‘Winner of the Lëtzebuerger Danzpräis, Elisabeth Schilling is the young star of the European contemporary dance’
Loïc Millot, culture.lu
‘In general, Elisabeth Schilling’s dance language is the most sensitive fine drawing. (…) In a single gesture, an entire soul seems to be externalised.’
Eva-Maria Reuther, Tierischer Volksfreund
‘Elisabeth Schilling has developed a unique art that is open to other disciplines, (…) If we also count the choreographic commissions created for the prestigious Tate Modern (London), it is not surprising to see the rapid evolution of this young choreographer who sees dance as an artistic whole.’
Gregory Cimatti, Le Quotidien
Elisabeth Schilling is a dancer and choreographer. In close collaboration with an international team and across various collaborations, she develops transdisciplinary projects between movement, design, the visual arts, and music, making the disciplines dance among themselves and with each other. To extend this process, she has, moreover, tasked herself with making contemporary dance take place in established dance spaces as well as more unusual places, and her productions regularly travel to Europe’s capitals as well as to its most rural areas. Elisabeth’s work spans from scores for urban space to more traditional main-stage pieces for black box theatres and experimental works for visual arts spaces. Finally, with her passion for touring, moving through diverse scenes, cultures, expectations and places, Elisabeth is always curious about audience interaction and enjoys developing individually taylored communication and outreach strategies for each of her projects under the title Mat Iech.
Elisabeth Schilling’s transdisciplinary dance projects are characterised by a complex movement language developed through her longterm research into textures and sounds. With a specific interest in contemporary music, they are often created in close connection to or inspired by a musical score and a particular design idea. Moreover, Elisabeth’s work is marked by a fundamental recognition of intricate interconnectivity, of relations of causes and consequences, and of the responsibilities implicit in the shaping of these relations. She thus engages, starting from the minutest of movements, a choreographic enquiry into broader societal questions and phenomena.
Her practice involves furthermore interdisciplinary ideas for the public space that let people ‘stumble over the art’. These projects are often very inclusive and accessible for dance artists and audiences alike and aim to broaden access to art, consciousness of the art form of dance, inspire joy and share the passion for movement.
In 2016, Elisabeth Schilling founded her company in Luxembourg, and ever since, her work has been touring, with almost 230 performances in 19 countries to date. Since 2020, the company is being supported by the Ministry for Culture Luxembourg. Elisabeth is Artist in Residence at TRIFOLION Echternach, for which she created a specifically designed program titled ‘Dancing The City‘. Since May 2022, Elisabeth is ‘Associate Artist’ at Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg.
She studied at Dr. Hoch’s Conservatoire in Frankfurt / main as well as at TrinityLaban Conservatoire of Music and Dance (BA Dance Theatre) in London and at London Contemporary Dance School (MA Contemporary Dance).
Schilling regularly dances in international productions across Europe, for example in the UK, Finland, Norway, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany. She has worked for over 35 choreographers and companies such as Scottish Dance Theatre, Sasha Waltz (Repertoire), Trisha Brown (Repertoire), Koen Augustijn (Les Ballet C de la B), Clod Ensemble, Rosemary Butcher, Theo Clinkard, Fleur Darkin, Reinhild Hoffmann, Joe Moran, Mamia Company, Anu Sistonen, Rachel Lopez de la Nieta and Dog Kennel Hill Project, Matthias Sperling, Candoco Company, Anne Simon, Pablo Bronstein, Phil Niblock, Roberto Castello, Anna Parkina, Victor Fung Dance, Quang Kien Van, Bernard Baumgarten many other art institutions like Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Southbank Centre, Sadlers Wells, Grand Théâtre de la Ville de Luxembourg, The Lowry Manchester, Wales Millenium Centre.
She furthermore participated in research projects with Damien Jalet, Judith Sánchez Ruíz, Jorge Crecis and Henri Oguike. Moreover, Elisabeth assisted Dana Caspersen (The Forsythe Company) at the event ‘UNDER | STAND’ at University of Southern California Los Angeles, as well as at the version adapted for Germany as part of Ausufern Festival 2018, Uferstudios Berlin.
