Dutch choreographer Nanine Linning (1977, Amsterdam) consciously leaves the beaten theatrical track.
Moving beyond divisions and working across disciplines, her company offers a combination of dance and opera, concerts and installations. Crossing over into the fields of design, video, visual arts and fashion, her productions are characterized by an explosive movement language and an equally vivid imagery. Linning designs opulent poetic work; her evening-length productions are worlds on their own in their visual and dramaturgical content. Her out of the box concepts make reference to human emotions as well as aspects of cultural history and social criticism. They enthuse audiences with their invitation for association and their potential for identification as events that speak to all senses. Her close cooperation with diverse internationally known artists and scientists is reflected in the broad spectrum of her activities, which include European co-productions and touring, exhibitions and installations. As artistic director and entrepreneur, she focuses on creating innovative bridges between art and audience, press, politicians and sponsors. For over 14 years Linning has worked with her creative partner, artistic advisor and dramaturg Peggy Olislaegers.
Nanine Lining founded her own Nanine Linning Dance Company in 1999, with which she developed her own multidisciplinairy signature, touring her productions in Europe, Asia, the UK and the USA. Next to that, she creates evening length works for ballet companies, contemporary dance companies, opera houses, choirs, museums and festivals. Linning gives masterclasses at the University of Zürich.
In the year 2000 she was nominated for the Dutch Culture Prize. In August 2002 she received the Perspektief Prize for her whole oeuvre. In 2003 she received the Phillip Morris Arts Prize for her whole oeuvre. In 2006 she received for her production BACON the Golden Swan for Best Production of the Netherlands. She was named ‘Diva of Dance by broadcasting channel NPS in 2007. Quote Magazine titled her as Business Babe of 2008; Viva Magazine quoted her as one of the 400 most successful women of the Netherlands. In 2010 she received the Theaterkijk Prize for her production ENDLESS SONG OF SILENCE and the Mus prize for her production DOLBY. In 2012, VOICE OVER was nominated for Der Faust award, Germany’s most important theatre prize. In 2013 Nanine was nominated again for Der Faust, this time for her production ZERO. The German theatre magazine ‘Die Deutsche Bühne’ named Linning in 2013 and 2014 twice in the category: ‘Outstanding contribution to dance’. For REQUIEM she received the prestigious Swiss Dance Award 2015, given out by the Minister of Culture of Switzerland. In 2017 NRC Culture Top 100 ranked her on the 53rd place. Die Deutsche Bühne named her in the top 4 of Impressive Choreographers of 2017 together with Alain Platel and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. Magazine tanz mentioned her in the Category Choreographer of the Year 2017. In 2019 she was named Honoray Artist of Parktheater Eindhoven.
Her creations and collaborations have been presented in different museums like FOAM, Stedelijk Museum Den Bosch, Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI), Centraal Museum Utrecht and Staatsgalerie Stuttgart. Linning collaborated for six of her dance productions with haute couture designer Iris van Herpen; and most recently was invited by van Herpen to collaborate with her for her SEIJAKU Couture show launched in Paris.
2021 will mark her debut in the United States through a commission of Boston Ballet to create a world premiere for large ensemble and orchestra. For the Nederlands Kamerkoor (Netherlands Chamber Choir) she will co-direct (with Tido Visser) and choreograph Orlando di Lasso’s masterpiece Tears of Peter (Lagrime di San Pietro) for singers and dancers, premiere october 2020.
Linning created and produced over 20 evening-length productions of which 9 with her own Dance Company Nanine Linning BACON about the painter Francis Bacon premiered in 2006. This piece became a Linning classic; with more then 100 performances in 9 countries it is still on the companies touring repertoire. CRY LOVE, a multimedia performance of dance and video installation premiering in the Holland Festival context a year later plus CRY LOVE DINNER (in collaboration with Food Designer Remco Vellinga and 20 dancers). DOLBY, a cross-over between dance and rock concert premiered in the Julidans festival.
