptych about the life and work of Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch. In February 2016, Linning had the honor of opening the celebrations for the 500th anniversary of the painter's death with HIERONYMUS B. in presence of the Dutch King and Queen.

With the production SILVER (2015), a dance reflection on the future of man in a future dominated by technology, Linning enriched her movement idiom in collaboration with the high-tech material designer Bart Hess. In the same year she was commissioned by Gauthier Dance to create a new piece for their repertoire, THE BLACK PAINTING (inspired by the Spanish painter Goya). In 2016 the multi-sensory production KHÔRA premiered in collaboration with food artist Remco Vellinga, visual designer Bart Hess and composer Michiel Jansen. Linning was invited by Iris van Herpen to collaborate with her for her SEIJAKU couture show at Paris Fashion Week. In spring 2017, Linning resumed the BACON production in connection with a retrospective of the painter Francis Bacon in the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart. Here Linning worked with the composer Jacob ter Veldhuis, the scenographer Jan Boiten and the video designer Juliane Noss.

In her last season in Heidelberg, Linning created the dance production DUSK in 2017 with music by Gustav Mahler, Arvo Pärt and John Adams, performed live by the Heidelberg Philharmonic Orchestra. 

After six years, Linning left Theater Heidelberg in the summer of 2018 to take on new challenges and continue her artistic work through international partnerships with theaters, museums, artists, companies and festivals. In 2018 and 2019 she curated the dance program of the Ludwigshafen Festival and toured Europe with her own company for the successful productions ENDLESS SONG OF SILENCE and BACON. 

In 2019 she created DOUBLE HELIX, a performative exhibition concept in collaboration with designer Bart Hess. The Stuttgart Ballet and the German National Theater Weimar invited Linning to develop the choreography REVOLT for 16 dancers on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus. In the same year, the commissioned work DUO for 19 dancers and 9 musicians was created for the Bavarian State Ballet and the Munich Opera Festival in the Reithalle in Munich in collaboration with the Greek architect and designer Alexandros Tsolakis and the Danish composer Hans Abrahamsen, conducted by Georg Mayrhofer.

In 2020 Nanine Linning worked with director Monique Wagemakers and artist Lonneke Gordijn (Studio DRIFT) and dance company Nanine Linning at the Nederlandse Reisopera on her third opera production, Monteverdi's L'ORFEO. They envisoned this opera as a contemporary Gesamtkunstwerk that fully integrates stage direction, choreography and design for a cast of 10 singers and 10 dancers. Besides a large tour the production was also streamed on the Operavision digital platform.

In October 2020 Netherlands Chamber Choir and Dance Company Naine Linning collaborated for Orlando di Lasso’s masterpiece Tears of Peter (Lagrime di San Pietro) for 7 singers and 1 dancer, followed by a tour in spring 2022.

Conductor Teodor Currentzis invited Nanine Linning in 2021 to create PULCINELLA SUITE with him and his ensemble musicAeterna for jewelry house Cartier. In addition, invited her with her own company to perform DOUBLE HELIX in his Diagilev Festival in June 2021.

In 2021, Linning celebrated her successful debut in the USA with the creation LA VOIX HUMAINE for Boston Ballet. She choreographed Poulenc and Cocteau's monoopera LA VOIX HUMAINE in the form of a dance film that was selected for screenings in several film festivals in Venice, London, New York and Lisbon.

ANIMA OBSCURA - her latest full-length multimedia production as part of D3 - Dance meets Digital created for Theater Bielefeld with music by J. Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem and new compositions by Yannis Kyriakides, premiered in October 2021.

During Paris Fashion Week 2022, she collaborated with the Japanese haute couture designer on his show LIMINAL with her own dancers.
Once again, she created with Musicaeterna and Ukrainian composer Alexey Retinsky a new work for 4 dancers and 5 musicians titled Bride Song.

Nanine Linning has received numerous prizes and awards for her work. In 2000 she was nominated for the Dutch Culture Prize, in 2002 she received the Perspektiv Prize and in 2003 the Philip Morris Art Prize for her complete works. In 2008, Quote magazine named her “Business Woman of the Year 2008” and in the same year, Viva magazine voted her among the 400 most successful women in the Netherlands. In 2017, NRC Culture Top 100 honored her as “The Netherlands’ Most Innovative Artist and Entrepreneur 2017”. In 2019 she was appointed Honorary Artist of Parktheater Eindhoven.

Ensembles such as the Konzert Theater Bern (REQUIEM, for which she was honored with the Swiss Dance Prize of the Swiss Federal Ministry of Culture in 2015), the Thuringian State Ballet (ZERO), the Szeged Dance Company/Hungary (THE BLACK PAINTINGS, extended version) and the Halle Opera (HIERONYMUS B.) have included her productions into their repertoire.

Nanine Linning gives Master classes at the University of Zurich and for Musicaeterna she gave Master classes for dancers, audience and conductors in Moscow, Vienna, Lucerne and Hamburg.