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"Gratis - but not valueless"


“Again and again I found myself observing that the long process of creation was often more interesting to me than the

‘performance’ or ‘show’ itself – that I was more curious and obsessed with this part than fulfilled with the ‘result’."


Biography Thomas Mettler


Work in theatre and dance through ongoing research for 36 years (foundation at the school of Marcel Marceau) as mime, clown, actor, improviser and dancer.


Teaching over 30 years – 4 years full-time at professional acting or dance schools in London and Paris, and over 140 intensive-workshops brought him to Columbia, France, England, Italy, Germany, USA, India, Greece, Portugal, Finland, Spain, Israel, Palestine, Poland, Czech Republic, Ukraine and Switzerland.


He created numerous pieces and projects where theatre and dance mix - always with parts of improvisation.


Invitation to the festival “Cultural Capital of Europe 97” in Thessaloniki.


To deepen his research and work in dance and dance-improvisation he followed his most important teachers over a dedicated period of 3 years throughout Europe: David Zambrano, Nigel Charnock, Russell Maliphant, Laurie Booth and Kirstie Simson.


In 1995 he co-founded “ Werkstatt” in Bern, a centre for research, studies, exchange and creation with international leading guest-teachers and was its Artistic Director during 12 years.


With “6 Men Dance – a night of improv” he realises a long-time dream by founding and bringing together one of Europe’s finest and most daring Dance/Physical-Theatre/Improvisation collective with artists: Adam Benjamin (UK) – Rick Nodine (USA/UK) – Jordi Cortés Molina (ES) – Christian Panouillot (FR) – Dan Watson (UK) – Chris Aiken (USA).


In the fields of Integrated Dance he choreographed for “StopGAP Dance Company” and “DanseHabile” and worked with “Beweggrund Bern” and “Adam Benjamin & Friends”.

2009 he began a collaboration with Astad Deboo/ India called 'Incontro' ('Encounter'). 2010 he created the evening filling piece "The Sweet Poison LOVE" with 9 dancers from 5 nations, which premiered at the 11th Kemptener Tanzherbst in Germany and toured through Switzerland. Since 2011 he's engaged as Artistic Director of the DanceFilmFestival Lucerne.


2012 Co-Founder of the first monthly Contact-Improvisation-Jam in Ticino/ CH (


2013-2014 he finished his first dancefilm 'autumn leaves' and worked on two new "Incontro"s with international guests. His dance improv project 'When We Meet' with Zita Pavlistova had its Première in Prag during spring 2014. 2015 he created "Some Men Must Die" with 11 dancers/ actors in Kiev/ Ukraine which premiered at the GOGOL Fest 15. The piece was revised in 2016 for the KMATOS-Fest 2016. Currently he is finishing his new solo „ – t r a n s i t i o – „ in collaboration/ with sculptures from Swiss sculptor Pascal Murer and with live musicians Vojtà & Irena Havlovi (CZ). Also he is currently leading a new international male improvisation ensemble, entitled “truly yours“.


→ click here to see all Dance- and Physical-Theatre Workshops organised and participated by Thomas Mettler  during his time as Artistic Director of the Werkstatt in Bern.

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