Katja Heitmann

What moves humankind? In the multi-year art project Motus Mori, Katja Heitmann collects and preserves human movement. Since 2019, more than 1,000 people have already donated their personal movement to this embodied archive, an ever-growing foundation from which the choreographer creates new artworks.

In the 'movement opera' RELIQUIEM, you experience other people's motions in the most direct and touching way possible: through your body. In an intimate ritual, you put yourself in the shoes of the archive's many donors and incorporate their personal "movement relics" into your motion repertoire. Katja calIs this 'kinetic empathy'. Which movement would you like to inherit?

Katja Heitmann is fascinated by the human attempt to escape their own mortality. This paradox is the muse of the movement archive Motus Mori. As movement goes and vanishes, we are at the same time epi-central master of our own life ánd just a spark in eternity.

With RELIQUIEM, Katja Heitmann takes her archive research to the next level; creating a collective shared movement heritage to secure it for the future. The archive will be transferred to 'everyone'. After all: doesn't every human being want to keep moving, for eternity?

The press on Motus Mori:
New York Times (USA): "The archive is our body"
De Standaard (BE): "Kinetic empathy at its best"
deVolkskrant (NL): "Highly original"
NRC (NL): "The beauty and vulnerability of dance in one thoughtful concept"
Museumtijdschrift (NL): "More direct, effective and poignant than any video, photo or text can ever be."

Trouw (NL): "Katja Heitmann and her dancers tour Europe with the 'living archive' Motus Mori. They collect everyday movements from all types of people. to ensure they do not get forgotten. Read the Dutch interview here

Theaterkrant (NL): "Choreographer Katja Heitmann is working on a special archive: over 1500 people have donated their movements. From these movements she created a new performance, in which the audience puts themselves in the shoes of people from the archive. What type of contact do we have to our own body, and that of others? Bodily awareness, empathy and emotion are all present. Reliquiem is a layered journey to what the body tells us at its deepest." Read the Dutch article here


Katja Heitmann (1987, DE) investigates in her visual-choreographic work what moves humankind in the current era. Katja Heitmann's choreographic work consists of extreme aesthetics, in sharp contrast to human fallibility. Her minimalistic and minutely designed imagery confronts viewers with a frantic flood of insights. This distinct, perceptible tension returns in all her work.

As a choreographic sculptor, Katja is constantly searching for the care of her material. By means of radical concepts and well-considered farms of performance, she strips her artistic material of any noise. Only that what really matters is shown with astonishing sharpness. In every detail of her work lies the grand gesture.

Katja Heitmann wants to move her audience. Through her work she constantly seeks interaction with society, with the city, with people. The universa! character of her work makes it possible for anyone who wants to find their own entrance to the work. Katja Heitmann creates unique performance installations and theatrical exhibitions that appeal to an astonishingly varied audience and regularly brings them to tears.

In 2016 Katja was awarded the Prize of the Dutch Dance Festival. In 2020 she was honored with the prestigious Gieskes Strijbis Podium-award, Netherlands' largest performing arts award.

Concept, artistic direction, libretto: Katja Heitmann

Concept, music, dramaturgy: Sander van der Schaar

Production: Stichting This is not a show

Interviews, editing: Eva Geia Huisman, Josefine Patzelt, Wies Berkhout, Moene Roovers, Ornella Prieto, Eleni Ploumi, Karolien Wouters

Artistic advice: Liesbeth Groot Nibbelink, Marijn Meijles, Jan Ruts

Photography: Hanneke Wetzer

International development:Fanny Martin | Art of festivals

Supported by: Fonds Podiumkunsten, Gemeente Tilburg, Provincie Noord Brabant

Co-production partners: SPRING, Korzo, DecemberDance, tanzhausNRW



19/05/2023 15:00 tickets sold out cancelled Waiting list

19/05/2023 17:00 tickets sold out cancelled Waiting list

19/05/2023 20:00 tickets sold out cancelled Waiting list

20/05/2023 15:00 tickets sold out cancelled Waiting list

20/05/2023 17:00 tickets sold out cancelled Waiting list

20/05/2023 20:00 tickets sold out cancelled Waiting list

21/05/2023 15:00 tickets sold out cancelled Waiting list

21/05/2023 17:00 tickets sold out cancelled Waiting list

21/05/2023 20:00 tickets sold out cancelled Waiting list


€17,50 / €14,50


Utrecht Centraal


SPRING 2023 


Duration: 75 minutes

Language: Dutch and English

Accessibility:  (with guide)

Besides single tickets, SPRING also offers passe-partouts for the whole festival and daypasses for Fri 19, Sat 20, Sun 21, Fri 26, and Sat 27 May.


SPRING passe-partout