Karen Boesser lives and works in Düsseldorf, Germany

Dance Education

1996 – 1998  Cunningham Studio / New York City / USA
1997 – 1999  Simonson Technique with Lynn Simonson / Dance Space Inc. / NYC/USA / Teacher for Simonson Technique
1998 – 1999  Checcetti Ballett with Janet Panetta / NYC/USA
Since   1994  Contemporary Dance with Howard Katz 
Since   1990  Contemporary Dance and Contact Improvisation with Frey Faust

Residency / Invitations / Grants

2019   Heinrich scholarships for dance / performance and choreography“ art-blue dance Werkstatt Brunswick /  Lower Saxony
-          Initial Funding / Fonds Darstellende Künste, Recherche Project: The fourth sense: Exaltation,Trance and Ecstasy / Supported by
           Fonds Darstellende Künste with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.
2018   NRW research programme "Tanzrecherche NRW #23“ / a collaboration between Melanie Maar and Karen Bößer / Co-Producers:
            FFT Düsseldorf / Funders and Supporters: NRW KULTURsekretariat
2017   CETDT Project / Learning Mobility of Individuals / Erasmus Grant / Echodrama Cultural Group + TFF gUG / Skiathos, Greece
-          Onomato / working grant / Düsseldorf
2014   Artist in residence / Glasshouse NYC
2012   Engage the city / Artist Exchange Project in Bucharest / Rumania
2012   Nasibu / Performance Project in Kampala / Uganda
2010   One Night Dance / Residence Dansatelier Rotterdam / Netherland
2007   Summer Residency / tanzhaus nrw / Düsseldorf
2003   Artist exchange Ein Hod / Israel / through the Department of Cultural Affairs, Düsseldorf 
2003   8th International Hot Summer Dance Festival Kyoto / Japan / Student Exchange Project of Frey Faust
2003   Artist exchange Ein Hod / Israel / through the Department of Cultural Affairs, Düsseldorf 


2018             Lecture about: fremdbewegt -  Ecstasy and Society at the Protestant University of Applied Sciences / Bochum
2009             Symposium: Art as a learning Environment / Carl Montag Foundation / Bonn
2007/08        Project: Artists in school / Collaboration witht the Department of Cultural Affairs, Düsseldorf / Forum Freies Theater, Düsseldorf
2006             Project: Artists in school / through the Cultural Department of Düsseldorf 
2005             University Opole / Gymnasium Prudnik / Poland through the Carl Richard Montag Foundation / Bonn
Since 2003   Workshops in Contemporary Dance at: Müegyetem, Budapest / Catìs, Istanbul / Kampnagel, Hamburg /
                     Tanzfabrik, Berlin / Dock11, Berlin / Tuchfabrik, Trier / High School, Staten Island, USA


1994   Obwohl aber immer auch.... / 2. Prize: Tanzfestival Ruhr / NRW / Choreography: Karen Boesser, Ulla Hillebrecht, Andrea Zwicker /
            Performanced at: Kölner Tanztagen, Witten / Werstatt e.V. Düsseldorf

Company work

Ballet for Young Audience / NYC, Urban Art Tribe Multimedia Performance / NYC, Healing Theatre / Köln / Schauspielhaus Leipzig, Arma`Theatre / Israel, tatraum projekte SchmidT / Düsseldorf, as well as with Howard Katz, Frey Faust, Elaine Shipman, Felix Ruckert, Hans-Peter Jahn, Ormand Performance und Dyane Neiman. 

Choreography / Dance

2020 The Other Reason - Exaltation. Trance. Ecstasy / An installative Performance by Bößer & Szörenyi
Artistic Direction, Choreography, Performance: Karen Bößer / Mixed-media, performance: Beatrix Szörényi / Dramaturgy: Lise Brenner / Music | Performance: Thomas Klein / Installation: D.D.Hennig / Bößer & Szörenyi / Management: Petra Prahl / Project management: Jacqueline Friedrich / Documentation: Susanne Diesner / Produktion: karen-boesser-projects / Weltkunstzimmer, Düsseldorf

