Helge Letonja thinks big, but never over and beyond a human being to the extent that they are no longer recognisable. Quite the opposite. He discovers so many possibilities, so many stories and movements, on both a small as well as a large scale. It is not a matter of complete actions or conditions, instead he sees the changeability, the mutability, which is why he is a choreographer. He works with dancers and with themes, always as a searcher, because what he already knows is not enough. Nevertheless, he has been choreographing for more than 20 years, an activity that led him away from the tradition of dance theatre into the realm of contemporary dance; here he has developed his own dance vocabulary for steptext dance project in Bremen, far away from cliché and comfort. After a trilogy about light and dark expressions of beauty, he began examining today’s flight and migration movements in a series of group works entitled DisPLACING Future, which repeat timeless moments of being driven out and lost, of becoming a stranger and of recognition, of isolation and group pressure. It seems essentially logical that Letonja began his working life with an intercontinental ensemble of dancers and looked at the reality of life far from Europe, in Africa. In Homeland and BOXOM he created an impossible balance: giving different perspectives to space, dance, time, also to beauty, bitterness and wit, so that a mixed climate is created out of heat and cold, and a whole number of colours shine out between black and white.
Helge Letonja is a dancer, choreographer, artistic director and festival curator, and is at home in many forms of dance. After several international engagements, he founded steptext dance project, a platform for production and presentation for contemporary dance in Bremen that will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2016. For his trilogy DisPLACING Future (2011-13), he received a concept grant from the Fonds Darstellende Künste. In 2011/12, he realised the European/African project HOME 52° 30’ N 13° 23’ E ELEV 37 m, which was supported by the German Federal Cultural Foundation. His most recent dance piece, BOXOM, was created in 2014 in the context of the AFRICTIONS – captured by dance festival. In 2016 he will premiere Zwei Giraffen tanzen Tango – Bremer Schritte at the Bremen Theatre.