Born in 1940, she studied dance in the USA and at the Folkwang Schule in Essen from 1955 to 1962. She then danced for six years with the Folkwang Ballet under the famous choreographer Kurt Jooss. Having already created her own works, she became director of the Folkwang Dance Studio in 1969.
Since 1973 she has now directed her own company, Tanztheater Wuppertal, which has become world-famous through extensive touring. Of her early pieces, “Cafe Müller”, in which she dances herself, and “Kontakthof”, which she later reconstructed with older amateur dancers from her hometown, are the best known.
She has received numerous awards.
She has received numerous awards and has created more than 50 full-length pieces in total, most recently often inspired by a specific foreign culture she was researching on location for a particular work.