Mani Obeya and Esther Balfe have been working towards building Amoeba for some years now in the field of Dance and Movement Direction, drawing from years of performance and choreographic expertise. From their own contemporary dance works to partnership with makers of theatre and opera, also setting artistic installations and working in the commercial field, Balfe and Obeya's breadth of scope and artistic curiosity make them invaluable additions to any creative team.




Esther Balfe graduated from Rambert ( Brunel University, London ) in 1990. Directly upon finishing her Diploma she was engaged as Solo artist at the Landestheater Saarbrücken & following that in Heidelberg Theatre, Unterwegs Theater & danced as a guest with the National Theater in Mannheim. Thereafter she joined Liz King’s Tanztheater Wien and Volksoper Wien from 1994 – 2003. In 2005, Esther was invited by the University of New Mexico as Artist in Residence. Esther has worked with Choreographer Michael Keegan Dolan in his former company Fabulous Beast { now Teac Damsa }. At the end of 2005 she was initially a guest performer for Ballet Frankfurt. In 2006, Esther joined William Forsythe’s Contemporary Company full time, experiencing collaborative processes and repertoire under its new configuration, The Forsythe Company. In 2012, Esther was invited by Scott Delahunta and Forsythe to take part in the research and development phase for the “Motion Bank” team in Frankfurt. Most recently she has been actively involved in projects such as Wolfgang Tschapeller's ( IKA ) INTRA SPACE devised by Christina Jauernik, the Ganymed series at the Kunst Historisches Museum, Wien with Jacqueline Kornmüller, and for TanzQuartierWien and Alex Gottfarb's NEGOTIATIONS. She is presently working with the  Artist John Gerrard and, separately, with the SCHAUSPIELHAUS Wien, performing in the play 'Sommer' written by Sean Keller. Esther's full time position is Professor of Dance at the Music & Art  University, Vienna.




Mani Obeya is a Nigerian born, British raised dancer, singer/songwriter and choreographer. He trained at Arts Educational School, Ballet Rambert and Dance Theatre of Harlem before becoming a soloist at Stadt Theater Heidelberg, National Theater Mannheim and Unterwegs Theater Heidelberg. This was followed by 4 years working with TTW under the direction of Liz King. Guest choreographers included Catherine Guerin, Nigel Charnock and Simon Frearson before becoming a soloist at the Volksoper Wien where he danced and co-choreographed until 2003. He later was a guest performer with The Forsythe Company. 

He also became a member of Michael Keegan Dolan`s Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre performing world wide for over a decade before Michael disbanded the company and reformed it as Teac Damsa. He has been Michael’s assistant and Rehearsal Director for several years and is currently on a worldwide tour of the multi-award winning work Swan Lake / Loch nHeala. 

He is currently Assistant Director at the Irish National Opera for their touring production of Orfeo. 

He has been a Choreographer at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Deutsches Theater Berlin, Stadt Theater Hannover, Bremen and Schauspielhaus Dresden and Düsseldorf. 

He works internationally on youth programmes such as on projects with young people living in slum areas of Nairobi, Kenya, creating work with asylum seekers recently arriving in Austria or with the National Youth Dance Theatre in the UK. He regularly teaches and makes choreographic work at the Private University of Music and Arts Vienna. 

Since 2004 he has been the singer and songwriter with the Viennese electronic/ rock band Sofa Surfers with whom he has won 2 Austrian Music Awards, currently touring their latest album “20”.




Mani Obeya with Willi Dorner - Me, Nmu, Ami  ImPulsTanz Festival 2022

  • Mani Obeya with Doris Uhlich - Gootopia

  • Mani Obeya - Guest Choreographer for Anton Bruckner University, Linz.  New work for BA performance 

  • Mani Obeya - 2020/21- Guest Lecturer for MUK University of Vienna 

  • Mani Obeya - collaboration with Elizabeth Tambwe for Austrian Museum for Volkskunde, Vienna.  

  • 2020 July - Mani Obeya; SOLIDGROUND Dance workshop, Munich TWE.

  • 2020 Mani Obeya - Curator in partnership with Rio Rutzinger for The StadtWien 'Kultur Sommer'.

  • 2020 December - E. Balfe 'Encounters' for Alex Gottfarb, 50 hour durational piece.

  • 2020 August TanzWerkstatt EUROPA, Munich, workshop, Guest Teacher.

  • 2020 - Esther Balfe - Artistic Process for Willi Dorner - Premiere; Herrenhaus Festival, Germany.

  • 2020 - 'The Only Tune'Mani Obeya; Assistant Choreographer/Co-Production between Teac Damsa & Sadlers Wells in Partnership with Michael Keegan-Dolan (Premiere cancelled due to Covid) 

  • 2019 - Mani Obeya Choreography for the Dance Programme at MUK Uni Vienna - 'without me I'm nothing.'

  • 2019 - Mani Obeya Revival Choreographic Director for Faust, ROH Covent Garden.   

  • 2019  Esther Balfe Performing and Choreographer at Schauspielhaus, Vienna. 'Sommer' written by Sean Keller & Directed By Elsa-Sophie Jach.

  • 2019  Esther Balfe & Christina Jauernik perform Installation: intraspace otherness {attentional forms}, AUT, Innsbruck.  

  • 2019/18  Mani Obeya at the Irish National Opera; Choreography and Assistant Director to Director/Choreographer Emma Martin - Orfeo ed Eurydice

  • 2018/19  Esther Balfe Performance  'Negotiations' for Alex Gottfarb, produced by Tanz Quartier Wien.

  • 2018  Esther Balfe,  Choreographer and workshop leader for Rambert Summer Academy; London, UK.

  • 2018  ©ImPulsTanz Festival. Esther Balfe & Christina Jauernik; OTHERNESS {attentional forms} 

  • 2018  Mani Obeya, Choreographer for Superbock Commercial, Johnny Green. 

  • 2017  Esther Balfe, Choreography & Performance,  Ganymed Female (Künst Historisches Museum in Vienna.

  • 2017  Balfe & Obeya - Schloss Ambrass, Innsbruck.

  • 2015/16  Balfe & Obeya - Invited by Director Jacqueline Kornmüller to Perform Ganymed at KHM, Vienna. 

  • 2015  Esther Balfe - The Forsythe Company perfrom 'Yes we can't' Dresden, Hellerau.

  • 2014  Balfe & Obeya - Imaginative Bodies Field project for ©ImPulsTanz, Vienna International Dance Festival.

  • 2014  Esther Balfe invited to partipate in intraspace. The reformulation of architechural space as a dialogical aesthetic. A peek funded project from Wolfgang Tschapeller IKA, Acadamy of Fine Arts.

  • 2014  Esther Balfe perform's Solo work Kobe, Kyoto & Tokyo.

  • 2014  MQ Wien with the Forsythe Co. 'Yes We Can't' 



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