Elisabeth has received numerous choreographic commissions from multiple art institutions such as museums, galleries, dance companies, black box theaters, concert halls, youth companies and festivals within diverse contexts:
Box of Life (2022), Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg
Treasured Time (2022), a group work for teenagers by Fondation EME / MUDAM Luxembourg
We all blossom in a different colour (2022) a group work for a group of amateur dancers for Philharmonie Luxembourg
All d’Déieren aus dem Bësch(2021/22) the biannual Christmas fairy tale for main stage at Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, a group work for 9 professional dancers
Invisible Dances for Pavillion Dance South West & Fusion Dance, group works for youth company and professional dancers
Oloris Oram (as part of The Dying Swan Project) by Gauthier Dance, which was also chosen to be part of the live show (2021), (winner of Mario Pasi Award, winner of Golden Prague International Television Festival, nominated for Rose d’Or Awards)
White in White (2019) a solo for Museum of Applied Art, Frankfurt / Main
Peer Gynt (2019) a group work for children for Philharmonie Luxembourg
Anthem Moves (2019) a solo for Cooper Gallery, Dundee
Two Dances for Phil Niblock (2017) a solo for Tate Gallery of Modern Art (for Tate Live) London
Desmotes (2017) a solo for Faneromeni Festival Nicosia
Pan Oscillate (2015) for WUK, Vienna, KINDL, Berlin and zeitraumexit, Mannheim (with schaitlcosta)
Tree (2015) a group work for teenage dancers for DACI Copenhagen
Zwischenzeiten, (2013) a solo for Scottish Dance Theatre Creative Learning Dundee
Grenzverschiebungen (2013) a solo for TEAK Helsinki
Unbeschriebenes Blatt (2011) a group work of dance students for International String Quartett Festival / Maritime Museum / TrinityLaban London.
Her work has been shown in institutions like Saatchi Gallery, London, Whitechapel Gallery, London, MUDAM, Luxembourg, Kunstfest Weimar, Philharmonie Luxembourg, Dag van de Dans, Brussels and The Place, London, The Byre Theatre, St. Andrews, Hunterian Art Gallery, Glasgow, Dovecot, Edinburgh, National Maritime Museum, London, Danshallerne, Copenhagen (DACI) amogst others.
Elisabeth’s current work HEAR EYES MOVE. Dances with Ligeti, co-produced by Grand Théâtre de la Ville de Luxembourg, Kunstfest Weimar and Moselmusikfestival and furthermore supported by Philharmonie Luxembourg and TROIS C-L Luxembourg choreographically interprets the 18 Etudes pour Piano by György Ligeti.
The COVID-19 inspired dance score ‘Invisible Dances: Art after Lockdown’ is currently being performed 62 times in 15 countries across the globe with over 230 creatives involved. The project was funded by Fonds Darstellender Künste, Creative Scotland, Nationales Performance Network (amongst others) and developed in partnership with Pavilion Dance South West, England, Norte Maar New York, The Byre Theatre Scotland, Eden Court Scotland to name a few.
Her work FELT (**** The Herald / The Scotsman) was created in 2019 and is currently on tour through Europe with over 20 performances in 5 countries. The work is touring a variety of venues including historic museums, white cube galleries (Hunterian Art Gallery Glasgow or Dovecot Edinburgh), black box theaters (The Byre St Andrews) and several multi-arts institutions in rural as well as urban areas. FELT is accompanied by a publication. The educational program surrounding FELT has been attended by over 250 participants of all ages to date.
Elisabeth’s work SIXFOLD toured with critical acclaim from the Shetland Islands to Cyprus with over 50 performances in 12 countries. SIXFOLD equally toured a variety of venues – from Europe’s capitals to its most rural areas. The educational program surrounding SIXFOLD has been attended by over 350 participants of all ages.
