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Statements by Johannes Öhman and Sasha Waltz on the termination of the directorship of the Staatsballett Berlin

Johannes Öhman and Sasha Waltz announced this morning:

»Before Christmas, I was offered the position as the Artistic and Managing Director at - the house of dance - in Stockholm. After researching myself and carefully thinking about the responsibilities for my work as well as the responsibilities I have in my private situation, I decided to accept the offer from Sweden. I made this decision on my own with no involvement of anyone.

Since 2016 Sasha and myself have been a tight team and we are very proud of what Staatsballett has achieved. Until January 2021 I will still be in office and both of us are very much looking forward to our upcoming premieres and future collaborations. 

After informing the company about the developments, there have been two meetings with the ensemble and staff - one with Dr. Lederer and one without him – to hear all the concerns and to answer any questions within the company. The process that now follows has only just started, but we have laid the groundwork for a constructive and transparent procedure to ensure the wellbeing and artistic future of Staatsballett.« Johannes Öhman

»The concept of a broadly based program between classical and modern dance is already evident in our first two seasons. We see an enthusiastic audience and a motivated, excellent ensemble. We have initiated a transformation that is beginning to bear fruit. Yes, our appointment in 2016 was controversial. But last year's occupancy figures were above average. It shows that our model is certainly forward-looking. Classical and contemporary dancers will continue to work at Staatsballett. The coming 20/21 season is firmly planned and will be presented to the public by Johannes Öhman and myself on 4 March.

Our joint directorship will be terminated as one of the partners has independently decided to leave.
The departure of Johannes Öhman came at very short notice and unexpectedly and I regret his decision.

I don't see that under these new conditions a sole artistic direction would make sense on my part.
In 2016, I agreed to take on a leadership role, but only with a partner who represents the classical heritage and who will allow me to continue working as a choreographer. Out of a sense of responsibility for the future of the company and the needs of this complex structure, I am making my office available.

I have been taken by surprise by the events and could no longer influence the timing of the dissolution of our directorship. Events have turned upside down. In my responsibility to Staatsballett, I will make a decision on the end of my term of office in peace and without time pressure.« Sasha Waltz