Deborah Smith-Wicke (UK) - School Direction

  Director - Entrepreneur, Space maker,

  Contemporary Dance, Classical Dance, Movement Theory, Quan Dao Kung Fu, Self-Management

thumbnail Deborah PorträtShe obtained her diploma as both professional dancer and teacher at the Royal Ballett School in London. Since then she has danced in Opera houses and state theatres for 14 years in Germany and abroad. Amongst others, she danced main roles such as Juliet, (Romeo and Juliet) Odette, (Swanlake) Clara and the Sugarplum Fairy (The Nutcracker) and worked with various modern and contemporary choreographers like Henning Paar, Trisha Brown Ana Mondini and Reinhild Hoffmann. During the last 10 Years, her own works have been shown on many stages in Germany and abroad. She founded SOZO visions in motion professional contemporary dance studies in 2007 and the dance-theatre company in 2010. Quan Dao Kung fu influences her work and leadership. In 2012 and 2015 she has been awarded the City of Kassel's prize for Culture and in 2019 für her "life work" SOZO. She taught at the Anton Brückner University in Linz, Austria, contemporary, Ballet and movement research to BA and MA Programs for three years

She would like to invest her own artistic experience in younger talent and encourage the development of their own personal creativity.With her husband, Michael Wicke she has created the space "HALLE 2" - the home of Sozo visions in motion and a space for training, creating and performing. Her aim with this programme and dance company is the encouragement and support of people on a journey of discovery. SOZO shall be a laboratory where creativity is always on the move. Visions translated into movement. Hence “Visions in Motion”. How many possibilities can be discovered? That all depends on the individual. The variants are endless.

Agostina D'Alessandro (Argentina /Brussels)

  Instant Composition, Conscious Release Technique. 

48Agostina is a contemporary dancer, improvisor, teacher and choreographer. In 2005 she established herself in Brussels and started working as a performer with T.R.A.S.H Company (Holland) in various productions: . In 2009 she joined Julyen Hamilton Company- Allen’s Line, also performing various pieces. She also participated in several projects such as: Les Ballet du Grand Maghreb by Ana Stegnar & Saïd Gharbi, SUPERAMAS; Koshro Adibi IPL (International Performers Laboratory) and studied with several companies and teachers.

Agostina is a co-founder of Solo Conversations Dance Collective since 2007. Since 2011 she is part of the creative team of Improvisation & Composition at the Royal Dance Conservatory of Antwerp where she creates pieces based on a dance improvisation project. Lately she created UNFINISHED and BODY DISCONTINUED, her latest pieces for SOZO visions in motion in Kassel. As a teacher she has taught in several dance schools such as Fontys Dance Academy, Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp, Garage29, Studio Thor, Ultima Vez Studio, among others. She has taught dance in Belgium, Mexico, Holland, Argentina, Croatia, France, Spain and Italy.

She created a methodology, Conscious Release ⓒ, where the dancer is encouraged to expand his/her owns abilities, learning to connect their inner experience -what I’m doing with my body- with deliberate use of body language, to create and develop their own vocabulary. Once the student has developed and integrated this “body quality”, the next step is to make use of it to create pieces.

Agostina’s work has received an artistic research grant from Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles Danse to continue developing and researching the method Conscious Release. She’s an artist supported by Grand Studio.

Chrysanthi Badeka (Greece)

  Film and Camera

Is a freelance performer & video-designer, co-artistic director & production manager of AVDP festival, co-founder of BelleVille artistic collective, archivist of director Theodoros Terzopoulos (Attis Theater), member of the Scientific Committee in Greek Ministry of Education concerning Dance & New Media.

After graduating from Rallou Manou Dance School (Athens), she attended her master degree in Tisch School of the Arts, with scholarships from New York University NYU and State Scholarships Foundation of Greece. In New York, videodance became her new interest. In 2009, after attending the postgraduate course Digital Arts in Athens School of Fine Arts, her focus shifted towards the teaching of video dance workshops in Greece and abroad. She creates video dances, video installations and transmedia performances, where the main tools of her interest and experimentation is not only the interaction between movement, improvisation and digital media but also the collaboration of different artistic elements as well as artists.

