|Season 1992/93||begin of collaboration with Pina Bausch|
Born in Iserlohn, Germany, in 1966, Stephan Brinkmann studied dance at Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen from 1987 to 1991, where Malou Airaudo, Jean Cébron, [Lutz Förster(/id/lutz_foerster) and Hans Züllig were among his teachers. After graduation, he spent two years as dancer and choreographer with the Folkwang Dance Studio. He began to create his own choreographies in 1988, winning several awards, including for In Wege legen and Zwischen Räumen, zwischen Fällen, at the international competition for young choreographers in Hanover. In 1992 he won the Folkwang Prize for his choreography Park. Over the years, he created pieces for Folkwang Dance Studio, Meeting Neuer Tanz, Folkwang University of the Arts, the dance department of Gymnasium Essen-Werden, Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln, Junge Triennale Bochum, Taller Nacional de Danza Costa Rica, Junges Ensemble Stuttgart and Link Dance Company in Australia.
Dancer, teacher, academic
Brinkmann joined Tanztheater Wuppertal full time in 1996, dancing with the company until 2010. He performed in several Pina Bausch repertoire pieces and was involved in the development of Nur Du(Only You), Der Fensterputzer(The window Washer), Masurca Fogo, O Dido und Wiesenland. He also took part in the films Hable con ella (Talk to Her), directed by Pedro Almodóvar, and PINA, directed by Wim Wenders. From 1999 to 2004, in parallel to his work in Wuppertal, he attended the University of Cologne, taking theatre, film and media science as well as sociology and German studies. Between 2004 and 2006 he also studied dance pedagogy at the Folkwang University of the Arts. He received his PhD from the University of Hamburg in 2012, and his dissertation on types of memory in dance, Bewegung erinnern. Gedächtnisformen im Tanz, was published in 2013.
Teacher and rehearsal director
Teaching contemporary dance from 2001 onward brought Brinkmann to many national and international institutions, e.g. the performance studies course at Hamburg University, Alanus University of Arts and Social Sciences in Bonn, Ruhr University Bochum, the dance department of Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln, Conservatorio El Barco in Costa Rica, Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts and University of Dalian in China. He taught dance to pupils at all kinds of schools and worked intensively on the youth theatre project Theater Total in Bochum. As director of training and rehearsals he worked, among other places, at Staatstheater Kassel in 2007. From 2007 to 2011 he lectured in contemporary dance at Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen, where he became professor in 2012, teaching contemporary dance (Joos–Leeder method), improvisation, contemporary dance pedagogy and choreography. Since taking up the professorship, he has paid particular attention to the work of Jean Cébron, reconstructing many of his teaching études. Brinkmann has retained his association with Tanztheater Wuppertal through his work as director of training and rehearsals. In 2012, he was involved in rehearsing the new production of Nur Du (Only You), and he and Barbara Kaufmann reconstructed the Tannhäuser Bacchanal in 2013 and an early Pina Bausch solo, PHILIPS 836 885 DSY, in 2017. Since 2018 Brinkmann has been director of the Institute of Contemporary Dance at the Folkwang University of the Arts.
Text: Norbert Servos
Translation: Rachel McNicholl