Online Article published by ZDF Theater Channel, appeared in print in the newspaper «Badische Zeitung»

Lobby for dancers

Dance Agency A.I.D.A. mediates dancers to theater, film and television

- From ddp correspondent Andrea Marczinski - Berlin (ddp) - The Brazilian dancer and choreographer Cristina Perera acted together with Marcia Haydée and Ismael Ivo in «Oedipus of George Tabori on the rehearsal stage of the Berliner Ensemble. Perera also created the choreography for the musical «Tabaluga & Lilli» with music by Peter Maffay in the Theatro Centro of the German city Oberhausen. Sarka Vrastakova from the Czech Republic danced solo roles in the Johann Kresnik productions «Goya», «Frida Kahlo», «BSE. Garden of Earthly Delights» and «Picasso» at the Berliner Volksbühne. The French dancer Julia Poulet was part of the Corp de Ballet in the success musical «Falco meets Amadeus» performed at the Theater of the West in Berlin. Perera, Vrastakova and Poulet are 3 of 23 dancers, choreographers and artists who trust a colleague in arranging their engagements since this year. The former ballet dancer Monika Schoepfer, who was born in Vienna, founded AIDA - An International Dance Agency in March 2002 in Berlin: «It is the first agency in Germany that mediates dancers and choreographers to theater, film and television productions, event organizers, advertising agencies and companies», the managing director explains. «A.I.D.A. sees itself as a lobby for dancers.» She has experienced it too many times that a dancer is not taken seriously, says the 39-year-old who started her classical ballet training at the Vienna State Opera at the age of six while fulfilling her childhood dream. Monika Schoepfer danced at the National Theatre of
 Munich, in Vienna, in Monte Carlo, in France, in Switzerland and in Israel: «To be on stage is just great. It is like a rush of adrenaline that liberates tremendous forces. But dance also is a whole different world in which reality fades.»
Few dancers have learned how to sell themselves and their performance, says the AIDA boss. After leaving the stage, which for dancers is usually around the age of 40, the single mother of a daughter initially started occasional jobs: «I wanted to prove that one can do well after dancing and act as an example for others», says Monika Schoepfer. Among other things she managed the ballet school of a friend in Munich, organized reading tours of an ad newspaper and became executive secretary of a bank. But the desire for artistic creativity has always been strong. «A friend was looking for a dancer and drummer for a medieval show. So I learned to drum», the artist remembers with a grin. At some point during this time she had the idea of a dance agency, says Monika Schoepfer: «I have always been looking for something to link together my creative and organizational side.» Dance experts such as the chief editor of the journal «ballet-dancing» Arnd Wesemann and other friends reassured her and helped her to make her idea become relativity. In mid-March this year A.I.D.A. entered the dancing world: «My first dance mediation was a young break dancer for the ARD crooks comedy «Vincent and Claire» with Goetz George and Gudrun Landgrebe which was directed by Peter Patzak», Schoepfer says proudly. As a 15-year-old girl she had starred in the internationally acclaimed Patzak film «Kassbach.» (…) «People who want to be personally attended to can sign an annual contract with me. Beforehand I look at each of these artists, amongst which are also performance artists, on stage, while dancing or
during training and I meet the person for a longer conversation. Whom I take under contract I must be able to trust artistically and personally.» A.I.D.A. shall eventually become a hallmark in the dance world, Schoepfer hopes. But even then she still wants to be able to appreciate any mediation of an artist with whom the theater or another person looking for artists is satisfied: «Only then did I work successfully as a lobbyist.»
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