World Premiere

Next Generation


Choreographies by Alexander Abdukarimov & Pauline Voisard, Gustavo Chalub, Aurora Dickie, Shaked Heller, Theo Just, Vivian Assal Koohnavard, Ross Martinson, Clotilde Tran, Dominik White Slavkovský

Nine choreographies by ten dancers of the Staatsballett Berlin will premiere at the Tischlerei of the Deutsche Oper Berlin. Within the framework of the Next Generation format, the ensemble members switch roles from dancers to creators. They are not merely passive in their development. They are responsible not only for choreography but also for music selection, stage design, lighting and costume design, as well as projections and props used on stage. The works of Gustavo Chalub, Aurora Dickie, Shaked Heller, Theo Just, Vivian Assal Koohnavard, Ross Martinson, Clotilde Tran, Pauline Voisard & Alexander Abdukarimov, and Dominik White Slavkovský will be showcased.

Newcomers who are presenting their own choreography for the first time, as well as experienced choreographers and a collaborative effort between two ensemble members, are part of the lineup. Intimate solos and several pas de deux alternate with pieces for five, six, or eight dancers. Performances take place amidst inflatable plastic flamingos, on two tattoo chairs, surrounded by light paintings, or against minimalist designs, en pointe or barefoot. Acoustically, the range spans from live piano accompaniment with music by Franz Schubert to electro-pop, electronic music, and live spoken word. Thematically, abstract works, as well as political or philosophical inquiries, are explored, leading to surreal scenarios.

Videos / Trailer

No further performances this season.


Deutsche Oper Berlin | Tischlerei

«Listen to the sound of the waves
it will remind you of a place
where we all belong»


As we divide ourselves into micro-communities during these difficult times the world is going through, hope lies for the potential in art to bring people from different horizons together and stop time for a moment. Don't we all come from the same place, where life originated, water?

théo just, H2O

«On ne naît pas femme, on le devient.»

«One is not born but becomes a woman.»

Simone de Beauvoir


For a complete metamorphosis of a butterfly, there are a few transformations and stages it has to go through. With one beat of the butterflies wings, it contracts its whole body and creates a slanted figure eight pattern. This motion is used as a metaphorical term within chaos theory to explain how big events are influenced by smaller actions.

Parvaneh, the persian word for butterfly, is a common name for women in Iran. This piece is dedicated to the lost lives of the brave women who spoke out for their rights in Iran. In willing to sacrifice their lives to fight for their liberation, to be a free woman. May their souls be free and their voices still heard.

Vivian Assal Koohnavard, Parvaneh

«The frequency of repetition is not always obvious, but frequently the frequency is evident. Frequently the frequency is silent, and too frequently the frequency is lost.»

Ross Martinson, the Frequency

Phoenicopterus (Latin for flamingo): find their partners by dancing. What happens if they were to meet the most dangerous species of them all?

Dominik White Slavkovksy, Phoenicopterus

The piece is based on the idea that one's self can shatter into different pieces due to an unspeakable traumatic event. This compartmentalisation works as a coping mechanism for trauma survivors. The stage design was built to support this concept. These fragments are an important part of the narrative: breaking down the storyline into little snippets that were being reassembled in a different order these created connections, which may not have existed in the first place.

Clotilde Tran, Fragments

This was my first venture into choreography, and it’s been quite an eye-opener. Being on the other side of the creative process has deepened my appreciation for the meticulous orchestration required to bring a vision to life. Initially, I set out to create an abstract piece exploring the various facets and emotions of love. However, as I immersed myself in the process, a narrative began to unfold organically, while I fell in love with the music.

Gustavo Chalub, Different Kinds of Love

9 choreographers and 1000 ideas

Dancers of the company develop their own choreographies.

Nine dancers from the Staatsballett Berlin will present their own choreographies as part of the production Next Generation in May 2024 at the Tischlerei of the Deutsche Oper Berlin. What will the future of dance look like? From threats to flamingos to a dance on the tattoo chair to political themes like women's rights and climate change.

The atmosphere is relaxed in the scenery magazine of the Deutsche Oper Berlin on a Monday in December. Here, where the sets for all current productions are stored, nine dancers from the Staatsballett have gathered for a quick group photo. They all want to present their own choreographies as part of the Next Generation production. The ideas are still mainly brewing in their minds. However, initial rehearsals are already underway whenever the tight rehearsal schedule allows. Among them are newcomers who are stepping into the role of choreographer for the first time, as well as «old hands» who have already developed several works and have also presented works on major stages at home or abroad.