ENDLESS SONG OF SILENCE, her acclaimed dance and video production in collaboration with Iris van Herpen set to Symphony No. 3 of Gorecki, is still touring internationally in different versions. With that, she created ENDLESS SONG OF SILENCE EXTENDED (performance art installation with 80 dancers) and her research project CORTEX in collaboration with 9 neuroscientists, neurobiologists and neuropsychologists, researching emotional states of audiences. REQUIEM, a monumental production with more than 90 dancers, musicians, choir singers and vocal soloists, set to Fauré’s Requiem was created in coproduction with Theater und Orchester Osnabrück in 2012.
In 2019 she created DOUBLE HELIX, an research based installation performance with 16 dancers in collaboration with artist Bart Hess.
Monique Wagemakers, Lonneke Gordijn (Studio DRIFT) and Nanine Linning developed the concept for the opera L’ORFEO from Monteverdi, produced by the Nederlandse Reisopera. They envisoned this opera as a contemporary Gesamtkunstwerk that fully integrates stage direction, choreography and design for a cast of 10 singers and 10 dancers, touring 10 performances in February 2020 as well as streaming on the Operavision digital platform until december 2020.
Thüringer Staatsballett took over Linning’s ZERO for their 2020-2021 season.
In 2019 the Stuttgart Ballet in coproduction with Deutsches National Theater Weimar commissioned her to create a new work for the 100 years Bauhaus and German democracy celebrations. REVOLT, a large ensemble for 16 dancers and live orchestra received standing ovations. Stuttgarter Zeitung wrote:"In the end, it's Nanine Linning who succeeds best in transferring the energy that must have pulsed a hundred years ago.. it still speaks to us today. "Revolt" is almost as enthralling as its title and gives this evening a great climax.”
The Bavarian State Ballet (Bayerische Staatsballett) and the Opernfestspiele München commissioned her for a new evening length ballet for 19 dancers and 9 musicians with Danish composer Hans Abrahamsen, with Simon Rattle’s assistant Georg Mayrhofer as conductor, in collaboration with Greek architect and designer Alexandros Tsolakis which premiered July 12th, 2019 in the Reithalle in Munich.
In the same season Oper Halle took over her production HIERONYMUS B. with a cast of 18 dancers, live orchestra and counter tenor.
February 2018, she was appointed as artistic director of the dance program of the Festspiele Ludwigshafen for the years 2018 and 2019.
Nanine Linning was artistic director of Dance Company Nanine Linning / Theater Heidelberg from 2012 til 2018. In that period she created a huge influence in the dance scene and it’s infrastructure as one of the founders of the Choreographic Center in Heidelberg (2012)as well as the international dance festival Tanzbiennale Heidelberg (2014) besides creating a strong audience increase with her many different productions.
In her last season in Heidelberg, Linning created in collaboration with the Russian fashion designer Irina Shaposnikova, very personal production, DUSK, with music of Gustav Mahler, performed live by the Philharmonic Orchestra Heidelberg. All 23 shows of DUSK in the season 2017/18 were sold out up within weeks. Mannheimer Morgen writes: “DUSK marks a „turning point in Linning`s work: she, the genuine total artwork artist with enthusiasm for costume, media, film and sculpture, has found a new purity.”
In spring 2017 she recreated BACON in collaboration with Staatsgalerie Stuttgart around the huge retrospective of painter Francis Bacon in collaboration with composer Jacob ter Veldhuis, scenographer Jan Boiten and video designer Juliane Noß. According to the Mannheimer Morgen: “She paints. With bodies. With light. With reedy feral sounds (Jacob ter Veldhuis). And her dancers provide brilliant colours, structures and nuances for the world of Bacon.“
In the 2015/2016 season, she premiered her production SILVER. In collaboration with high-tech material designer Bart Hess she addressed the intimate – and increasingly intrusive – relationship between the human and the technological, creating a dystopian world where the boundaries between men and machine become blurry. The press about SILVER: “Linning’s vision of what will happen when humanoids develop the faculty of self-improvement, looks sensational.” according to Süddeutsche Zeitung. Darmstädter Echo praised the “athletically powerful, highly virtuosic and furiously danced group scenes”. Her “experimental setup about the question of humanities future in a technologized world” is according to Stuttgarter Nachrichten “astonishingly relevant”. Dance journal tanz considers SILVER a dance production that “is likely to stay with you for a while.”