Loreen Fajgel (Zimbabwe)

   Classical Dance, Pilates

LoreensBorn in Harare, Zimbabwe, Loreen studied for eight years at the Royal Ballet School in London, England. Her career led her to jobs at German State Theaters in Gelsenkirchen and Kassel, where she danced under the leadership of Bernd Schindowski, Ho Sin Hang and Krisztina Horvath. She also had the privilege of working with many wonderful choreographers such as Jonathan Burrows, Michael Corder, Richard Glasstone, Jochen Ulrich, Jiri Kylian, Arnaldo Alvarez and Raimundo Costa.

The desire to create an artistic platform for herself and fellow artists led her to found the Xaris Dance Company, which toured successfully through many European countries and the USA. She was also co-founder, assistant director and choreographer for TIC, a musical theater in Kassel.

Her work with children of all ages convinced her of the need for dance to be integrated within education. This lead her participation in the post-graduate master course, ”Cultural Education in Schools“ at the Philipps University in Marburg. She now works as a freelance teacher and choreographer. She loves inspiring people of all ages to dance and discover their individual creative potential. 

Eldad Ben Sasson (Israel / Austria)

  Contemporary Dance

39608455 276785826471715 422702361920667648 nEldad is a choreographer, dancer and teacher. After his graduation from the Bat-Dor School of Dance, Eldad joined the Vertigo Dance Company directed by Noa Wertheim and Adi Sha'al. In 1998 he joined the Bat-Sheva dance company, where he worked with Ohad Naharin, Mats Ek, Sharon Eyal, Paul Norton, Yoshifumi Inao, Yossi Berg and others. In 2007 Eldad began to establish himself as an independent choreographer and freelance dancer.

With his creation “4 of a kind” he won the 1st place and the best dancer award in the CCBC- International Choreography Contest in Copenhagen (Denmark) in 2009. He has been collaborating with other choreographers such as Alexandra Waierstall, Orjan Andersson, Michael Getman, Noa Dar and Shintaro Oue.

Throughout the years Eldad has been creating numerous projects and choreographic works for universities, companies, and festivals such as Curtain Up (Israel) and International Exposure (Israel). He travels and performs around the world with his works and as a guest performer in different projects.

Natsha Hassiotis (Greece)

   Dance history

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Started her career in 1992. She is a dance critic and a historian. She has worked for newspapers and magazines in Greece and abroad, and also for tv and radio. Her documentary on Contemporary Dance in Greece is at the New York Public Library. She has lectured extensively, also translated several books and has published two of her own. 

Bettina Helmrich (Germany)

  Composition, Improvisation, Contemporary Dance, Video

Completed a 4 year training for contemporary dance, video and performing arts at the European Dance Development Center of the Art Academy of Arnhem/NL.
Since several years she is working as a freelance dancer, choreographer and dance teacher.
Her solo work is presented in festivals in Hungary, Austria, Netherlands and Germany.
Besides that she performed several  interdisciplinary ensemble pieces with dancers, musicians, and visual artists in the framework program of several documenta s.
In the last few years her interest is shifting to link dance and video, how to layer real and projected body images.
Another emphasis of her work is the close collaboration with musicians of New Music and with artists of visual art.

Susanna Horn (Germany)

  Contact Improvisation, Contemporary Dance


Susanna graduated at SOZO visions in motion contemporary dance studies in Kassel. At present she dances for the Deutsche Theatre in Göttingen, SOZO visions in motion tanztheater Company and für Tino Sehgal at the Documenta 13 in Kassel.
She is certified as a teacher for contact improvisation, Yoga, Meditation, body work and Body Mind Centering through the institute for “Movement dynamics” in Essen.
She has been successfully teaching contemporary dance, “bodywork” and Yoga for many years and gives workshops internationally in contact improvisation.
At SOZO visions in motion she teaches Contact Improvisation and Yoga.

Matan Levkovich (Israel/Austria)

  Zeitgenössischer Tanz


Matan Levkowich is a dancer, choreographer and graphic designer. Matan's approach to movement is based on the study of the body's intuition. This study enables to navigate through instability and develops trust in the body's capacities. His choreographic works inspired by social phenomena and human behaviour. As a dancer, he had the chance to work for different choreographers such as David Zambrano, Alessandro Sciarroni, Martin Nachbar, Marco Torrice and more. Currently he is based in Vienna and tours around Europe, presenting his choreographic work, performing and leading workshops.

