About

Sonja Heller

is a multidisciplinary artist and dance teacher.
After slipping in her ballet shoes for the first time at the age of three, there was no stopping anymore.

As a teenager she switched to the Tanz- und Theaterwerkstatt in Frankfurt/Main, where she got interested in contemporary and expressionist dance. She created her first solo performances for the so-called “Schauraum Parties” in Frankfurt/Main in her early twenties. And in 1999 she encountered Butoh through a workshop of Minako Seki, one of her main teachers in the following years. After moving to Berlin, she got an acting degree at the Europäisches Theater Institut. Disappointed by the meat market of theater and television castings, she decided to concentrate on Butoh and trained also with Atsushi Takenouchi, Yuko Kaseki and Imre Thormann. During that time, she supported herself working as a freelance editor at the city magazine Tip. Between 2007-2008 she also became an ensemble member of the children’s theater “Varia Vineta” and completed her teacher education of the morning exercises of Fe Reichelt, a former student of Mary Wigman.

In 2009 she moderated the symposium “50 Years of Butoh – A beginning” during the Butoh-Festival in Berlin. Around the same time she started with Daniela Schmidtke a training in the Yellow Room in Kreuzberg where experienced students of Butoh taught each other for free. From these sessions arose the performance collective “O.G.M.” (Organisme Génétiquement Modifié) that performed during the year of 2010 in Berlin.

When Butoh-Founder Kazuo Ohno passed away in 2010, she organized a worldwide Butoh-Flashmob where perfomers from Australia over Russia to Chile danced in his honor. Soon after this event she taught her first Butoh workshop in Switzerland and then took off for an intensive journey of teaching and performing to Sweden, Iceland, Chile, Brazil, Russia, Austria, Latvia and Lithuania. One of the most important collaborations during that time was with Poema Theatre as well as with Patrick K.-H., Asya Mukhina and Oleg Makarov in Russia.  Most of her performances were created at “Estação Caneca – Espaço Cultural Trilhas da Arte”, a theater in São Paulo. Juliana Calligaris, the owner became her producer in Brazil later on.

In 2014 she collaborated with Adrian Shephard alias TESTCARD to explore unique combinations of sound and music. Variations of this work were presented at “25 Years of Schokoladen Festival” and “Destruktiva VII Noise Festival”. With composer and actor Leo Solter she developed “The Discipline of Do Easy” and “Europe – An Exorcism”, pieces that also tackled the problem of creating sound through movement. At the same time, she worked on movable collages as well as several drawings and made her first steps in stop-motion-animation under the name “Marlowe”. This led in 2018 to the video of “The Story of the Eye” that was presented at the exhibition „One cannot be too careful“ in Berlin, St. Peterburg (RU) and Brighton (UK).

In the past years she concentrated mainly on her studies of philosophy and writing for magazines and short stories for which she adapted the name “Herr Sundermeier”.
Now she is preparing new formats of teaching, storytelling and visual adventures. So stay tuned…