The Intruder

– an autopsy –

Premiere: 2019, June 8
Pfalzbau Bühnen Ludwigshafen

Helena Waldmann invites you to an autopsy. The view goes under the skin, into the interior of the human body and at the same time into the interior of the system „state“. No body, be it that of a living being or human society itself, functions as a closed system. Openings are essential for life, but they also make us vulnerable. The first impulse is to protect oneself: Barriers are erected, potential attackers are to be kept away. But the fact that the intruder can also bring benefits is an old insight in immunology that is gaining new significance in current research. The „biological self“, the self-sufficient body that functions only by itself, is now regarded as an illusion. Humans live with and through a multitude of independent microbes and bacteria. Attackers challenge the immune system and cause it to learn and develop. Medicine knows that only the organism that is prepared to confront the foreign will survive.

On the microscopic level of the body, Helena Waldmann stages the macroscopy of a politics. Using the means of dance, she shows strategies of defense and adaptation using the very special abilities of her performers. After using ballet in „get a reovlver“ , Kathak dance in „Made in Bangladesh“ and acrobatics in „Good Passports Bad Passports“ she is inspired this time by the Chinese martial art Kung Fu. Here attack and defense are one. The strength of the respective opponent is neutralized by agile step and stroke techniques and turned against the attacker. The goal is to grow on the opponent without destroying him. Helena Waldmann thus proves that openness, freedom and freedom of movement are vital in order to pre-empt the perfidious construction of security which, in its logic of unity, can only produce the dead alive.

The internationally renowned dance director was honoured for her political theatre work with the Bertolt Brecht Guest Professorship, which she holds in the winter semester 2018/19 in Leipzig. In Ludwigshafen she has already performed „Letters from Tentland“, „get a revolver“, „Made in Bangladesh“ and „Good Passports Bad Passports“.

„The Intruder – an autopsy -“ touches a discourse that BASF has stimulated through its Tor 4 support program in the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region. 16 projects from the fields of music, dance, literature and the visual arts will deal with the same topic. Why is everything getting better? This question can also be posed in view of the constant perfection of security systems, which lead to isolation and rigidity on both a medical and social level. BASF particularly promotes our dialogue with the public. In a matinée one week before the premiere, besides the choreographer herself, people from various fields will be guests and after the premiere on June 8 we invite you to a follow-up discussion.

eine Produktion von Helena Waldmann und ecotopia dance productions
in Koproduktion mit Pfalzbau Theater Ludwigshafen, Forum Freies Theater Düsseldorf Tafelhalle Nürnberg, Tollhaus Karlsruhe;
Hauptsponsor BASF/Kulturförderprogramm Tor 4 mit freundlicher Unterstützung des Pumpenhaus Münster
„Unterstützt durch das NATIONALE PERFORMANCE NETZ Koproduktionsförderung Tanz, gefördert von der Beauftragten der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien.“




Pfalzbau Theater,
Ludwigshafen (D)


Theaterhaus Stuttgart (D)

NOV 12 + 13

Festival Theater in Bewegung,
Theaterhaus Jena (D)

NOV 27

Pumpenhaus Münster (D)

NOV 29

Forum Freies Theater,
Düsseldorf (D)

NOV 30

Forum Freies Theater,
Düsseldorf (D)


Tollhaus, Karlsruhe (D)


Theater Aschaffenburg (D)


Tafelhalle Nürnberg (D)

set design,

Helena Waldmann


Tillmann Becker
Telmo Branco
Ichiro Sugae


Anna Saup
Michael Saup


Judith Adam

costume collaboration

Nora Scheve



light design

Herbert Cybulska

technical stuff

Carsten Wank
Stephan Wöhrmann

production management

Claudia Bauer

press relations

Nicola Steller


Christopher Schmidt

Guest Professorship in Leipzig, Germany

Helena Waldmann (2.v.l.), Bertolt brecht Gastprofessorin der Stadt Leipzig am CCT im Wintersemester 2018/19 bei ihrem Empfang in der Aula der Volkshochschule Leipzig. (c) CCT/Daniel Kovalenko

Workshop in Hong Kong & public seminar | Jan 2019

Workshop Series 5: Dance Dramaturgy and Creation (c) Cheung Chi Wai/Moon 9 Image