Sophiensæle 23/24


The programme 23/24 of Sophiensæle starts on 07.12.2023

On 7.12.2023, after urgently needed renovation work, the 2023/2024 season will begin at the Sophiensaele under the new artistic direction of Andrea Niederbuchner and Jens Hillje. We will publish the programme for the opening and the season on 26.10.2023, which is also the day when the pre-sale begins.

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© Jan Grygoriew


Every new year, the Tanztage Berlin is not only the city's very first festival, it has also established itself nationally and internationally as an important platform for emerging dance artists since its founding in 1996. The next edition of Tanztage Berlin will once again take place under the artistic direction of Mateusz Szymanówka. The festival is currently planned for 5-20 January 2024. The festival offers emerging dance artists based in Berlin a framework for their new productions and revivals. The programme of the last two editions can be found at:

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Jelena Stefanoska & Saša Asentić Жизела / Giselle

  • PM_Sasa Asentic_Giselle_Foto_Marija Erdelji_4026
    © Marija Erdelji
  • Sasa Asentic_Giselle_Foto_Marija Erdelji_4013
    © Marija Erdelji
  • Sasa Asentic_Giselle_Foto_Marija Erdelji_4154
    © Marija Erdelji
2022 December 17 18 | 18.00
In Serbian spoken language with English and German subtitles | also available via an audio channel, accessible with headphones

It is compulsory to wear an FFP2 mask. Exceptions are made for visitors who are unable to wear an FFP2 mask for health/physical reasons and for visitors who communicate in sign language.

Due to the Christmas market in Sophienstraße, the Sophiensaele will not be accessible by car on 17 and 18 December.

December 17 | Performance with German audio description. The preceding stage tour takes place from 16.45 h to 17.15 h. For audio description and pick-up service you can register within our business hours, Monday to Friday between 10 h and 18 h via 030 27 89 00 30

Please klick here for the German Audioflyer.

The subtitles are also accessible via an audio channel accessible with headphones. If you want to listen to the subtitles, you can get the corresponding headphones at the bar.

As though someone calls softly for me in my sleep
The wind carried me
My hands moved me
This is my feeling: I feel that I’m born again but I want to be the same
The same as I ever was
Same Jelena
And my heart is in its right place too.
(Jelena Stefanoska)

Жизела / Giselle explores the similarities and differences between the artist Jelena Stefanoska and the tragic ballet character Giselle. The piece questions a society that prevents individuals from living their lives with dignity and happiness through strict rules and – often unspoken – norms. 

Jelena Stefanoska expresses her own feelings and body conditions through various danced, written or narrated elements – while also reinterpreting the well-known role of Giselle. Personal values of the performer such as honesty, loyalty and forgiveness play a major role, as well as her joy of self-expression and the connection to nature. Thus, at its root, the piece tells of the need to love and be loved – and, above all, of the desire and feeling to live a life with dignity. 

Saša Asentić and Jelena Stefanoska have a long-lasting artistic collaboration. The piece Жизела / Giselle was created from Jelena Stefanoska's own stories, poems, drawings, clippings from magazines, her favorite pop music and parts of ballet music, as well as her powerful dance improvisations. In the joint work, it was especially important for the team to follow Jelena Stefanoska's wishes and needs, to offer suggestions and thus create conditions that supported the dance artist in realizing her ideas.

In one scene, the dealing with death is thematised.

If any questions remain from the following information, please feel free to contact Hannah Aldinger at or 030 27 89 00 35. Please note that details may change by the day of the event.

General: The performance lasts approximately 45 minutes and uses Serbian spoken and written language. It is suitable for audiences aged from 12 years. Spotlights and projections will be used on stage. The projections show fashion magazine cutouts, as well as an edited image of Jelena Stafanoska, and trees. In one sequence, an orange-yellow pulsating shape is projected as a background image while Jelena Stefanoska dances in front of it. In another scene, a video sequence is projected onto Jelena Stefanoska, which then spreads out onto the floor. In the last scene, the projection shows a poem written by hand in Serbian by Jelena Stefanoska. In the end of the performance there is music that in some moments has a high pitch sound of accordion.

