Raimund Hoghe

©Rosa Frank

Raimund Hoghe was born in Wuppertal and began his career by writing portraits of outsiders and celebrities for the German weekly newspaper "Die Zeit". These were later compiled in several books. From 1980 to 1989 he worked as dramaturge for Pina Bausch's Tanztheater Wuppertal which also became the subject matter for two more books. Since 1989 he has been working on his own theatre pieces for various dancers and actors. 1992 started his collaboration with the artist Luca Giacomo Schulte, who is till now his artistic collaborator. In 1994 he produced his first solo for himself, "Meinwärts", which together with the subsequent "Chambre séparée" (1997) and "Another Dream" (2000) made up a trilogy on the 20th century.
Hoghe frequently works for television on projects such as "La jeunesse est dans la tête" for ARTE (2016), "Lebensträume" (ZDF/3sat 1994) and 1997 "Der Buckel", a hour-long self portrait for WDR. His books have been translated into several languages and he has presented his performances all over Europe, as well as in North and South America, Asia and Australia. He has been awarded several prizes including the "Deutscher Produzentenpreis für Choreografie" in 2001, the French Prix de la Critique in 2006 for "Swan Lake, 4 Acts" (in the category "Best Foreign Piece"). Critics from the magazin ballet-tanz awarded him "Dancer of the Year" for 2008. In 2019, The French Cultural Ministry appointed Raimund Hoghe “Officier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres”. He received the award in recognition of his "significant contributions to the cultural cooperation between Germany and France". In October 2020, he received the German Dance Award, Germany's most prestigious award for choreographers. Books about his theatre works were published in France, Germany, Great Britain and the United States. Raimund Hoghe lived in Düsseldorf and died unexpectedly in his sleep on 14th May 2021, at the age of 72.

Pier Paolo Pasolini wrote of throwing the body into the fight. These words inspired me to go on stage. Other inspirations are the reality around me, the time in which I live, my memories of history, people, images, feelings and the power and beauty of music and the confrontation with one's own body which, in my case, does not correspond with conventional ideals of beauty. To see bodies on stage that do not comply with the norm is important - not only with regard to history but also with regard to present developments, which are leading humans to the status of design objects. On the question of success: it is important to be able to work and to go your own way - with or without success. I simply do what I have to do.

Raimund Hoghe

In his first solo, "Meinwärts" (1994) Raimund Hoghe looked at the life and work of Jewish tenor Joseph Schmidt in the 1940s. "Chambre separée" dealt with his childhood in the Germany of both the economic miracle and persistent shadows thrown by the Nazi past. "Another Dream" is all about the sixties' mood of awakening. Raimund Hoghe's Tanztheater manages to be explicitly political without neglecting form. The ritual severity of Japanese theatre combines with American performance art, German expressionism and his own interest in human feelings and socio-political states to create his minimalist pieces. Short anecdotal texts highlight the contradictions of the time and the big, little yearnings that keep people going. The scenes' action is always presented in abstraction while the emotion is contained only in popular songs, carefully selected by Hoghe according to subject-matter and period. He formulates his memories so that the historic events are called to mind through subjective and purely private moments. His body, that due to his hump does not correspond with society's norm, holds a place for us all and our personal memories. He opens up spaces between things, words and songs for personal reminiscences and affective moments. They are moments for reflection but also for laughter.

Gerald Siegmund

"… a concentrate of meditative calm and dance poetry!"
„Musiques et mots pour Emmanuel“ at Festival Move! in Krefeld
Bettina Trouwborst
Tanzweb, 2017

"Concentrated humanity"
The choreographer Raimund Hoghe
Esther Boldt
Tanz Land NRW, Positions on Contemporary Dance in North Rhine-Westphalia, Verlag Theater der Zeit, 2014

"Dancing the sublime: Raimund Hoghe in conversation with Bonnie Marranca"
Bonnie Marranca
PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art, May/2010

"In Dangerous Proximity"
Jadwiga Majewska
Didaskalia Gazeta Teatralna 92/93, 2009

"The Art of Collage"
Mary Kate Connolly
Dance Theatre Journal 2/2009

"An Audience with the Other: The Reciprocal Gaze of Raimund Hoghe's Theatre"
Mary Kate Connolly
Forum Modernes Theater, 1/2008

"The Poised Disturbances of Raimund Hoghe"
Dominic Johnson
Dance Theatre Journal 2/2005

"Sacre - The Rite of Spring"
Ramsay Burt
Ballet-Dance/CriticalDance Forum, 2005

"An uncommon honesty"
Ramsay Burt
Ballet-Dance Magazine, February 2005

"Raimund Hoghe and the Art of Ritual Substitution"
Gerald Siegmund
Lecture at Kaaitheater, 2004

Katja Werner
Dance Europe, December 2003

"Focus Raimund Hoghe"
Marianne van Kerkhoven
Kaaitheater, September/October 2002

"A view of the stars through a pair of red binoculars"
Gerald Siegmund
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 2001

"'Chambre Séparée' - a room behind the curtains"
Camilla Eeg
New York University, 2001

"Stream of Images"
Helmut Ploebst
Falter, 2000

"I remember"
Text of the performance 'Another Dream'
Raimund Hoghe

Text of the performance
Raimund Hoghe