STORY WATER is an intermediary. It is warm water, it is bread. It is a garden. It is the story of dancing bodies, of music being played, of colour and line, and of the light that hides and shows it all. It is an intermediary put to work in the service of communities, through reflecting the issues and concerns of the places where they land. It stands witness to meaning beyond the known, and is therefore a transcendent commerce, a currency, an economy of experiences. It is a place of fluid metaphors waiting for new contexts to emerge, so as to reveal new meanings. STORY WATER is a long deep look into the space in which music and choreography meet, serving as intermediaries and creating a space for people to step into, a freshly watered garden.

Photos of STORY WATER by Julia Gat

Emanuel Gat livre une chorégraphie énergique et vibrante. Il est là où on l’attendait peut-être pas, engagé politiquement. Il y a très longtemps qu’un spectacle de danse n’avait été autant envoûtant dans la Cour d’honneur du Palais des Papes.

Stéphane Capron


Choreography, stage and lights: Emanuel Gat

Music: Pierre Boulez, Rebecca Saunders, Emanuel Gat

Conductor: Franck Ollu

Costume Design: Thomas Bradley

Light direction: Guillaume Février

Sound direction: Norbert Ommer

Live electronics: Felix Dreher

Performers: Thomas Bradley, Robert Bridger, Péter Juhász, Zoé Lecorgne, Michael Loehr, Emma Mouton, Eddie Oroyan, Karolina Szymura, Milena Twiehaus, Sara Wilhelmsson, TingAn Ying

Musicians: Saar Berger, Jaan Bossier, Paul Cannon, Eva Debonne, David Haller, Christian Hommel, Stefan Hussong, Megumi Kasakawa , Michael M. Kasper, Giorgos Panagiotidis, Rainer Römer, Johannes Schwarz, Ueli Wiget

Production cast:
Project Manager Ensemble Modern: Edda von Gerlach, Kerstin Adineh
Stage Manager Ensemble Modern: Michael Schmidt : Ernst Neisel
Sound technician Ensemble Modern: Volker Bernhart
Press and public relations Ensemble Modern: Marie-Luise Nimsgern
Global management Ensemble Modern: Christian Fausch
Production Emanuel Gat Dance: Noémie Torz
Press and photography manager Emanuel Gat Dance: Julia Gat
Project advisor Emanuel Gat Dance and French Touring: Mélanie Roger
Company management Emanuel Gat Dance and project developer: Florence Chaudière
Technical Direction: Guillaume Février
Documentation FolkDance: Joseph Planells

A production by Emanuel Gat Dance, Ensemble Modern and Frankfurt LAB e.V. Funded by Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain, the City of Frankfurt and Ensemble Modern Board of Patrons e.V., with the help of Transfabrik Fund – Franco-German Fund for Performing Arts.

Emanuel Gat Dance is coproduced by Chaillot – Théâtre National pour la Danse, Festival d’Avignon, deSingel international arts campus, Pôle Arts de la Scène – Friche la Belle de Mai. Funded by BNP Paribas Foundation. Residency at the FabricA of the Festival d’Avignon. Partnership: Kryolan – Professional Make-Up. Ensemble Modern is coproduced by Beethovenfest Bonn, Künstlerhaus Mousonturm.

The company Emanuel Gat Dance is supported by the city of Istres, the Ministry of Culture – DRAC Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur, the Sud Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur Region and Conseil Départemental des Bouches du Rhône. It is also supported by the BNP Paribas Foundation for the development of its projects. Emanuel Gat is associated artist at Chaillot – Théâtre National de la Danse and the Scène Nationale d’Albi.

Ensemble Modern is funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation, the City of Frankfurt, the German Ensemble Academy, the Hessen State Ministry for Higher Education, Research and the Arts, and the GVL. The Ensemble Modern musicians thank the Aventis Foundation for financing a chair in their ensemble. hr2-kultur is Ensemble Modern’s cultural affairs partner.

Performance History

Festival d’Avignon 2018
Cour d’honneur du Palais des Papes, Avignon, France

Beethovenfest 2018
Oper Bonn, Bonn, Germany

Tanzfestival Rhein-Main 2018
Frankfurt LAB, Frankfurt, Germany

deSingel, Antwerp, Belgium

Théâtre National de Chaillot, Paris, France

Tanzhaus NRW, Düsseldorf, Germany

times performed since 2018


  • Drift and Fury

    Dance journalist Thomas Hahn describes STORY WATER as "One of the best French dance companies and one of the best contemporary German orchestras in a vibrant choreography of bodies and minds." He elaborates that "The new creation of Emanuel Gat unfolds a surprising dramaturgy...
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  • It’s a wrap!

    2018 is a wrap and it’s time to say thank you for a year full of exciting projects! I feel really really lucky that I’m able to work with so many great people and institutions around the world. I performed 35 times across 7 countries, spent 10 weeks creating (and restaging) 5 different works with...
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  • Gat fam playlist

    Electric Warm Arse

    Get your groove on with the Gat fam! If you ever wondered what we listen to when we warm up our tired bodies before a show, here’s a little playlist with some selected tracks from before (and after) our recent shows at deSingel in Antwerp. Hope you enjoy the ride…
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  • Harsh, rugged and angular

    Silvia Staude from German newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau came to see STORY WATER at Tanzfestival Rhein-Main last week. After several working residencies at Frankfurt LAB and a successful world premiere in Avignon, the Emanuel Gat Dance /  Ensemble Modern co-production returned to where it all started for two celebrated shows. Check out the German review below...
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  • Sharlie’s Story

    It always feels like we only truly start working on a production once we begin touring it. So naturally Emanuel Gat’s STORY WATER is still somewhere at the beginning of its journey. And while we keep discovering and understanding more and more layers of the show each time we meet and work, our audiences have...
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  • Love at first sight

    After a much celebrated World Premiere in Avignon, it was about time to start touring STORY WATER, time to figure out how the piece would work and evolve in different settings and with different audiences. Beethovenfest at the Opera House in Bonn was the perfect start for this adventure, and it was a lot of...
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  • Danse!

    The new theatre season is about to kick off and my first show will be STORY WATER with Emanuel Gat Dance and the brilliant Ensemble Modern at Beethovenfest in Bonn next week. Just in time Julia Gat finished editing a brand new teaser, filmed at the world premiere in Avignon last month. I totally can’t wait for this...
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  • Garçon d’honneur

    After I tore a muscle bundle in my right calf and almost dropped out of the production, after 7 hard weeks of rehabilitation training, and after a general rehearsal with high fever … we finally did it! Against all odds the world premiere (and the four following shows) of STORY WATER in the absolutely gorgeous...
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  • Two Conversations

    With regard to the upcoming world premiere of STORY WATER at Festival d’Avignon 2018 this Thursday, i wanna share two interesting conversations focusing on the project’s music as well as the relation between music and dance on stage. The first (English) conversation was held between journalist Mélanie Suchy, Emanuel Gat and the Ensemble Modern for the...
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