Ben J. Riepe
Ben J. Riepe studied dance and choreography at the Essen Folkwang University of Arts. As a dancer he worked with VA Wölfl/NEUER TANZ and as a guest with the ensemble of Pina Bausch. He then studied Choreography at the Folkwang University of Arts. In 2004, Riepe founded his own company with which he realised numerous stage productions, performances, installations and video works. As a guest choreographer he created a dance production with Malaysian artists in Kuala Lumpur for the Goethe-Institut in 2007 and a production for the Folkwang Tanzstudio in 2009. In May 2008 he attended a congress for creative exchange among choreographers in Beijing within the framework of Chin-A-Moves. In 2009 he participated in an exchange program for choreographers by the World Dance Alliance in New Delhi. The same year he received the “Förderpreis des Landes NRW für junge Künstler und Künstlerinnen”, a prize awarded to young artists and their work in North Rhine Westphalia, as well as the Spitzenförderung, a three-year-funding-project as one of four choreographers. The Ben J. Riepe Company has been working with the tanzhaus nrw for several years and has co-produced their work with various German theatres such as PACT Zollverein and Künstlerhaus Mousonturm. Since 2013 Ben J. Riepe is an “affiliated artist” with the choreographic centre PACT Zollverein Essen.
In his artistic work, Ben J. Riepe focuses on the border between genres and has developed a personal, distinct artistic language in between dance, performance and visual arts, resulting from a quest for new aesthetic forms that is not afraid of being experimental in its means.
In dance and choreography, he is trying to find an adequate form of expression: speech, music, image, sound, experience, body, movement, space, light, concepts, objects – each of these elements is in a unique, complex relationship with each other, which can be investigated and formed differently in each new project. Ever since their first choreographies, the Ben J. Riepe Company aimed at developing and opening up different aesthetics and approaches. For example, sculptures and photographic series were realised and shown in various galleries. Ben’s work is characterised by provocative poetics within which beauty always preserves its critical and ironic potential. Choreography is more than the arrangement of bodies in movement – his compositions result in dramatic images, in which self-reflecting aspects of the theatrical conditions are intertwined with the presentation.