Lighting Designer - Lighting Supervisor

"My epiphany for the performing arts certainly did not hit me during my teenage years

after leaving a performance of 'Pelléas et Mélisande' by the Frankfurt Opera during the first intermission.

I stated to my classmates at that time that I had no intention of ever returning.

Funnily enough, three years later, I began my theatrical engineering apprenticeship at the very same theatre.
It was also around this time that I first encountered dance through the work of
William Forsythe's 'Endless House'.
It left me mesmerized and confused and I loved it.
Almost instantly I knew I wanted to become a part of this world of dance.
Working with and learning from some of the best,
for more than a decade, it has certainly shaped me as a human being
and enabled me to find my identity as an artist.

Now, as a freelance artist and lighting designer,
my aim is to explore the potential of light not only
for dance, but all kinds of performing arts.


Hoping to enlighten the world of art with what I love."






Tanja Ruehl was born and resides in Germany.

She began her theatrical engineering apprenticeship in 1999 at the Frankfurt Opera House.

After completing her studies with a distinction,
Tanja joined Ballet Frankfurt under the artistic direction of William Forsythe in 2002 as Assistant to the Lighting Supervisor.

In 2005 she was appointed Lighting Supervisor with the then newly founded Forsythe Company and in 2006 she completed her master of theatrical engineering majoring in lighting.
Since 2007 Tanja has also been acting as the company's lighting designer,

mostly in cooperation with her co-designer and her mentor.

She is a member of the Forsythe Productions team and acts as technical and design consultant, collaborating with international ballet and dance companies in matters related to Forsythe licensed works.

At the end of the season 2013/14 Tanja has left The Forsythe Company,

and is now a freelance lighting designer, working in performing arts and collaborating with choreographers, companies and artists around the globe.


photo credit headshot: Dominik Mentzos