For Gautier Dance she created THE BLACK PAINTING in 2015; a new work including costume design about a painting made by Goya.
November 2016 saw the premiere of her celebrated multi-sensory experience production KHÔRA together with Food Artist Remco Vellinga, visual designer Bart Hess and longtime collaborator composer Michiel Jansen. Die Deutsche Bühne wrote “Phantastical, cosmic and phenomenal”. “Nanine Linnings new piece KHÔRA culminated in a multi-sensory experience for dancers and audience.”
In the same season Linning was named artistic director of the International Competition for Young Choreographers in Hanover.
In the 2014/2015 Season, Linning created HIERONYMUS B., a dance triptych about the life and work of Dutch master painter Hieronymus Bosch. Theater magazine Die Deutsche Bühne deemed Hieronymus B. “a triumph“. Mannheimer Morgen stresses its “aesthetic opulence and consistency”. Tanz found it “ferociously beautiful”. In February 2016, Hieronymus B. was honored to perform during the opening ceremony of the Bosch 500 year in ‘s Hertogenbosch, a year-long event celebrating the fifth centennial of Bosch’s death.
In June 2014, Nanine premiered her second opera; directing and choreographing Philip Glass' ECHNATON. Opernwelt named it 'a new opera/dance cult, this moving and vivid stage direction is so far Linnings’ highlight in her creative period in Heidelberg”; it did a run of 30 sold out performances. “Her concepts and productions are of the most innovative and interesting signatures one can experience in the field of dance and theater in Central Europe” wrote Fuldaur Zeitung and according Mannheimer Morgen: “As a stage director and choreographer of the opera ECHNATON by Philip Glass, Nanine Linning created with orchestra, choir, dancers, actors, singers, video projections, costumes and set design, a fabulous multidisciplinary work of art.”
In December 2013 her multimedia dance production ENDLESS in collaboration with Iris van Herpen premiered in Heidelberg and was received with standing ovations and raving press: “A Triumpf” according Suddeutsche Zeitung.
Her first Heidelberg-production ZERO with stunning masks and costumes from Iris van Herpen premièred in January 2013 and was welcomed with extraordinary praise from audience and critics. Dance Company Nanine Linning / Theater Heidelberg was invited to open the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Amsterdam with ZERO. Selected as Company of the Year by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung 2013: “Nanine Linning is an unstoppable talent with longevity”.
From 2009 until 2012 she was appointed as artistic director of Dance Company / Theater Osnabrück (Germany), for which she created REQUIEM in collaboration with Nanine Linning Foundation. VOICE OVER with composer Michiel Jansen and SYNTHETIC TWIN with Haute Couture designer Iris van Herpen. Puccini’s MADAMA BUTTERFLY was her debut as opera director in 2010. Together with her dancers and film director Clara van Gool she created a TV commercial and won a silver and bronze prize from EPICA, the International Advertising Awards 2012. Beat the Dutch filmed Nanine’s Passion, a documentary (45 min) on the work of Nanine Linning, which was broadcasted on television and shown in cinemas. In the same year Linning was asked to present her work for TED x Amsterdam.
In 2008 she was assigned to create for the opening of Robeco Zomerconcerten in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam in collaboration with Amsterdam Sinfonietta, and assisted Pierre Audi at the Dutch National Opera during his creation of Marco Polo by composer Tan Dun.
From 2000 till 2006 Linning was appointed as Europe youngest resident choreographer at Scapino Ballet. She created 12 productions, collaborating with different composers, string quartets, DJs, animation and fashion designers.