2018   Pieces of Manifesto
Artistic Direction, Choreographie, Performance: Karen Bößer / Artistic Direction, Mixed-Media, Performance: Beatrix Szörenyi / Dramaturgy: Lise Brenner / Documentation: Susanne Diesner / Project Management: Anna Mareen Henke / Management: Béla Bisom / Co-Production with Forum Freies Theater Düsseldorf / In Cooperation with Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg / Trafó House of contemporary arts, Budapest / Goethe Intitut, Budapest / DIXON PLACE NYC 

2017   BASICS*
Artistic Direction, Choreographie: Karen Boesser; Dance / Performance: Damian Gmür, Neus Barcons Roca; Stagedesign: Dirk Dietrich Hennig, Soundcollage: Ansgar Tappert; Light-Architect: Hinrich Gross; Costum / Documentation: Beatrix Szörenyi; Dramaturgy: Lise Brenner; Production Manager: Karolin Henze, Co-Production with Forum Freies Theater, Düsseldorf

2015   I kill-ill You
Artistic Direction / Choreographie: Karen Boesser, Dance / Performance: Karen Boesser, Kyungwoo Kwon, Soundcollage: Ansgar Tappert, Stagedesign: Dirk Dietrich Hennig, Dramaturgy: Lise Brenner, Production Assistance: Kathrin Spaniol, Video documentation: Beatrix
Szörenyi. Co-Production with Forum Freies Theater, Düsseldorf

2013 / 2014   Heimspiel
A Coloboration work between Karen Boesser, Gudrun Lange, Kathrin Spaniol / Dancer: Performer and Dancer of the Freie Szene Düsseldorf / Cologne / Co produced by Made in Düsseldorf, Feuerwache Köln, tanzpunkt.köln

2013   InFormAtion
Choreography: Karen Boesser, Dance: Maaike van de Westeringh, Karen Boesser, Visual Art / Stagedesign: Dirk Dietrich Hennig, Music: Ansgar Tappert, Light-Architect: Hinrich Gross, Coach: Marie Goeminne, Artistic Director: Karen Boesser.
Co-Production with Forum Freies Theater, Düsseldorf

2011   Home for Now
Dance: Karen Boesser, Marie Goeminne, Visual Art: Dirk Dietrich Hennig, Music: Ansgar Tappert, MadhaPPy, IT Specialist Jan Bashaijha Mwesigwa, Coach: Caterina Pecchioli, Concept in Collaboration with Marie Goeminne, Artistic Director: Karen Boesser.
Co-Production with Forum Freies Theater, Düsseldorf

2010  Greetings from Hometown
Dance: Karen Boesser, Marie Goeminne, Music: Ansgar Tappert, Dansatelier Rotterdam, Niederlande

2009   Raumfahrt-Coaching Reality
Dance: Karen Boesser, Visual Art: Dirk Dietrich Hennig, Music: Ansgar Tappert, Light-Architect: Gernot Schmiedberger, Coach: Michael Schmidt, Artistic Assistenz: Shinsaku Yuasa, Artistic Director: Karen Boesser.
Co-Production mit Forum Freies Theater, Düsseldorf

2008   Zzwweeii
Dance: Karen Boesser, Gudrun Lange, Music: Ansgar Tappert, Coachs: Verena Billings, Michael Schmidt, Visual Art: Benjamin Bohnsack
Concept in Collaboration with Gudrun Lange, Artistic Director: Karen Boesser
Co-Production with Forum Freies Theater, Düsseldorf

2006 / 2008   Gilgameschin
Dance: Karen Boesser, Visual Art:Lilla von Puttkamer, Andre`Wenzel, Musician: Eva Schampaert, Artistic Assistence: Shinsaku Yuasa, Artistic Director: Karen Boesser
Ehrenhof Düsseldorf, Theatermuseum Düsseldorf, Feuerwache Köln, Theater Garage Antwerpen, Performancefestival High-Fest, Yerevan, Armenien

2001 / 2008   Bildtanz
Dance: Karen Boesser, Visual Art: Lilla von Puttkamer, Anetta Küchler-Mocny; In collaboration with Lilla v Puttkamer, Anetta Küchler-Mocny
Düsseldorf (PLATZDA Festival), Münster, Hooksiel, Budapest / Ungarn 
(DAAD - Preis), Prag / Tschechoslowakei

