Michael Banzhaf


Michael Banzhaf was born in Friedrichshafen on Lake Constance and received his ballet training at the Heinz-Bosl-Foundation/University of Music in Munich under Professor Konstanze Vernon.

In 1998, he was engaged by the Ballet of the Deutsche Staatsoper, where early in his career, he danced lead roles such as the Prince in Patrice Bart's The Nutcracker or the Firebird in Uwe Scholz's ballet of the same name. After the establishment of the Staatsballett Berlin, Michael Banzhaf was appointed as a solo dancer in 2005 by the then artistic director Vladimir Malakhov.

Remaining loyal to the ensemble for 19 years, Michael Banzhaf embodied numerous leading roles, including the title roles in Boris Eifman's Tschaikowsky or Mauro Bigonzetti's Caravaggio. With his portrayal of Lenski in Cranko's Onegin, the Prince in Angelin Preljocaj's Snow White, or Carabosse in Sleeping Beauty, in the version by Vladimir Malakhov and Nacho Duato, Michael Banzhaf achieved great success. Maurice Bejart cast him as Siegfried in the acclaimed revival of his masterpiece Ring um den Ring with the Staatsballett Berlin in 2004.

Michael Banzhaf collaborated with many outstanding choreographers, including William Forsythe, Nacho Duato, Jiri Kylian, Itzik Gallili, Christian Spuck, Peter Schaufuss, and Patrice Bart.

For his artistic achievements, he won the Daphne Prize of the Berlin Theatergemeinde in 2007 and was appointed Berlin Chamber Dancer by the Berlin Senate in 2017.

After retiring from the stage, Michael Banzhaf worked under the artistic direction of Stefanie Carp during the 2018 season as Artistic Production Manager and staff member of the production office at the Ruhrtriennale. He produced theater and dance productions by Mariano Pensotti and Serge Aimé Coulibaly, as well as the contemporary concert series MaschinnHausMusik at the Maschinenhaus der Zeche Carl in Essen.

From the fall of 2018 until the summer of 2022, Michael Banzhaf served as the personal assistant to the artistic director Barrie Kosky at the Komische Oper Berlin.

After returning to the Staatsballett Berlin in the fall of 2022, he initially worked as a consultant for the designated artistic director Christian Spuck and has been leading the artistic operations since the beginning of the 2023/24 season.