‘Whoever speaks with Elisabeth Schilling immediately shares her passion for her profession, which is much more of a vocation. When she says: “Dance is my life”, this does not have the slightest hint of self-empowering pathos. It is rather a clear statement, the very natural location of her existence, where she has always seen herself.’
Eva-Maria Reuther
Last week a portrait of Elisabeth by the journalist Eva-Maria Reuther was published in the Tierischer Volksfreund:

Full article in German HERE.

Photo: Stefio Ceccon


Freely translated to English by E.Schilling:


Eyes, ears and movement

By Eva-Maria Reuther

05th August 2020

“One, two, three, four – Elisabeth Schilling rehearses György Ligeti’s “Études pour piano” with her dancers. She will perform three of the 18 piano pieces by the Hungarian with her company at the Moselle Music Festival this weekend in the former abbey church of St. Maximin in Trier. The three Etudes are a small excerpt of a large project. As a co-production “Hear, eyes, move” of the Grand Théâtre Luxembourg, the Moselmusik Festival and the Weimar Art Festival, the dancer and choreographer is working with her international team on a choreography of the complete work. The etudes of the composer, who was born in 1923 and fled to the West in 1956 and died in Vienna in 2006, are regarded as both highly complex and virtuoso. A huge challenge, but nevertheless a dream job for someone who, like Schilling, says: “I am interested in the manifold body”.  This can unfold perfectly in Ligeti’s composition, in order to express in movement and gesture what is inherent in the Hungarian’s late “summit work” in terms of energies, diverse rhythms and multi-layered textures.

“I am interested in the different perspectives on the body,” explains Schilling. In her Ligeti choreography, it is the symbiosis of music and movement that makes such new perspective approaches and forms possible.

The choreographer describes her first encounter with the music of the modern classic as a “life-giving moment”. “I listened to Ligeti, and the music stood before my eyes as if drawn. The fascination has not diminished to this day. Just as little as that of dance.

Anyone who talks to Elisabeth Schilling immediately shares her passion for her profession, which is much more of a vocation. When she says: “Dance is my life”, this does not have the slightest hint of self-empowering pathos. It is rather a clear statement, the very natural location of her existence, where she has always seen herself. “I wanted to dance ever since I was a little child,” the choreographer recalls. “An inner voice told me I had to become a dancer.”

After her first ballet lessons, she completed her professional training whilst finishing her Abitur, first in Frankfurt, then at the TrinityLaban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London and at the renowned London Contemporary Dance School. In the meantime, the artist, who was born in 1988 and grew up in Wittlich, has a remarkable biography of Deborah Hay, the American icon of postmodern as well as experimental dance, among her great role models. The names of the more than 30 international companies and choreographers she has worked for so far read like a tour d`horizon through contemporary dance positions. Among them are repertoires of Sasha Waltz, Reinhild Hoffmann and Trisha Brown. But there are also art venues with cult status, such as Tate Modern and Tate Britain in London.

The cosmopolitan artist is not only on the road to dance and choreography. Her educational commitment is also remarkable. “I want to open up the audience to dance and promote awareness of it,” explains Schilling. In doing so, she focuses on interaction and discussions with the audience.

The artist also benefits from her joy in experimentation, which also drives her choreographic work time and again. With Ligeti’s “Etudes”, Schilling has turned to a work that stands in the long tradition of piano etudes, such as those of Chopin, and continues it in a contemporary way. The choreographer has long been involved with the work, reading secondary literature, tracing the history of reception, and delving into the life of the composer. Because this is also one of her working principles: “Research is very important to me as preparation”.

The rehearsal continues. Elisabeth Schilling now looks at the movements from a different perspective. After all, it is also clear that with Ligeti’s Etudes, the perspectives are almost limitless.


Elisabeth & Company are in residence at the Moselmusikfestival in St. Maximin, Trier this summer.

Within this residency Elisabeth will work on the new piece HEAR EYES MOVE. Dances with Ligeti.

We are excited to announce the creation of a new work


Dances with Ligeti

to premiere on
16th / 17th December 2020
Grand Théâtre de la Ville de Luxembourg.

Elisabeth Schilling will, together with five dancers and pianist Cathy Krier, present an unprecedented choreographic interpretation of the virtuoso Etudes pour Piano by renowned composer György Ligeti.This creation is co-produced by Grand Théâtre de la Ville de Luxembourg, Kunstfest Weimar and Moselmusikfestival and furthermore supported by Philharmonie Luxembourg, TROIS C-L Luxembourg amongst others.

The Hand Wash Dance humorously engages an everyday skill that suddenly took centre stage during the Covid-19 pandemic. Drawing on a number of medical and instructional videos, the choreography seeks to bring a little more fun to an individual exercise in hygiene that still helps save lives.

The Hand Wash Dance is part of a a competition launched by the TROIS C-L Luxembourg.

Check the whole video  and vote for us HERE!

Elisabeth will be speaking at MOVING OUT Symposium as part of Surge Festival Scotland, Saturday 4th July to introduce her newest idea:

INVISIBLE DANCES: Art after Lockdown

– a new work touring from summer onwards. This freshly developed, unusual format of presenting and touring dance responds directly to and respects all current restrictions and medicinal measurements, is highly cost efficient, creative and brings art and dance back to the heart of our and your local communities. Get in touch for more info!

Graphics by  Annick Kieffer / StudioPolenta.

Last year Elisabeth participated in the making of an art film named ‘Nympaea Alba’ with artists Yvette Bathgate, Abby Beatrice, Aymee Jo Charlton.

Funded by Aberdeen City Council and premiered in November 2021 at Anatomy Rooms Aberdeen.





#Portrait I Elisabeth Schilling, dancer and choreographer: “Research is the ‘scaffolding’ for every artist.”

#szenikmag introduces the enthusiastic and very interesting dancer and choreographer Elisabeth Schilling. Together we will talk about her beginnings, contemporary dance and the important relationship to the audience.
Seized by the fever for dance from childhood on, dancer and choreographer Elisabeth Schilling tirelessly draws from her wealth of ideas and thoughts. In this way, she creates works that transcend borders and areas, and which repeatedly deal with the contact to the audience.

In workshops and conferences, she tries to reflect something of her passion for dance and to stimulate curiosity.

“We have to give the audience back the self-confidence that every individual perception of any form of art is right and great”.

E. Schilling

Whole video interview here:


‘Wou der Elisabeth Schilling de Schong dréckt’

The radio interview with Luxembourgish radio 100,7 is now online:


Invited by Boston Dance Theatre, Elisabeth will offer an online Masterclass for everyone on 18th April 2020 over Zoom.

More information HERE.