Reut Shemesh, born and raised in Israel, works in the field of contemporary dance, poetry and experimental film. She received her BA from the ArtEZ Institute of the Arts in Arnhem (NL), and holds a Master’s in Media and Fine Art from the Kunsthochschule für Medien (KHM) in Cologne (DE).

Being a woman, an artist, a mother and an immigrant, she often interlaces her own lived experiences into her work.

Reut Shemsh was once again selected as the recipient of the top level dance funding programme “Spitzenförderung” by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for 2024 – 2026.

Her stage works have been shown at tanzhaus nrw Düsseldorf, TanzFaktur Cologne, Kampnagel Hamburg, EinTanzHaus Mannheim, Tanzhaus Zürich, Suzanne Dellal Center Tel Aviv, the Jewish Museum in Berlin, Theatre Lab NYC, STUK Theatre in Leuven and the Korzo Theater in Den Haag.
Tours brought her to Israel, the U.S., Belgium, Switzerland, Slovakia, Singapore and several festivals in Germany, including the Tanzplattform Deutschland, Impulse Theater Festival, tanz nrw and the FAVORITEN FESTIVAL.
Her video/film work was selected for the Art Cologne Trade Fair, the Oberhausen Short Film Festival, the Transitions Video Art Festival in Maastricht, the New York Buenos Aires (NYBA) Dance Film Fest, the TANZ AHOi Film Festival in Hamburg and the MOOVY Dance Film Festival in Cologne.
She is a regular guest lecturer for the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Cologne University (Universität zu Köln), Hochschule Düsseldorf (HSD) and the Zentrum für Zeitgenössischen Tanz (ZZT/Centre for Contemporary Dance) in Cologne, for which Reut has created several student productions in 2021 and 2022. 

In 2016, her piece LEVIAH won the Cologne Dance Theatre Prize. In April 2019, Shemesh created the piece ATARA during the residency program at K3|Tanzplan Hamburg, which was subsequently invited to the Tanzplattform Germany 2020. Her research project under the working title WITNESS opened the Impulse Theatre Festival 2019, with its final version COBRA BLONDE premiering in its digital version at tanzhaus nrw in April 2021 and in October 2021 as the live performance at HELLERAU in Dresden.

The short film COBRA, which she created in 2022 together with filmmaker Ronni Shendar, and is based on the performance COBRA BLONDE, premiered at the NYBA Dance Film Fest in Buenos Aires and was featured as part of the Transition Video Art Festival in Maastricht, as well as the TANZ AHOi Film Fest 2023 in Hamburg. The next showing will be at the MOOVY Dance Film Festival in Cologne in 2024.

Her newest commission ESTHER (Premiere in 2024), is a large scale cooperation between fabrik Potsdam, K3 Hamburg, Fokus Tanz/Think Big Festival Munich and HELLERAU Dresden. The piece will travel to all four cities after the premiere in Potsdam.
Past commissions include BAD MOTHERS (2022), a piece for the Theater Oberhausen and her first choreographic commission for an acting ensemble at a German municipal theater and GOLA 3rd Movement (2022) for the Maslool Dance School, which was shown at the Suzanne Dellal Centre in Tel Aviv.

Currently, ULTRA (2023) – Reut’s co-creation with the Belgian production house fABULEUS in Leuven – (BE) is touring through Belgium, Denmark and to the Tweetakt Festival in the Netherlands. It will be shown at tanzhaus nrw Düsseldorf and the TanzFaktur Cologne in the spring of 2024.

Hoffnungsträgerin des Jahres 2019/ promising artist, tanz magazin 2019

‘The eternal dichotomy of the modern man is captured in this all-important image. Inside, everyone is divided, but precisely that connects us ULTRA hard.’
– Jasmien van de Beek, VETO Magazine, 17.11.2023 (ULTRA)

‘(…) Gola 4th Movement (is) an energetically charged game, full of beauty and exercion.
– Isabel Manka Fuest, Rheinische Post, 8.11.2022 (GOLA 4th Movement)

Exciting and worth seeing, the choreographer Reut Shemesh (…) succeeds in expressing the unspeakable and the taboo in this hour-long evening almost without words: in repetitive rhythms, gestures of power and powerlessness, with large, beautiful images.
Dorothea Marcus, WDR Scala, 21.3.2022 (Bad Mothers)

It’s as if this brilliant performance suddenly conjures a deeply sad core of the carnival that upends our traditional knowledge.
Martin Krumbholz, Süddeutsche Zeitung, June 2019 (COBRA BLONDE)

Shemesh is not only a choreographer but is also well versed in experimental film and even poetry – which was clearly reflected in the language of the performance
Christian Oscar Gazsi Laki, Westdeutsche Zeitung, May 2019

Photography © Almut Elhardt