2002  Sociale Sculpture
Dance: Karen Boesser, Performance und Skulptur / Visual Art: Franz Karl Boesser
Performance conzept in collobration Franz Boesser, Festival European in Balance, Polen, Ein Hod, Israel 

1999 / 2001  Changing life by stepping through
Artistic Director: Karen Boesser, Dance: Karen Boesser, Musician: Karl Godejohann, Music cut: Tim Vohwinkel
Tanzhaus nrw, Düsseldorf, Art and Music School Bielefeld, Moviemento / Tanz im Kino, Essen

2000  Performance Kongress
Dance: Karen Boesser, Performance Congress at the Orangerie, Cologne

1998  Changing life by stepping on my feet
Dance: Karen Boesser, Musician: Genieve Hayes, Artistic Direction: Karen Boesser
Vision Festival NYC, Pentacel Studio NYC, USA

1997  “-------”
Dance: Karen Boesser, Musician: Perry Robinson, Poet: Nestor, Rivka
Washington Square Church, New York City, USA; Artistic Direction: Karen Boesser

1991 / 1996  Verleblichkeit, Eisbrüchigkeit
Dance: Karen Boesser, Outside Eye: Britta Lieberknecht, Düsseldorf (die werkstatt e.V.) Köln, Witten, Neuss; Artistic Direction: Karen Boesser, Ulla Hillebrecht

1995 / 1996  Tan(t)z
Dance: Karen Boesser, Chris Parker; Tan(t)z1, Tan(t)z2, Music composition: Tim Vohwinkel
Choreography in collobration with Chris Parker, Die Werkstatt e. V., Düsseldorf, Alte Post, Neuss

1994  Music and Dance
Dance: Karen Boesser, Musician: Yuko Fujiyama, Hoboken, New Jersey, USA


Press review / selection


Meike Hinnenberg - fidena.de
On stage, a non-verbal dialogue between Bößer and Szörényi slowly unfolds, in which they examine each of the elements involved in the staging and question each other’s working methods. In this way, the performance highlights, on the one hand, the becoming spectator, the becoming costume, the becoming audible, the becoming body, the becoming objects, the becoming stage, the becoming creation, and so forth. It is the staging itself which is being exposed. On the other hand, in a curious exploration and examination of the other’s working method, it becomes apparent that this act of showing occurs in multiple ways and can take various shapes. This radical disclosure becomes itself a possibly not verbal, but artistically formulated manifesto: about the agenda of the own work, about the demand to not only make something visible, but about

expoing the act of showing itself, which in the moment in which something is being shown, usually remains hidden.

Michael S. Zerban - O-Ton / online cultural magazin
Many things have been written about developing new work. Bößer and Szörényi have succeeded in creating one of the better descriptions − without words, and full of artistic invention.

WDR3 Mosaik, Nicole Strecker
(...) BASICS*, a typical piece from Bößer, who in all her choreographies sensitizes the awarness so much, so that the reality appears only as a fragil construct. Atmospheric strong performances (...) 

Biograph 1/17
(...) an insightful dance performance, that takes the audience in to a world full of possibillities of associations.

