Katja Heitmann

Katja Heitmann (1987, DE) investigates in her visual-choreographic work what moves humankind in the current era. Katja Heitmann’s choreographic work consists of extreme aesthetics, in sharp contrast to human fallibility. Her minimalistic and minutely designed imagery confronts viewers with a frantic flood of insights. This distinct, perceptible tension returns in all her work.

As a choreographic sculptor, Katja is constantly searching for the core of her material. By means of radical concepts and well-considered forms of performance, she strips her artistic material of any noise. Only that what really matters is shown with astonishing sharpness. In every detail of her work lies the grand gesture.

Katja Heitmann wants to move her audience. Through her work she constantly seeks interaction with society, with the city, with people. The universal character of her work makes it possible for anyone who wants to find their own entrance to the work. Katja Heitmann creates unique performance installations and theatrical exhibitions that appeal to an astonishingly varied audience and regularly brings them to tears.

In 2016 Katja was awarded the Prize of the Dutch Dance Festival. In 2020 she was honoured with the prestigious Gieskes Strijbis Podium-award.

Structural support

Katja Heitmann is structurally supported in the period 2021-2024 by Dutch Performing Arts, the Province of Noord Brabant and the Municipality of Tilburg.

The press about Katja Heitmann

“Heitmann has a mission! Undeniably. In Motus Mori she returns the body to a society that is in danger of losing sight of its value. Art cannot be more urgent. But besides being urgent, Reliquiem is also very moving. After all, the body is transitory and confronts us with finiteness.”

“The body is our archive. Turning the Gestures of Everyday Life Into Art”

DE STANDAARD ****, Motus Mori Brugge, Charlotte De Somviele
“It is kinetical empathy at its best.”

DE VOLKSKRANT ****, Motus Mori: Meeting the archive, Annette Embrechts
“I recognize my ‘translated’ tics and gestures, whispering mixed with those of Pavel, Monika, Tosca and Herr Stamm. Highly an original work.”

MUSEUMTIJDSCHRIFT, Motus Mori: Museum, Edo Dijksterhuis
“Museum Motus Mori is a kinetic portrait of all of us. The way this comes to form, via the body instead of via the mind, is more effective, more direct and more touching than any video, photo or text will ever be.”

NRC, Motus Mori: Museum, Francine van der Wiel
“In Museum Motus Mori Heitmann collects, describes, archives and exhibits the minimal movements, we all make every day, but which immediately disappear. – the beauty and vulnerability of dance in a sophisticated concept.”

THEATERKRANT **** Pandora’s DropBox, Wendy Lubberding
“Plato, Nietzsche, Hannah Arendt, care robots, YouTube vloggers: they all ask what it means to be human. Katja Heitmann joins in this list with a research that makes you feel how hard it is to be is human.”

DE VOLKSKRANT **** Pandora’s DropBox, Mirjam van der Linden
“Snot, sweat and tears are also not choreographed. Heitmann’s robotic people become pitiful in a very subte way. That ambiguity is significant and very beautiful. Here people dance imprisoned in their body and ambitions.

NRC Pandora’s DropBox, Francine van der Wiel
“(…) the iron concentration of the six dancers on the hexagonal playing surface gets the viewer in the grip. (…) So lamentable and lonely is perfection. This is how the distorted songs “Ich bin allein in meinem Himmel” sound as well. Perfection can not tolerate feelings.”

DANSMAGAZINE, Siri Loves Me, Zahira Mous
“The big surprise of the Dutch Dance Festival: Siri Loves Me (…) a wonderful project in which the 50 youngsters create silence in the city through slow and concentrated movements. It is a breathtaking piece of indigo children that everyone has to experience.”

THEATERKRANT **** Siri Loves Me, Wendy Lubberding
“The way they move, back straight, the movement of each arm and every leg controlled and always exactly the same performed, is strongly reminiscent of the movements of the professional performers in HeitmannsPandora’s Dropbox. But with these young performers the question becomes all the more urgent. What does it mean to grow up? How bad is it to make a mistake when the whole world revolves around looking at each other?”

Brabants Dagblad, at number 6 in the top 10 of cultural events 2017
“With Katja Heitmann, the dance in Brabant is a winner. The concentration she asked of her dancers in Pandora’s Dropbox was more than remarkable.”

The jury of the Gieskes Strijbis Award:
“With completely original oeuvre, choreographer Katja Heitmann breaks open the conventions of modern dance. Away from existing categories, she opts for her own artistic trajectory and for her own circumstances in which she wants to present her work. Surprisingly, what may seem abstract on paper or in words, is embraced in her final performances by a broad audience with a great naturalness. It is inspiring how she dares to rely on her intuition, on the beginning of an idea, without knowing when or in what form a project will end. By definition, this makes it more difficult for her work to be caught in predetermined moulds, overly rigid subsidy formats or calibrated theatrical spaces. It is therefore her great dream to start a kind of ‘artistic monastery’ (without a religious approach) in which she can develop her practice – without imposed limitations of space or time – with her dancers and an ever-expanding range of audiences”.