Subtitles: Jelena Stefanoska's poem and story is subtitled in German and English. The subtitles are also accessible via an audio channel accessible with headphones. If you want to listen to the subtitles, you can get the headphones at the bar.

Audio description: For the performance on 17 December, there is an audio description in German spoken language with a preceding tactile tour for blind and visually impaired people. The tactile tour begins at 4.45 pm. The meeting point is at the box office in the Sophiensaele courtyard. Ticket reservations are accepted by Hannah Aldinger at or by calling 030 278900 35. If required, we offer a pick-up service for blind and visually impaired persons from the nearby S-Bahn, U-Bahn and tram stations. These are U-Bahn Weinmeisterstraße, S-Bahn Hackescher Markt or the tram station Weinmeisterstraße/Gipsstraße. An accompany back to the stations is also possible. To make use of the pick-up service, please contact us during our business hours (Monday to Friday between 10 am and 6 pm) at 030 27 89 00 30 or

Audience area: The audience is seated in the dark. The audience area in the grandstand is seated. There are two wheelchair spaces and two beanbag seats, which can be reserved or purchased at the online ticket shop or box office, depending on availability.

How to get there: Due to the Christmas market in Sophienstraße, the Sophiensaele cannot be reached by car on 17 and 18 December.

Early Boarding: If, for artistic reasons, the door to the auditorium does not open until very shortly before the performance begins, there is the option of Early Boarding. This is early admission for all people (especially those with visible or non-visible disabilities) who want a specific seat or a more relaxed entry. Early Boarding usually starts 10-20 minutes before the performance starts. The meeting point is next to the bar. Five minutes before Early Boarding begins, an on-site announcement will draw your attention to it once again. Our evening staff will be happy to help you find the meeting point.

You can also find more information about accessibility here. 

JELENA STEFANOSKA is a dance artist with Down syndrome. She has participated in numerous performances at festivals and renowned dance institutions in Serbia, Germany, Slovenia, Italy, Montenegro and Japan. As part of the Europe Beyond Access project, she participated in dance labs in Hamburg, Maastricht and Rovereto. Besides dance and choreography, she makes drawings, paper collages and costume designs.

SAŠA ASENTIĆ is a choreographer, performance maker and cultural worker. His work is presented throughout Germany as well as internationally. Asentić works in the field of contemporary dance, performance and disability arts. His artistic practice is based on the principle of solidarity and resistance to cultural oppression and indoctrination. 

Jelena Stefanoska and Saša Asentić have been working together since 1999. They are members of the PER.ART group in Novi Sad.

Idea Jelena Stefanoska Selection of motifs from the libretto, music, and choreography from the ballet Giselle Jelena Stefanoska Story and poem Jelena Stefanoska Artistic direction Jelena Stefanoska, Saša Asentić Artistic collaboration Olivera Kovačević Crnjanski Choreography Jelena Stefanoska, Jelena Alempijević, Vesna Pašćanović, Olivera Kovačević Crnjanski Performance Jelena Stefanoska, Saša Asentić Light design Anja Sekulić Video animation Paulina Stanko Music improvisation (fourth part of the performance) Dunja Crnjanski Collaboration on vocal interpretation of folk songs Mirjana Raić Tepić Technical Direction, Sound Rastko Ilić Camera Ana Lagator Accessibility and care work provided by Olivera Kovačević Crnjanski, Nataša Murge Savić, Saša Asentić Executive production Nataša Murge Savić, Saša Asentić AUDIO DESCRIPTION Emmilou Rössling, Silja Korn READING OF CAPTIONS Isabel Schwenk Production management of guest performances in Berlin Miriam Glöckler, Stephan Wagner 

A Production by Per.Art. In collaboration with Milan Petrović School and Academy of Arts, Novi Sad. Supported by Europe Beyond Access - co-financed by the EU program Creative Europe, City of Novi Sad, Erste Bank. The guest performance in Berlin takes place in the context of the project "Pieces of Change", funded by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe. The project "TanZugang" is supported by Fonds Soziokultur e.V. Media partner: taz, die tageszeitung.