How it all began:
The Swiss artist Janine Jaeggi is the founder and artistic director of the Bremen Carnival. (Europe's largest samba carnival) Through her years of involvement with the costume production for the Bremen Carnival, for the percussion group Confusão, Tambour and various dance and theater productions, she developed her own creative
In the year 2000, Janine Jaeggi learnt stilt walking for the production "Equinox Terminal"at the Frankfurt theater group "Antagon Theater Aktion”.
The charm to extend the dimension of the human body in the costume by high-level stilts and to let new characters emerge was aroused! (J. Jaeggi)
In 2001, Stelzen-Art was born with the first character: "Fleur". A year later, in connection with their spectacular theater project "Little Nemo in Schlumberland", several "Stilts-Classics" such as "Rose Princess", "La Luna", "Queen of Pop" and "The Flamingo Rider" were created.
Since 2003, every year new figures and the respective artistic theme of the Bremen Carnival, a new production is added:
- "Die cosmic birds" (2003)
- "Dragon Riders" (2004)
- "Insects" (2005)
- "Grande Dame" (2006)
- "Galaxis" (2007)
- "Fleur de Luxe" (2008)
- "Red Lion" (2009)
- "World Of Water" (2010)
- "Alice in Wonderland" (2011)
- "Mr. Moneymaker" (2013)
- "Ara Brasil" (2014)
- "Circus" (2015)
- "Flowers and Butterflys" (2016)
- Timetraveler (2017)
- Mars & Venus (2018)
For single costumes and promotional tours, a productive collaboration with the tailor Agnes Rademacher and later with the tailor Kathrin Pelz, was developed in the first years. Meanwhile, an ensemble of up to 20 stilt performer work continuously on the productions.
Costume production in a team
At this point we would like to acknowledge some of the collaborations.
She worked as a tailor and actor in the team during the first years. With her came costumes such as: Rose Princess, Terra Magica, Marie Antoinette, Ozeania, Mermaids, Star Princess.
The tailor Kathrin Pelz worked on the productions "World Of Water" and continued to produce the first Stelzen-Art butterfly, as part of her master's thesis at the Dresden University of Applied Sciences.
Artist, percussionist, graphic artist, freelance artist and founder and leader of her own stilt formation, the group Hochkant. Nina Scholz is a team member at Stelzen-Art and has been involved in productions, especially at "Ara Brasil".
The tailor Anouk Jäggi helped producing the stilt-art production "Circus". In 2016 Anouk Jäggi was part of the development of the illuminated and inflatable figures "Flower & Butterfly". She also works as a stilt artist in the Stelzen-Art team.
As part of a school internship and a 1-year technical diploma at Stelzen-Art, the production "Timetraveler" and the butterfly figure "Papillion" were created in 2017 in cooperation with the student Reena Mauksch. She is a member of Stelzen-Art and will finish her training as a tailor in 2021.
Lisa Marie Bondzio
In a second collaboration with the Dresden University of Applied Sciences in 2018, the "Elf Queen" was created with the tailor Lisa Marie Bondzio.
Miriam van der Neut
In 2018 Stelzen-Art worked on the production "Butterfly Elves" on silk. As part of her 3-month internship, the state-trained artist Miriam van der Neut accompanied this production. Since then she is a freelance actor at Stelzen-Art.
The cultural educator, director and stilt artist Ramona Schmalen has been expanding the basic stilt art team with a half-day position since April 2020. She continues to work as a stilt artist at the Stelzen-Art team.
Has been a stilt walker from the very beginning at Stelzen-Art and primarily supports the lighting technology area.
The spirit of Stelzen-Art is shaped by long-term collaborations. We thank everyone who is currently there and everyone who has given their energy Stelzen-Art in the past.
We would also like to thank the actors of the previous generation: Julia Schober, Alexander Seemann, Agnes Rademacher, Carola Schulz, Christine Eckert, Dietmar Hatesuer, Claudia Öefele, Brigitte Brandt, Martin Bogus, Merle Freund, Helena Meier, Johanna Sander, Kira Kayembe, Tanja Bayer and Allen not mentioned here.
The partners Jaeggi & Sasse
At the moment a team (see team) of up to 20 stilt actors is continuously working on the productions and will be on the road in the coming years.
In 2005, Janine Jaeggi & Martin Sasse founded the Jaeggi / Sasse GbR and led from now on the growing Stelzen-Art project.
Both are self-taught in the field of costume design and lighting design and have now become specialists in their field. They were asked to teach at master classes in Germany and abroad. But also in their production they have the claim to keep up with the international high quality standard of world wide succesful groups.
Jaeggi and Sasse are both passionate percussionists. Many decades of high-energy performances and concerts with the percussion groups Confusao and Tambour have also left their unmistakable mark on Stelzen-Art.
With ARA BRASIL they pursue their long grown desire to combine stilts and percussion. But also in other productions Stelzen-Art can be combined with Confusao, as the costume productions of the two groups are perfectly coordinated.
Stelzen-Art represents itself worldwide on its own, but has also enjoyed working with various agencies for many years. In recent years, a fruitful collaboration has developed with the Italian agency international show parade.
The repertoire of Stelzen-Art now includes over 120 stilt creations. Every year stilt creations for own and commissioned productions are created in the roof studio of Theaterkontor Bremen - the creative workshop of Stelzen-Art.
At the Carnival of Cultures Berlin 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2007 the group reached in Berlin the 1st place in all categories of the parade competition, together with the Berlin group: "Sapucaiu no Samba" (www.sapucaiu.de). In 2017 the group was awarded the first prize for the most beautiful costumes. Further awards followed, e.g. at the "Altonale" and "STAMP 2010" in Hamburg and the "Carnival in Aalborg", Denmark (2008 4th place / 2009 3rd place / 2010 3rd place / 2011 2nd place 2015 1st place!) In 2017 they received the 1st place at Flower Festival in Debrecen in Hungary, for this Stelzen-Art was the first foreign groups to receive this honor.
With around 100 assigments per year, domestic and abroad, Stelzen-Art is one of the most successful stilt formations worldwide.
For example Stelzen-Art travelled together with the group Confusao 2004 with the Goethe Institute to Namibia and 2008 to Palestine and 2009 to the Environmental Film Festival in Armenia. Since 2015 they are invited every year to China, to the spectacular New Year's Festival to show their impressive great formation.
Stelzen-Art has performed in Hungary, Croatia, Bulgaria, Italy, Romania, Russia, Latvia, France, Spain, Luxembourg, Bahrain, China, Poland, England, Switzerland and Ireland.
Stelzen-Art has been working closely with Circus Roncalli for several years, one of the most famous circuses in Germany.
Stelzen-Art is already on the road in:
Hungary, Croatia, Bulgaria, Italy, Romania, Russia, Latvia, Denmark, France, Spain, Andorra, Luxembourg, Belgium, Bahrain, China, Poland, England, Switzerland, Austria, Northern Ireland, Namibia, Israel, Palestine, Armenia, Qatar, Egypt.
Stelzen-Art includes a large pool of professional and semi-professional stilt performers. Several assigments are therfore possible at one date.
And it is still far from the end! - We look forward for new challenges!
Janine Jaeggi , Martin Sasse & Team