Born in April 1943 in Bonn, the photographer began her career working for Deutsche Lufthansa AG prior to becoming the assistant of Prof. Otto Steinert at the Folkwang University for Design in Essen in 1969/70. She studied photography and photojournalism with Steinert in 1971 and graduated in 1976. Her thesis was focused on off-theatre companies in Europe. After completing her degree, she worked as a freelance photographer while pursuing a second degree in Theatre and German Studies.
In 1976 she began photographing the performances of Tanztheater Wuppertal, work she continued up until her death. She characterised herself as more of a theatre- than a dance photographer. It might have been for this very reason that she had a sensibility that allowed her to photograph the work of Pina Bausch: cautious and precise at the same time. She understood and was able to capture Tanztheater’s aesthetics and emotionality. Her perspective never dominated. She tried to make the pieces accessible from within.
Pina Bausch valued her work and she remained an important contributor to the Tanztheater. Ulli Weiss helped shape a visual identity for Tanztheater for nearly forty years, contributing to almost all publications of Tanztheater – festival catalogues, book publications and programmes. Ulli Weiss died in Wuppertal in early July.
Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch and the Pina Bausch Foundation mourn for a long-time colleague and important companion.