Mariella Greil

  Artistic Director PReS

Mariella bw kleinMariella Greil is a performer, choreographer and researcher living in Vienna. 2014-17 she is Key Researcher in the research project “Choreo-graphic Figures. Deviations from the Line” where she examines the choreographic means in its expansion. Previously, she was Associate Researcher in the artistic research project “performance matters” (2009-2013) and senior editor for the e -journal “activate”. Since 2002 she has worked on various research and laboratory projects and has taught at universities in UK, US, Mexico and Austria. Currently, Mariella Greil is a PhD fellow at the University Roehampton in London in the field of dance / performance. In the years 2006 and 2007 she received the danceWEB scholarship and 2008 and 2010, the foreign scholarship for dance of the Austrian Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture. She is involved in the artists’ initiative “Sweet and Tender Collaborations” and in collaborations with Lisa Hinterreithner, Werner Moebius, Doris Stelzer, Martina Ruhsam, Emily Sweeney, Emma Cocker and Nikolaus Gansterer.

Kim Kanwischer (USA)

  Pilates, anatomy, dance medicine

Originally from Oklahoma, Kim Kanwischer studied Musical Theater in Berlin and then pursued a career as a performer and dancer. After including Pilates in her own dance and health regime, she was inspired to become a Personal Trainer and Pilates Instructor, and now she has 15 years of teaching experience. She received her Pilates Certification from the Kane School for Core Integration in New York, her teachers included Kelly Kane and Matt McCulloch. With her profound love for anatomy and movement she strives to continually educate herself. She has had the opportunity to work with Allen Herdmann, Karin Clippenger and Rael Isacowitz and Cathy Grant.
Kim is the founder of Studio 1 Pilates, the first fully equipped and certified Pilates Studio in Kassel accepted by both the German Pilates Association and European Pilates Alliance. In 2010, she introduced the Pilates Concept, an educational platform for Pilates instructors. At present, Kim is a Teacher Trainer for the Kane School in Germany and she strives to continuously guide her students toward improved functionality and help them grow physically and spiritually.

Marielle (Germany)

   Contact Improvisation

Dozentin Marielle Gehrke

Marielle is born in Berlin and has been living in Witzenhausen between Kassel and Göttingen since 2010. She discovered her passion for dancing and especially for Contact Improvisation in 2012. Since then she is continuously fascinated by this unique and exciting dance form. She is investigating somatic practices such Body-Mind-Centering and the Axis Syllabus as a point of departure for solo movement and Contact Improvisation in water and on land. She mainly feels inspired and influenced by works of Jörg Hassmann, Daniel Werner, Kira Kirsch, Antoine Ragot, Nina Wehnert, Friederike Tröscher, Jens Johannsen and Otto Ramstad. Marielle teaches Contact Improvisation and Watercontact in regular evening classes, different workshop formats in various cities and international festivals in Germany, Austria, India and Portugal. She is organising Jams in Kassel, Witzenhausen and Göttingen, teaches Contact Improvisation and Somatics in the school for contemporary dance SOZO visions in motion in Kassel since 2016 and is involved in a couple of different performance projects. Since 2018 she is also studying at the Paracelsus School in Göttingen to become a psychotherapist.  

Mareike Steffens (Germany)

  Contemporary Dance, Composition, Improvisation

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Mareike, born 1987, works as a dance & performance artist and dance mediator.
In 2010 she graduated at SOZO vim in Kassel. In addition to her freelance artistic creation, she continued her studies in contemporary dance, martial arts, contact improvisation, instant composition, body mind centering *, physical theater, vocal and breathing work, to constantly deepen her work and discover new connections between the different fields. Her work is thus regularly nourished by a mentality of continuous research and updating.
As a dancer, she has worked with various choreographers and companies in Europe and abroad over the past 10 years. c / o Iris van Peppen, Laurent Chetouane, Maya Carroll, JV Interplay, Lilo Stahl, c / o Johannes Wieland, Action Theater Kassel, MUTE Comp. Copenhagen, Pavlos Kountouriotis a.o. As a mediator, she works at various institutions, both amateurs and professional dancers. She teaches as guest lecturer at SOZO vim and at TIP Bewegungsart in Freiburg. She is co-founder of the Belka & Strelka Collective, tanzwerk Kassel e.V., JV Interplay (formerly OFFSPACE company) and creates her own personal work.

