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Kohle Körper


Commissioned and Presented by Choreographic Centre NRW on behalf of Kultur Ruhr Ltd and Tanzlandschaft Ruhr


Gianni Malfer & Stefan Hilterhaus Directors, Choreographic Centre NRW (1999)


Conceived, Choreographed, and Directed by Stephan Koplowitz

Original Score by Jonathan Stone

Costume Design by Karisma (Ben Voorhaar & Sabrina Zyla)

Lighting Design by Simon Corder

Assistant Director/Rehearsal Director: Karen Stokes

Assistant Director: Sarah Lloyd (June)

Project Manager: Yvonne Whyte and Joschi Neu

Music Production: Ekki Maas and Wolfgang Proppe

Core Performers:  Renata Cisek, Ini Dill, Chris Ho Chau Wah, Hiekyoung Kim, James MacGillivray, Wei Ming Poon, Eva Anna Richterich, Charlotta Ruth, Bärbel Stenzenberger, Jane van Fraassen

Ensemble Performers: Elke Busenlechner, Fleur Chaléat, Jennifer Hebekerl, Daniela Hoff, Susan Koelewyn, Mu-Yi Kuo, Constanza Pelechá, Bettina Rutsch, Zufit Simon, Richard Taylor, Nadja Varga, Kalú Yanez Galdames, Elena Adaeva, Pilar Alba, Simona Bubola, Svenja Grabe, Jelena Ivanovic, Katja Meinecke, Carolina Pahde, Sonya Roushdy, Kati Schmidt, Andrea Stegmaier, Samir Akika, Heiko Baumann, Isabelle David, Ute Faust, Laura Hoff, Athanasia kanellopoulou, Severine Leff, Erik Noe Tepal Marrufo, Melanie Maurer, Linda Neuhaus, Simone Nöcker, Tina Peschel, Laura Pöss, Shamita Ray, Nina Schneider, Nicoletta Stanescu, Andrea Stimper and Dennis Grenz.


Musicians featured on Musical Score:

Accordian: Wolfgang Proppe, Bass Guitar Ekki Maas, Voices in Shaft: Jonathan Stone, Barnaby Stone, Grisha Coleman, Viola Sheely  

Kohler Körper is a site-specific work inspired by the physical design of the Kokerei Factory; it’s mission, purpose and history.


The work is divided into three sections requiring the audience to promenade to different locations during the performance.


Part ONE: One the roof of the factory in front of the coke ovens: this section features 22 dancers who are placed in front of the metal structures.

Part TWO: Down the stairs inside the factory on level one: This section features 42 dancers divided into three groups of 14.


Part THREE: When section two has ended, the audience is asked to make their way to the front of the factory to view all 50 performers on various levels of the building.


Neurotic movement patterns amongst the coke ovens speak of human powerlessness. No less oppressive is the tableau in the second section: The viewer looks down on the dancers, in a 50-meter-long groove like mice in the cage, witnessing their vain endeavor to surmount the incline plane to climb, escape out - a contemporary Sisyphus myth in strong images, helped by the effective but unobtrusive lighting design by Simon Corder. A gigantic space adventure was finally in the third section, where the dancers are placed high above the audience on lighted walkways and exceeded the entire outer wall of the complex Zollverein factory, like a temple brought back to life. And they even turned the Ferris wheel. A remarkable thing.

Mensch, Arbeit und Maschine,  Getanztes Kokerei-Projekt in Essen  

Von KLAUS ALBRECHT, September, 1999


In the context of this distinctive venue, (Koplowitz’s) movements were interesting and arresting right the waythrough to the end. It really doesn’t matter whether one views the Kokerei-Project as aperformance or a ”Son et Lumière“ event because, after all, the intention is to throw light on thebuilding, its magnificent construction, morbid charm and deserted romanticism.

-Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, JOCHEN SCHMIDT

4. September 1999

Rehearsals (all photos by Hildegard and Peter Brill)

Section 1- Prologue

Section 2 

Section 3

Section 4 - Finale

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