Modjgan Hashemian


“Urgency is what inspires me and gets me moving – creating space for the individual by movement, whether in a political system that chokes its citizens or building bridges via the body, crossing boundaries by entering taboo zones.”

MOVE IN PATTERNS / © Wolfgang Hilse HartwigDon't Move / © Lutz KnospeDon't Move / © Isabel Robson



As a child, Modjgan Hashemian traced the floral patterns on her grandmother’s carpet with her feet, wild and fancy-free. Delicate ornamental foot and hand gestures are still the spice in her multimedia theatre language. But the physical movement between dance, film and music is bursting with explosive political force. Modjgan Hashemian sees herself as a dance activist. She draws her energies from two worlds: born in Berlin, she switched cultures and languages four times in her childhood before settling with her family in Berlin in 1980, after the Iranian revolution. Tehran became the city of her dreams. Dance provided relief from her entrapment with the wrong language in the wrong place. Dance became her universal language, her (vital) elixir of life and her shelter. On stage, she breathes a sigh of relief – and helps others to do the same.
Her choreographies tell poetically of what is happening to Iranians, what constrains, burdens, shackles them: the ban on dancing, traces of oppression, censorship, flight and yearning. Ballhaus Naunynstrasse, supporter of post-migrant artists, has helped to bring her pieces to life. In “MOVE IN PATTERNS” and “DON’T MOVE” she found outlets for investigating what it is that makes the moving body so threatening. “IN MOTION”, a duet with Kaveh Ghaemi, filters the painful process of his application for asylum. Inspired by Israeli and Iranian initiatives to express mutual love, amid fears of nuclear war, she brings dancers from these two countries together in “I love I”, where they let their physical differences, prejudices, analogies, fears and hopes bounce off each other.
Irene Sieben

I love I (2013)
4 performers, stage 12 x 9,50 m, 50 min

IN MOTION (2012)
2 performers, stage 12 x 10 m, hight of lights 6 m, 50 min

DON’T MOVE (2011)
4 performers, stage 12 x 10,20 m, 60 min



Modjgan Hashemian completed her training as a choreographer at the Hochschule für Schauspielkunst Ernst Busch in Berlin, the city of her birth. Confronting her Iranian roots and political contextualisation are the basic components of her work. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, she intertwines artistic multilingualism with her own biography. Since 2009 she has been presenting her pieces in cooperation with the Ballhaus Naunynstraße, where “MOVE IN PATTERNS”, “DON’T MOVE”, “IN MOTION” and “I love I” were premiered. Her works have been shown in dance and theatre studies contexts at the Freie Universität Berlin, in Munich and the K3 – Centre for Choreography in Hamburg. She has given guest performances in Istanbul, Cologne, Heilbronn and Romania.