Rheinische Post / April 11,2013 / by Reneè Wieder

FFT invites to a charming Play
If you show fifty people exactly the same, they will see fifty fundamentally different things. At the FFT the Düsseldorf dancer and choreographer Karen Boesser wants to tell us something about the individual's perception during this evening. Consequently, the audience at the premiere of her interdisciplinary dance piece "InFormAtion" is divided into two spaces at the FFT. This is inventive. Every guest receives a slip of paper in their hand, blue or red. Shortly after, everyone finds themselves with the assigned "colour group" in the designated space and a wide plastic curtain separates the two parties from one another. Karen Boesser and Maaike van de Westeringh dominate the stage with ease, everyone in their own half of the stage. On a broad tapestry of sound, from throbbing acoustic stimuli to guttural clarinet tones and deafening drum rhythms, the dancer sway in a trance or march around like remote controlled toy soldiers. For a long time, one just sees only one dancer directly in front, the other - captured by a wonderful evocative lighting design - only as an outline on the plastic curtain. Both dancers seem to be fixated on the contours of the adverse curtain phantom, full of curiosity to explore the shadows behind the veil. Timidly they work them selves across the holes in the curtain, then switch sides and seek one another. Finally, they break through for a final duet, half romance, half trial of strength. Boesser points out the limits of our perception and the then emerging loneliness, our longing for contact and how easily impressions can be manipulated. Powerful and elegant analysed Boesser in her fourth FFT-production the thesis that reality looks different for everyone. But her piece is one thing above all: a feast for the senses.
title blog Sun, April 28, 2013 / by Verena Meis /  www.titelblog.de (german)
(Com-) municated Information 
Atmosphere: refrigerated warehouse. A diffuse background noise. The media channels seem to crack: Is there such a technical fault, Mr. Tappert (sound Ansgar Tappert)? A sterile curtain of white slats divides the stage and the audience in two parts (stage design: Dirk Dietrich Hennig). In addition to the perceived acoustic "disruptive" noise - information envy is spreading. Will I be deprived of important messages? Is the view behind the curtain intentionally denied? According to the motto: Shared information suffering is half information suffering? This is unthinkable in today's information society. Where is the information overload? In front of the curtain a female body is forming from the dark, which sends vague twitched impulses outward, as if she is infected with the media noise. Who is acting on behalf of whom? Formed information, but which one? Behind every gesture, every ray of light, every shadow and every noise seems to hide an encrypted message that eagerly is waiting to be decoded. Or is it not?
Those who search for THE information, THAT objective message will be disappointed during "InFormAtion" - an interdisciplinary experimental arrangement of dance, music and light art by Düsseldorf choreographer Karen Boesser: together with the dancer Maaike van de Westeringh, Boesser tarred at the FFT (Forum Freies Theater, Düsseldorf) the relationship of sender and receiver new. Principle: Whispered information (“Chinese whispers”). Misunderstandings seem inevitable. But be careful! Boesser and van de Westeringh plead with 'information' but straight for polyphony. The individual reception receives its legitimacy right here. Caution! The following objections are purely of a subjective character: Although the solo resembles from time to time a wrestling match with itself, the shadow reveals itself as a bird of paradise courtship dance. Matches the pas de deux almost a physical duel, it can also shadow twosome harmony instead of discord guess. If one also gives the (background-) noise its attention, it takes shape: we hear a neon lamp buzzing, there is the sound of haunting drops on a water tap or the reading of a hypertext.
Until the following audience discussion, it becomes clear that no one other than the media philosopher Vilém Flusser reads the HTML text interspersed and that his Kommunikologie plays no small role in "InFormAtion" - a lack of information that would have facilitated the flow of information in the FFT. Theatre discourses are, according to Flusser, "to make the recipients of distributed information responsible for this information and mold them into future broadcasters." But not, if the information that is to be sent, should be an objective ... Do not worry, at the FFT it is not the case! Karen Boesser’s message is: Expose the appearance of the objectives! Confess yourself to your subjective perception! Take responsibility for information that is sent or received!

Rheinische Post / 29.04.2011 / Von Melanie Suchy
Aside in a waiting position Karen Boesser and Marie Goeminne lift off a key ring and a glass up and down and sideways. Their short dance show with big arm swings is the cheerful greeting. Home for Now of the Düsseldorf choreographer Karen Boesser is devoted to feel at home, or more precisely the place that is a temporary home. A very current subject in times of flexible working life .. A duet between proximity and distance. Now table and spectators are cleared to the side and a dance appears again: a duet that evolves from proxinity to distance. First the dancers lean towards each other as if together the would shape a tent. They support each other on their shoulder, legs and back, rest like laying in bed on the floor and rolling over each other. One lifts up the other in the air. Then they face each other, like a mirror and move with eye contact. Eventually they dissolve and first walk together and then separate ways. This is a bautiful half-hour about a relationship towards a room or to a person.

