In Rachid Ouramdane’s Tenir le temps, Annie
Hanauer articulates the choreography with
unforced precision, her natural demeanor and
smooth transitions the perfect fit for Ouramdane’s undulating, abstract patterns. Few seem
to notice that there is something slightly different about her: Hanauer was born missing part of
her left arm, and now has a prosthetic one.
Hanauer, 30, has achieved what many
thought impossible for a performer with a
disability: a thriving career in the mainstream
dance world. After performing with the UK’s
Candoco Dance Company from 2008 to 2014,
she is now an in-demand freelancer, and a tall,
striking presence in the works of contemporary
choreographers Emanuel Gat and Ouramdane.
Born in Minnesota, Hanauer started taking
a range of classes at a local studio when she was
10. Both her family and dance teachers were
supportive: “I was never excluded,” she says. “It
was recreational, but when I got to the age of
16, I was taking class every night.”
Still, pursuing a college degree in dance was
far from an easy decision. “I remember having
a crisis when I was accepted, saying, ‘Am I ever
going to get a job, because I’ve got one arm,
you know?” she remembers dryly. The dance
department at the University of Minnesota
welcomed and nurtured her, and the curriculum
helped widen her horizons. “I was the first per-
son like this that they’d ever taught,” she says.
“It was probably a challenge for them, but we
got a lot of individual attention.”
In college, she also learned to work around
issues linked to her disability. Partnering proved
especially complex, although improvisation
helped in the long term. “My strategy was to
just do it to the best of my abilities, like every
other dancer,” she says.
The faculty prepared her for the challenges she would likely face in the industry: “I
was ready to struggle through and have seven
day-jobs,” she says. During her senior year, she
spotted an audition notice for Candoco, which
bills itself as a “company of disabled and non-disabled dancers.” They offered her a permanent contract, and the day after her graduation,
Hanauer found herself moving to London.
The diverse repertoire of Candoco intro-
duced Hanauer to European contemporary
dance with creations by the likes of Hofesh
Shechter, Rafael Bonachela and Nigel Charnock.
The company was also invited to perform at the
Beijing Olympics in 2008, and at the Paralympic
Games in London in 2012.
In 2014, Hanauer decided to “stretch her
yourcareer | SMART MOVES
Against All Odds
In a dance world still restrictive for disabled
performers, Annie Hanauer thrives.
BY LAURA CAPPELLE
Hanauer in Rachid
Theater St. Gallen offers the possibili-
ty for seven choreographers to create
their own choreography and to stage it.
Applicants should have a professional
background, live in Europe and have been
born after 1982. Staff members of Konzert
und Theater St. Gallen are excluded from
Applications consisting of a concept for
one or more of the seven deadly sins (ca.
10 minutes each), with music and costume
suggestions, and of a CV are to be sent via
mail or e-mail to Theater St. Gallen, attn.
Kerstin Wüthrich, Museumstr. 24, 9004
St. Gallen, SCHWEIZ or email@example.com
no later than March 10. An international
jury presided by Beate Vollack chooses one
concept for each deadly sin.
The seven winners are invited to rehearse
their choreography for one of the deadly
sins with members of the dance company
at Theater St. Gallen beginning in January
2018, and grant the performing rights to
the theatre in consideration thereof. For
each choreography, ten days of rehearsals are scheduled, plus four days of final
rehearsals. The premiere is scheduled for
The dance company of Theater St. Gallen
has 14 professional dancers. Performan-
ces will take place at the Lokremise.
Performing rights are granted without
further payment; the theatre covers travel,
accomodation, and per diems. The theatre
assumes no obligation to performe the
Head of Dance Company at
Theater St. Gallen (president)
Director of Ballett Zürich
Ballett Director of Oper Graz
Dr. Katja Schneider
Dance and Theatre Studies,
Stage director, Artistic Director of Welsh
Superbia Avaritia Luxuria
Ira Gula Invidia Acedia
The Seven Deadly Sins –
Competition for choreographers