Karin Polzner (Germany)

  Philbios, Dance Medicine

In 1981, Karin started to train as a dancer, focusing on free training in ballet and modern dance. She later switched her emphasis to release techniques, contemporary dance and contact improvisation. She completed a two-year course in ontology in 1993.
She has worked as a dance instructor in Germany since 1992 and abroad (in the USA, Spain, Poland, Italy and Switzerland, for example) since 1995. She completed an extensive course in Cranio-Sacral Therapy in 1999/2000, has been a member of TaMeD since 1998, the German Dance Medicine Association (a reciprocal organizational member of IADMS, the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science), and was awarded her Certificate of Dance Medicine in 2007.

Karin developed the Philbios® technique out of a perceived need for holistic training that embraces physical, cognitive and psychological elements. She complemented these skills by qualifying as a Gyrokinesis® trainer in 2004 and Gyrotonic® trainer in 2007.
Alongside her international activities as an instructor, Karin serves as a personal trainer and teaches Philbios®, Gyrokinesis® and Gyrotonic® at her "MICRO-Studio" in Munich.

Evangelos Poulinas (Greece)

  Contemporary Dance, Partnering, Composition

Graduated from the Athens State School of Dance under the direction of Pavlina Veremi. As dancer of the Hellenic dance company  he performed the works of Wim Vandekeybus, Jasmin Vardimon, Konstantinou Rigou, Pascal Rioult, Martha Graham, Jose Limon and others.  In 2004, he joined the State Theatre of Northern Greece where he dances new creations of Konstantinos Rigos and Nigel Charnock.  In 2004 Evangelos directed the dance-for-the-camera "without a trace" which awarded at the 3in3 video competition held by British Council. In 2005 he choreographed the site specific "Athenian house".  2005 finds Evangelos in New York pursuing an MFA in dance at the New York University.  While being in New York he presented his creations at Dance New Amsterdam and at the Joyce SoHo.
In 2007 Evangelos joins, as a guest, the State Theatre of Kassel, where he performed pieces choreographed by Johannes Wieland. 2008 he worked with Compagnie Linga in Lausanne for the creation of "Kiss Me Good Night". In 2009 Evangelos returns to Kassel for his third guest contract with the State Theatre of Kassel. Later the same year, he participates at the Tanzfaktor Interregio 2009 with his piece "male study". 2010 finds Evangelos being employed by the Marcel Leemann Physical Dance Theatre for its production "Revolver", and teaching contemporary technique and partnering at SOZO visions in motion contemporary dance studies in Kassel. He gives workshops in Germany, Greece, Switzerland and Sweden. In 2011 Evangelos returned to Compagnie Linga for the creation "Falling Grace", choreographed by Katarzyna Gdaniec and Marco Cantalupo. In 2012 joined the State Theatre of Kassel under the direction of Johannes Wieland for the creation of Orpheus.

Svetlana Smertin (Germany)

  Vocal Training and Music Theory

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Svetlana Smertin was born in Russia and lives in Kassel since 2014.

She graduated in music education (2004 -2009) and rhythmic education (2009-2012) with the instrumental majors, piano and voice at the Hochschule für Musik Theater und Medien in Hannover. She also studied music in Spain at the Superior Conservatorio de Musica de Madrid (2008-2009). This was followed by a professional contemporary dance studies, training (2013-2016) at Sozo visions in motion in Kassel.

Svetlana Smertin works as a freelance artist in the field of music, dance, acting and performance.

She is a lecturer at the Hochschule für Musik Theater und Medien in Hannover, as well as at the Musikhochschule Franz Liszt in Weimar.