An exciting recent experimental dance theater pieces celebrated its premiere in Düsseldorf FFT. / Von Björn Nussbächer / 30.04.2011
HOME FOR NOW choreographed and performed by Karen Boesser and Marie Goeminne did not only surprised by its directness, but also turns out to be subtle as well as an intellectual and sophisticated multi-media dance experience. Even at the beginning of the piece, the audience is deprived of their familar approach and immediately after entering the room the audience finds itselft to be part of a scene. Postum an interactive situation arises, where the audience has to decide to be an active or a passive participator in Home. In a very experimental stage setting, the audience is encouraged to bring homemade food to the table and to seek the conversation with the performer and spectators to relax and to observe the scenaries. Suddenly, a live Skype broadcast to Florida takes place. An artist family on the other side appears. MadHappy talks about personal things, of love and madness and sings and plays the accordion. At the same time boths performers Karen Boesser and Marie Goeminne moderated and commented this when slowly silence arises and the two dance a wonderfully poetic and physically-demanding performance. The end of the play approaches and take s place metaphorically in a garden. Home for Now is playfull in its combination of dance, video art, multimedia and interactive with the audience. This may seem disturbing, can displace people in order to bring them back together and to end up to question oneself: What does it mean to be at home or to have a homeland? It is exciting to see that the multimedia communication revolution and a disorientation of homefeelings has arrived for the most parts in the physicall dance scene. The question of perception that a more and more expanded multimedia-networked world can mean a more and more fragmented world and how we will react as human beings will keep me at breath more often nowdays.

From the depths of space / Thomas Hag / Karen Boesser shifts with her dance project Coaching Reality at FFt, Juta space and perspectives.
Space travel may be quite literally taken by the new piece of the Düsseldorf dancer and choreographer Karen Boesser. Because it uses the entire surface of the Juta, the audience is first on benches that are standing on the stage. The performer even acts as a video projection in the fog only to appear later on as a real person in the top ranks. However, what is real here anyway? She uses the emptied ranks for the installation: blue light and cord separating the space to reinforce the illusion. She explored with circular hip movements accompanied by the scraping, abrasive electronic music by Ansgar Tappert. She uses a small stage in front of the stage as playing surface and drooping her upper body into a new shape creating a two-dimensional surface. Shortly thereafter, she circles around the benches and looks into the eyes of the audience. The audience becomes part of the production and a group of people is immersed in the bright light and must feel observed. Again and again the relations are shifted, when Boesser is lying on the floor and black surfaces slide over her body and when finally letter seem to flow from her head. (...) The last part of the 50-minute piece is turning into a satire, where the artist in the role of the therapist requests the audience to meditate. 

Space Coaching Reality / Boris Hovrath 
The interdisciplinary dance theater production unite the artistic position of the Düsseldorf choreographer and dancer Karen Boesser with the musical collages of the Berlin sound artist Ansgar Tappert, and the video projections of the artist Dirk Dietrich Hennig from Hanover. In the conglomerate of different disciplines blends the expression of dance, performance and art as well as the perception of illusion and reality. In a subtile way Boesser questioned in her production, the roles of the production, the determination of the stage and the auditorium, the actor and the audience. (...) With the help of dramatic interruption such as the sudden gleam of the entire theatre space in working lights and the changes in perspective through reflections of the dancer with video projections, Raumfahrt- Coaching Reality manages to question the viewing and listening habits again and again. At the end of the play, Karen Boesser is challenges the audience with a test by leaving the space available to audience and prepares at the same time her exit. She invited the audience to trigger a challenge of timelessness to every visitor only for themselves. 

Body of threads: Dance in the FFT / Rheinische Post, 20.02.2010 / Stephanie Becker
The room is dark. Fog appears. Dripping water noises are heard. Through the haze suddenly a woman appears. She looks with wide-eyed, amazed in the room, turns slowly around in her axis. Only gradually the viewer recognize that it is not a real person, but a projection. The real woman appears a short time later at another location. So begins series - Reality Coaching in the FFT Juta. A danceproject of the performer Karen Bösser, the visual artist Dirk Dietrich Hennig and the sound artist Ansgar Tappert. The theme is the exploration of reality, space and time. The audience sits on stage in the Juta, and the solo dancer (Karen Boesser herself) is dancing. In a spider web hanging system , Bösser is eager to explore with slow movements the space between the threads. She looks like a creature from another world. Slowly, she comes down to the groundfloor. She uses only the upper part of her body to hang over the stage edge in the spot of a headlight. A sound gently float through the room. This music is mysterious and spherical, the dance sometimes strange, realized in the game with reality and virtuality of the moment, from the beginning of the performance. Beautiful is the scene where Bösser is dancing on the floor playing with projected light forms. (...) It would have been a desire to see more of the game with reality and illusion, more of the strange movements appearing and more of this atmospheric sounds. 