Her choreographic creations have been supported by foundations, cultural funding institutions and residencies from differenent countries (Seoul Dance Centre, Dance 4 Nottingham, TripSpace London, DanceCity Newcastle, Trois C-L Luxembourg, Kulturstiftung RLP, FOCUNA, CityMoves Aberdeen, Tanz*Hotel Vienna, Koli Residenz Helsinki, Fiskars Art Residency, Finland, WU Art Space Gothenbourg, Arbeitsplatz Vienna, Nationales Performance Netzwerk / Joint Adventures, Fonds Darstellender Künste, Performing Exchanges).
Exhibitions / Symposium / Talks / Publications:
Elisabeth co-curated the exhibition ‘Man muss das Leben tanzen. Kunst. Körper. Tanz. Wechselbeziehungen.’ (‘One Must Dance Life. Art. Body. Dance. Interrelationships.’) together with the Rhineland-Palatinate member of parliament Manfred Geis, in the Academy of Sciences and Literature Mainz. The exhibition included over 25 works by 12 artists from 9 countries and was recommended by the biggest German dance magazine TANZ next to exhibitions at the MOMA, New York and the National Portrait Gallery, London.
Elisabeth also co-curated a symposium on dance in museum and gallery spaces named ‘One Second It’s There…’ at the Hunterian Art Gallery, Glasgow, supported by The Workroom, Surf The Wave, Goethe Institute Glasgow and Creative Scotland.
Elisabeth produces and curates publications accompanying her choreographic work for which she commissioned texts by internationally recognized academics and authors. See an example HERE.
She held presentations at TEDx LuxembourgCityWomen as well as Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur, Mainz.
She furthermore joined panels at Spectra Conference Aberdeen on ‘The Value of the Artist’ and Moving Out Symposium Scotland on the Invisible Dances.
Elisabeth is regularly invited by the Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg to conduct interviews and post-performance talks, for example with Jo Ann Endicott from the Pina Bausch Company on Kontakthof or Eric Gauthier.
During Elisabeth’s participation in the exhibition “As I imagine it…. Skizzen zum Tanz” of the Karlskaserne Ludwigsburg and the KULTUR KIOSK Stuttgart, her drawing was chosen as the cover of the exhibition.
Elisabeth is particularly interested in developing diverse strategies for audience development.
Elisabeth has won several awards: she was awarded the public prize at Bolzano Danza’s annual competition 2007 for her own choreography and performance, at 2011’s Dance Umbrella Festival London, she was named ‘Young Spark’. She furthermore received a sponsorship award at AWL Mainz 2013. Most recently, Elisabeth was nominated for a Fellowship at The Centre for Ballet and the Arts / New York University and was awarded the Luxembourgish Dance Award 2021. Her work ‘HEAR EYES MOVE. Dances with Ligeti’ is nominated for an OPUS Klassik 2022.
Elisabeth Schilling has taught numerous classes and workshops in contemporary dance, ballet, improvisation and choreography for dance enthusiasts of all kinds and ages, students and professional dancers for institutions such as TROIS-CL, Luxembourg, DOCK 11, Berlin, Clod Ensemble, London, ProDance, Leeds, Anu Sistonen Dance Company, Sweetshop Revolution, London, Scottish Dance Theatre Creative Learning, Scottish Dance Theatre Young Creatives, Skolen for Moderne Dans, Copenhagen, Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Sasha Waltz & Guests Children’s Dance Company, PERA University, Cyprus, Scottish School of Contemporary Dance, London Contemporary Dance School’s Youth Company SHIFT, SEAD Salzburg, University of Plymouth, Youth Dance Birr, Ireland, Weymoth College and Shetland Arts, amongst others.
A particular focus of her pedagogical work is the integration of refugees through dance. She has organized numerous workshops in her home country.
Portrait of the choreographer – collage of selected choreographic works from 2016-2021
Portrait of the Performer – collage of selected works 2011 – 2019