Mayaan Danoch

  Contemporary dance, composition

Maayan training

Maayan is a choreographer, dancer and teacher, a fellow of Akademie Schloss Solitude generation 2017-2019. She studied contemporary dance and choreography at the Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance and holds an MA in Dance Dissemination from the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln. Maayan approaches movement articulation and composition as a means of reflecting the interior thinking structures of the maker/performer, thus, she relates to her artistic practice as a practice of revealing. Her work is driven by a continuous interest in opening up multiple perspectives towards movement or image and in exposing discrepancy between their actual qualities and their modes of appearing.  For more than a decade Maayan has created dance and interdisciplinary works for the stage, galleries and outdoor spaces, and presented them in venues and festivals across Europe, South Korea and Israel. She performed in works by the choreographers Oleg Soulimenko, Jana Unmußig, Dragana Alfirevic, Maya Weinberg and Alexandra Pirici, and wrote for publication by the 5. Biennale Tanzausbildung and Tanzkongress 2013. Maayan leads regularly dance, writing and choreography workshops in dance universities and centres. She taught in the Academy of Dramatic Arts Zagreb, Dance Academy Ljubljana, Tanzfabrik Berlin, Transit Dance Melbourne, Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln, among others. She is currently participating in the teacher’s training course in the Feldenkrais Method, directed by Eilat Almagor and Anat Krivine.

Alessandro Sollima (Italy)

  Contemporary Dance

2019 04 22 15.26.38Alessandro started training contemporary dance in 2009 attending “MoDem” professional course directed by Roberto Zappalà. In 2011 he attended NSCD Northern School of Contemporary Dance (UK) and later studied in SEAD Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance (AT). Graduating in 2014, Alessandro worked with Simone Forti at Museum der Moderne, Salzburg. The same year he joined Milan Tomasik & Co and is currently performing three different productions and assisting the choreographer during his workshops and creations around Europe. In the past years, deepening his artistic practice, he started choreographing solo works and collaborating with other dance artists, supported by Lifelong Burning - ImpulsTanz (AT), Cullberg Ballet (SE), Network Anticorpi XL (IT), Scenario Pubblico (IT) and Akropoditi Dance Center (GR). He is actively collaborating in the role of choreographer with theatre directors Veselka Kunceva in Bulgaria and Luisa Baldinetti in Italy. In addition to performing and choreographing, Alessandro is a guest teacher for several professional courses such us Fontys ACaPA Academy of Circus and Performing Arts (NL), Scenario Atelier (IT), Collettivo Modem (IT), 9th International Art Laboratory (BG) etc. Alessandro is also an initiator of INandOUT 73% SiteSpecific Training, an intensive site-specific workshop for performers aiming to bring awareness from the body to the outer space. 

Michael Langeneckert

  Contemporary Dance

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Michael is a freelance choreographer, teacher and dancer living in Freiburg. Since October 2018 he is working under his new label moving orchestra and creates dance projects in Freiburg and works as a guest choreographer for companies and schools. He teaches contemporary classes Internationally for companies, schools and open classes in Berlin, Zürich, Basel, Amsterdam, Zürich, Rotterdam, Bern, Luzern, Braunschweig, Kassel, Pforzheim, Malmö, Göteborg and many others. He was working as rehearsal director with Tanz Mainz (2015-2018) under the artistic direction of Honne Dohrmann as well at Staatstheater Kassel (2008-2012) under the artistic direction of Johannes Wieland. He has worked as a choreographer in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. He directed his own company “rebound prod” in Freiburg (2001-2007) and created several evening-length pieces. As a dancer, he worked at theatres in Luzern, St. Gallen, Oldenburg, Kiel, Kaiserslautern and additionally with the Cathy Sharp Company in Basel. As rehearsal director and dancer he worked with choreographers like Sharon Eyal, Guy Nader and Maria Campos, Guy Weizman and Roni Haver, Koen Augustijnen, Garry Stuart, Rui Horta, Johannes Wieland, Linda Kapatanea and Josef Fruzek, Jossy Berg and Oded Graf, Martin Stiefermann, Susanne Linke, Reinhild Hoffmann and many others.

Karl-Heinz Mierke (Germany)

  Dance & Theatre Fotography



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