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Directors of the Staatsballett Berlin resign after just one year

Updated: Apr 13, 2020

Johannes Ohman and Sasha Waltz have terminated their five-year joint directorship contracts early.

The institution released a press release which states the reason behind their decision as being the offer of a new opportunity for Ohman at a contemporary dance studio in Stockholm, while Waltz would not want to continue directing alone.

Their appointment had been tinged with controversy; the dancers of the Staatsballett had petitioned against Sacha Waltz taking the role, highlighting her specialisation in contemporary dance rather than ballet.

They compared Waltz’s appointment to that of a tennis trainer as a football coach, and suggested it was politically motivated, considering that the Berlin cultural senator Michael Müller was standing for re-election at the time, and Sacha Waltz’s stellar reputation made her seem an impressive hire.

Nevertheless, the duo had success in their year at the helm, with healthy attendance figures and winning an award from Tanz magazine, which was informed by viewers and critics.


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