Gustavo Chalub is one of those developing his own work for the first time. «I have danced in three companies now, in works by so many different choreographers, that I have developed a desire to choreograph something of my own.» The Brazilian received his ballet training at the Académie de Danse Princesse Grace in Monaco and then danced with the Ballett Zurich and the Semperoper Ballett. His compatriot Aurora Dickie is also venturing into the unknown for the first time and wants to use the opportunity to find out if this profession might also be an option for life after her active dancing career. «This is the best opportunity to try out whether this is something that suits me and would also be something for me in the future. But since it's the first time for me, I have to see how the process feels and just try it out.»

But how do you begin to develop a choreography? Everyone has their own approach. Clotilde Tran loves the beginning of this process the most. «Developing a concept, writing something, imagining the different elements, I really like that.» This time even more so, because she is working with her partner. «He is a set designer and now also responsible for my set and the lighting, I am particularly looking forward to that.» Collaborations with different artists are also an important part of the working process and the artistic result for Vivian Assal Koohnavard. «I want to invite other artists into this institution and our Staatsballett world to develop something interesting together.» She engages with a theme that has been the starting point for previous works: the situation of women in Iran, their rights, and their struggles.

Political and societal issues also motivate other ensemble members to develop their own works. Frenchman Théo Just explores the theme of ‹water›. «I love this element and the quality of movement it can bring. Since humans are mainly made of water, it is something that unites us all. Considering how many crises are currently driving people apart in the world, I want to create art with my choreography that brings people together and reminds them of their common origin.» And even new technologies are not stopping at the ballet world, leading to different types of choreography. Alexander Abdukarimov has been dealing with this for some time. In September 2020, he presented the work «Control Shift», which used a digital wristband with which the dancers could «compose» the music and control lighting effects. «I am working with this technology again, but it is much more advanced now, so I can delve even deeper into the sequences of movements. I have invested five years in developing this type of choreography.»

And what happens when you are in the studio for the first time? Ross Martinson has developed four solo works so far and knows this moment well. «I work a lot with improvisation. I start with the text, I speak it and see which gestures naturally emerge. These small gestures are then amplified, and I build the movements on them.» The Briton combines spoken word with dance in his works. Now he is working with four dancers for the first time and is curious how their individual expressions will influence his work. Shaked Heller also wants to expand a solo work into a choreography for two dancers. He deals with his own difficult birth through dance, but since he is a twin, he wanted to open up the choreography to another dancer. Additionally, two special protagonists are of importance: two tattoo chairs, whose limbs are movable and with which the dancers interact. «Working on this choreography is unfamiliar to me because I am working with objects. I have never created something for a person and an object before. It's almost like working with four bodies.»

So the choreographers are not only responsible for the dance but also for set design, lighting, and costumes. For this, each ensemble member can go to the stock of the Deutsche Oper and use sets or costumes from past productions. Dominik White Slavkovský can make good use of this because he loves it colorful and surreal: «Sometimes the reality of climate change seems to me like a horror movie: everyone knows who the murderer is, but no one does anything. My piece draws a parallel to this. It's called Phoenicopterus, which means flamingo in Latin. A group of these endangered species receives phone calls from a murderer who wants to kill them. It's satire, but it's also real! Besides, I love Pop Art, so I'm most looking forward to going to the stock and rummaging through the old costumes. I'm sure twelve dancers in pink pointe shoes will make great flamingos!»

Like every production, the young choreographers are supported by the Staatsballett team with questions about music, dramaturgy, and budget planning. In addition to answering questions about concrete implementation, Mathias Hofmann, Technical Production Manager at the Staatsballett, is also available to assist the creators with advice and assistance. «The biggest challenge for me is to accompany the choreographers in their creative process and to show ways in which the diverse and sometimes crazy ideas can be translated into a feasible and convincing evening for everyone.» Which light will make the flamingo costumes shine even brighter? Is water allowed on stage and where can you get two cheap tattoo chairs? For the subsequent technical implementation of nine artistic concepts, Steffen Hoppe, Technical Director of the Tischlerei, gives his all: «I have accompanied several evenings with young choreographers. This is always a challenge because there are many short works with the most diverse settings. But ultimately, we can implement most wishes, and great productions emerge.»

From abstract and theoretical to narrative and quirky: at the Next Generation evening, the young choreographers show the range of the future of dance. And it is as diverse as life itself.

Quoted from the Ballet Paper No. 2, author: Corinna Erlebach