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South African Performance Artist Teaches at Freie Universität

Choreographer Robyn Orlin Is Valeska Gert Visiting Professor during 2015 Summer Semester / First Event on April 29 at Academy of Arts

№ 110/2015 from Apr 24, 2015

The South African choreographer Robyn Orlin will be working with students in the master's program in dance studies at Freie Universität Berlin during the 2015 summer semester. In the opening event on April 29, 2015, to take place in the Academy of Arts, the artist will give an impression of her work and will present her film, "Beautées, cachées, sales histoire." As the Valeska Gert Visiting Professor during the summer semester, Orlin will explore her artistic endeavors with different cultural concepts. In her work with the students, she intends to draw first on their experiences with their own and other cultures and then guide them in using these impressions as the foundation for developing their own forms of representation. Their results will be presented on July 12, 2015, in the Academy of Arts. Both events are open to the public, and admission is free.

Robyn Orlin was born in Johannesburg and currently lives in Berlin. For years she has been exploring the social issues of her home country in her City Theater and Dance Group. Orlin studied dance at the Contemporary Dance School in London, and as of 1993 she worked as a choreographer in South Africa on issues such as apartheid and postcolonialism. Her breakthrough came in 1998 with the piece "Daddy, I’ve seen this piece six times before and I still don’t know why they’re hurting each other." She won the Lawrence Olivier Award, the most important British theater award. She has also received numerous other awards and honors, including the fourth-highest Order of Merit of the French National Order of Merit.

Much of Orlin's inspiration for her later productions has also come from her native South Africa. The productions include "We must eat our suckers with the wrappers on" (2002), "Walking next to our shoes" (2009), and "Beauty stayed just for a moment and then returned to her start position" (2013). She has conducted numerous national and international choreography workshops – for example, in Japan, Greece, and Germany – and is the founder of the dance section of the Federated Union of Black Artists.

The Valeska Gert Visiting Professprship is held in cooperation with the German Academic Exchange Service and the Academy of Arts.

Time and Location

Opening Event

  • Wednesday, April 29, 2015, 7 p.m.
  • Academy of Arts, Club Room, Hanseatenweg 10, 10557 Berlin; subway station: Hansaplatz (U9)

Concluding Event

  • Sunday, July 12, 2015, 6 p.m.
  • Academy of Arts, Hanseatenweg 10, 10557 Berlin; subway station: Hansaplatz (U9)

Further Information

Dr. Isa Wortelkamp, Junior Professor, Institute of Theater Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, Tel.: +49 30 83850348; Email:

Link to Further Information