Born in 1943, she began studying at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen in 1965. Kurt Jooss and Jean Cébron were among her teachers. In 1970 she danced in the ensemble of Johann Kresnik at the Theater Bremen. In 1974 she started as co-director of the Folkwang Tanzstudio, together with Susanne Linke to choreograph herself.
In 1977 she went to New York to study choreography, returning the following year to become director of the Bremer Tanztheater, at times together with Gerhard Bohner, to take over. She stayed in Bremen for eight years, choreographing on the side for her own company, with which she also went on tour.
Four times during the 1980s she was invited to the most important theatre festival in Germany, the Berlin Theatertreffen, and had thus achieved a quality in dance that until then only the famous Pina Bausch. For almost a decade she went to Bochum with her ensemble in 1986. She has been awarded numerous prizes for her work.
Since 1996 she has been choreographing and directing mainly operas.