Toy cars at the end / Kölner Stadtanzeiger / 27.10.2008
Forum Freies Theatre in Düsseldorf attracts dance enthusiastic spectators with the Performance zzweeii. Gudrun Lange and Karen Bösser give a dance between entertainment and abstraction. (…) Karen Bösser sits in the shadow. She will win in her solo the audience entirely different for her favour. It will be in much darker, mysterious ways - with an astronaut-term floating dance, where in the gentle touch it overturns in Brutalism. In one of her climax Bösser mutated to a wild arm swinging, spiting machine - threatening to anyone who is sitting close to her stage frame. One entices with dance entertainment, the other threatened with abstraction, but they are both ironical skilled. zzwweeii is a performance of two very different artists. It is a duo of two solos, which evolved in an over 50-minute Performance. What Lange / Bösser unites, is the question how voyeurism in the basic constellation performer / viewer repeal, and how the danger of artist victim can be avoided (…) 

Whole room will be screen / Friesland Post 02.05.2008
The dancer Bösser presents the astonished art lovers a performance on a 40 square meters large existing image. With her movements she continues drawing the lines of the art work. It is an inspiring motion blur between the artist and the artwork. The image modified and is re-created also in the conciseness eye of the many art viewers. The dancing action transformed the changes into a new supplement and became a memory train of impression. Finally, there was plenty of applause for this most unique dance performance in the Artisthaus. 
Neue-Westfälische 05.02.08
(...) A human occurs in life, carefully consider scrutinizing, and leans angry against sealed (life-) doors, and finally makes the best of it (...) 

Europa in Balance / Tygodnik Prudniki, Poland, 19.06.2002
As a completion to the official Inauguration of the sculpture Europa in Balance there was a happening performed by Franz Boesser and … his daughter Karen. This spontaneous wonderful dancing, shaped through art and expressions made visible that the avant-garde of European art was present in Prudnik for a few minutes. Somebody had to come over from Germany to build the symbolic European house, a house of a Europe which is connecting people. (Transl./ orig. Polish by Mrs. Urbach-Mokrska)

Changing Life by Stepping Through / Rheinische Post, 27.01.2001
On the contrary to many other organizers the Tanzhaus Düsseldorf is not fixed to its own company but is serving as a meeting point to different positions. Also under these premises the performance Dance Tank I came across as a successful debut. … Karen Boesser’s introverted solo Changing Life by Stepping Through was following as a heavy contrast after that. Boesser confines herself to the body and to pure choreography, finds unique expressions for violation and underwent memories by embodying animals through her dance. Alienated organically, oppressive even with its humor, her metamorphosis into a bird means an escape from the past and the personification of pain through the cry of an animal.

Neue-Westfälische / 17.03.2001
In her performance Changing Life by Stepping Through Karen Boesser was dancing steps of her life to the sound of a rain man, the music of a gong and the rhythm of drummer Karl Godejohann. Memories are forcing on the dancer, is becoming part of her. She is like a bird, even transforming into one, into a shrieking craw, a seagull, and then into a peacock. High lights of dance scenes followed, full of life vibrations, falling down from heaven, and stumbling on the ground - until the memory is striking the present and the final sound of the bird is fading away.

Lived it up / Westdeutsche Zeitung, 24.10.1995
… However, the big surprise of the evening was Karen Boesser: Her dance show caught the breath of the audience. After she performed a modern and lively Pas de Deux (Putney Dust) which she danced with Chris Parker exceedingly straight in techno-style, the second half of the evening was assigned to herself. Scarcely has been seen in Neuss such a versatile dance talent. First she squats into an angle with the bearing of an embryo and plunges her heated cheeks in an ice bowl, then she is pushily dancing against the walls and crawling weakly over the ground. She skilfully slips down the banister and keeps track of the possibilities left by the crooked shape of the dance floor. Her passion for dancing was remarkable in every movement of the performance. After Chris Parker presented her choreography Tan(t)z, in improvisation both dancers put their sparkling fantasy of dancing into reality. They are dancing sometimes together sometimes against each other and they more than once move along the limits of their power. This was an intense finish of an extraordinary evening which should be repeated anyway.