Rolf Baumgart

Yoshiko Waki


Was born in Japan in 1965 and received her training at the State University of Music and Performing Arts in Heidelberg-Mannheim - Academy of Dance. Since then, she has been dancing and choreographing between the independent scene and state theaters.


As a dancer, she worked in Berlin with Dieter Heitkamp and Claudia Feest (Tanzfabrik). She was employed for two years at the City Contemporary Dance Company in Hong Kong. After longer engagements at the Municipal Theaters in Münster and the State Theater in Darmstadt, she moved to the Volksbühne on Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz in Berlin in the late 1990s, where she danced leading roles in works by Johann Kresnik and Konstanze Lauterbach and collaborated with Christoph Schlingensief. She worked with Reinhild Hoffmann for the European Capital of Culture in Graz and the Ruhrtriennale. In 2007, Yoshiko Waki joined the Opera Bonn, where she worked with Johann Kresnik and Susanne Linke, among others.


Since 1990, she has been producing her own dance (theater) pieces, initially performed in the independent scene in Berlin. Further productions were created in cooperation with or commissioned by the Municipal Theater in Münster, the State Theater in Darmstadt, the Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, the Opera Bonn, and the Bauhaus Dessau. She regularly choreographs for music theater and drama at the Bremen Theater, Komische Oper Berlin, Berlin Philharmonic, State Theater Darmstadt, and Frankfurt/Main. As part of her teaching activities, she has realized projects at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Frankfurt/Main, the universities of Osnabrück and Bonn, the Palucca University of Dance in Dresden, and the Berlin School of Acting.


In 2009, she founded the dance theater company bodytalk with Rolf Baumgart. Since 2012, bodytalk has received top funding for dance, and since 2021, it has received excellence funding for dance from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. In 2016, Yoshiko Waki and bodytalk became "Artists in Residence" at the Theater im Pumpenhaus in Münster. bodytalk was included in the Doppelpass program of the Federal Cultural Foundation (in cooperation with the State Theaters of Saxony, Radebeul) and received the Tanzfonds Erbe funding for Friedensanleitung für jedermann.


Yoshiko Waki has received multiple awards for her artistic work. Recent accolades include the prestigious main prize "Golden Yorick" at the 26th International Shakespeare Festival in Gdansk in 2022 for Romeos & Julias unplagued. She also received the Cologne Dance Theater Prize for JEWROPE, the Movement Art Prize for the best independent production of the season for Zig Leiber | Oi Division, the Cologne Dance Theater Prize (partial) for Loss of Control, and the Bremen Authors and Producers Prize for Ich bin ein Antifant, Madame.


bodytalk regularly collaborates with national and international partners, such as the Polish Dance Theater (for productions like JEWROPE, Solidaritot, and Romeos & Julias unplagued), Seoul International Dance Festival in Korea (KOREALITY), AURA International Dance Festival in Kaunas, Lithuania, LOFFT - DAS THEATER in Leipzig, Schwankhalle Bremen, MASH Jerusalem, Teatr Rozbark in Poland, Junges Theater Göttingen, as well as the Federal President's Summer Festival at Bellevue Palace. bodytalk is regularly featured in national festivals such as asphalt Festival, FAVORITEN Festival, Move! Krefeld, Festival tanz nrw, Highlights of International Dance at Theater Bonn, Flurstücke Festival in Münster, and TanzArt ostwest, as well as international festivals including SIDance, Malta Festival Poznan, Jerusalem Dance Week, International Dance Festival AURA in Kaunas, Lithuania, Shakespeare Festival Gdansk, and Oradea International Theater Festival. Since 2021, bodytalk has also organized its own festivals (Israel is real and umPolen) in cooperation with Theater im Pumpenhaus and has worked closely with the city of Münster, most recently as part of the celebrations for the 375th anniversary of the Peace of Westphalia.