What it means to have a body.


Since 2019, choreographer Katja Heitmann has been building an archive for human movement: Motus Mori. Working with a growing group of movement-archivists, she collects and preserves movements from people of all ages, bodies and backgrounds. Based on this ever-moving archive, she creates artworks.

In the new artwork CORPUS, Katja Heitmann zooms in on the transfer of embodied knowledge to a communal body.

In this embodied knowledge lies the basis for kinetic empathy. Because each person has their own specific body, this determines how you navigate your world. Your daily movements define your personality. Can you better understand others through experiencing their personal embodied knowledge?

CORPUS is a performance-ritual created with a group of people from Leeds aged 20 to 86. They each have a distinctive physical expertise because of a physical restriction or specialisation. The performers follow and carry each other’s movements, holding each other’s bodies. In a highly concentrated and minimalistic manner, they will perform a ritual for handing over a human movement. From body to body to body… Are you a movement-archivist too?

“Choreographer’s body of work puts life in motion.”
Yorkshire Post, UK

CORPUS is commissioned by Leeds Art Gallery with the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the United Kingdom and in partnership with Leeds 2023 and Yorkshire Dance.




Concept & choreography: Katja Heitmann

Music, creative production: Sander van der Schaaf

Artistic assistants and performance: Eleni Ploumi, Julia Drittij, Ornella Prieto, Ida Osten

Performance: Sonja Miller, Lara Woodhouse, Philip Harvey, Marion Small, Kath Morgan-Thompson, Tamsin Spain, Helen Thompson, Mike Thompson, Janetta Maxwell, Debra Lane, David Hutchison, Irandokht Monfared

Publicity & international affairs: Fanny Martin | Art of festivals

Photography publicity-image: Hanneke Wetzer

Production company: St. This is not a show

Co-production / local support: Leeds Art Gallery, Yorkshire Dance, LEEDS2023

Supported by: Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the United Kingdom

Structural funding: Dutch Performing Arts Fund, Province of Noord Brabant, Municipality of Tilburg