Filmmaker and director Marianne Hettinger has always been fascinated by movement, absurdity and complexities of human relationships. This was already apparent in her first short film, “Shenanigans Point” in 2001. Budget: $6.95. She sees Woody Allen, Mike Leigh and Pedro Almodovar as her greatest inspirations. German press: Die Welt online, click Wikipedia and German Wikipedia for more info.
Having come to New York alone as a teenager from a small town in Germany, she has found her own unique style. “I thrive in adversity. If people say I can’t do something, I will use it as fuel to ignite my dream”, she said after she won “Best Director” at the Detroit Independent Film Festival 2010 with her first feature “Mango Tango“.
Born and raised in Augsburg, Germany and then Leitershofen, a suburb with a population of only 2000, Marianne Hettinger saw the movie “An American in Paris” for the first time at age 5. This was the birth of her dream to come to USA to dance and act like Gene Kelly. it would take her 7 hours roundtrip to get to the closest dance studio in Munich by bicycle, tramway, train and subway. But that didn’t stop her.
From “American in Paris” to “German in New York”, Marianne arrived as a nineteen year old alone in Manhattan with only $800 in her pocket, not knowing anybody. Soon she was accepted by the prestigious National Shakespeare Conservatory on a scholarship to study acting and directing. Simultaneously she studied dance on scholarships at the Alvin Ailey School, Steps on Broadway, the Martha Graham School and the Merce Cunningham Dance Company.
At age 20 she wrote, directed and acted in her first play “Heaven & Earth” at the Cubiculo Theatre in Manhattan. Because of her femme fatale figure she appeared as a model in “Sports Illustrated”, Elle, Men’s Health, Harper’s Bazaar, Self and on national TV. Marianne eventually turned down an exclusive modeling contract with the famous ELITE MODEL MANAGEMENT because of her passion for acting and dancing.
The versatile actor has been featured in over 50 features, independent films and television shows and commercials. She’s worked with such acclaimed directors as Tim Robbins, Frank Oz, Michael Apted, James Toback and Warren Leight and was a member of the “A THEATRE CO” theatre company founded by Thomas Everett Scott. As an A-list dancer she’s brought down the house on Broadway in “Latin Rhythms” with Chita Rivera, in a duet with Antonio Banderas on the Late Show with David Letterman and as a solo guest artist with many national and international symphony orchestras and as a US and Canadian Ballroom Champion (American Rhythm and Theatre Arts).
Combining her talents, Marianne came full circle in 2009 when she wrote, directed, produced and acted in her first feature film MANGO TANGO that won her “BEST DIRECTOR” at the DETROIT INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL as well as the “JURY PRIZE FOR BEST FEATURE” at the VENTURA FILM FESTIVAL and “MOST POPULAR FILM” at the “FUENF SEEN FILM FESTIVAL” in Germany. Marianne was nominated for “BEST DIRECTOR” and “BEST FEATURE” at the QUEENS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL. “MANGO TANGO” has packed screenings in New York City, Detroit, Michigan, Ventura, California and internationally in Berlin, Munich and Augsburg, Germany with enthusiastic audience reactions ranging from laughter to tears. It’s now available as VOD on Amazon and Cinecliq. She is a member of “Film Fatales”, a diverse community of women filmmakers who share resources, collaborate on projects and build a supportive environment in which to make their films.
Marianne Hettinger makes New York City her home, a place that feeds her creativity. With her projects she entertains and touches people’s hearts in her own unique way.
CHOREOGRAPHER and DANCER for FILM and TELEVISION
Since 1998 Marianne Hettinger has been successfully teaching thousands of students as a professional ballroom and Argentine tango coach as well as a jazz, ballet and tap instructor. Since 2005, Marianne has been teaching the dance program at the NEW YORK HEALTH & RACQUET CLUB, the only comprehensive ballroom dance program in a New York City fitness club, including BALLET and ZUMBA and REBOUNDING.
Located in Manhattan, New York City, Marianne Hettinger also teaches at AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE, the ALVIN AILEY SCHOOL, DANCE THEATRE OF HARLEM, at STEPS on Broadway, DANCE NEW YORK and CHAMPIONS DANCE STUDIO.
Privately she has coached celebrities ANTONIO BANDERAS, Tony award winner IDINA MENZEL, Olympic figure skater and World Champion NORBERT SCHRAMM, 3-time Emmy award winner MICHAEL E. KNIGHT, Olympic boxing coach Michael Kozlowski and many others. She gets featured as a ballroom coach on television (WB11, GOOD DAY NEW YORK) as well as at live events.
As a choreographer and writer/ director she has worked on her own films, MANGO TANGO, SAINT VITUS DANCE and STRAD FOR LUNCH, many commercials, a one- person- show “Heaven & Earth” and Broadway Cares benefits. She assisted DAVID PARSONS of PARSONS DANCE as a tango expert for an original piece starring DESMOND RICHARDSON and a Salsa piece, and choreographed a dance sequence on television’s AS THE WORLD TURNS (CBS).
THE YOUNG DANCER IN GERMANY
Marianne Hettinger was born in Germany with a passion for dance. She started taking gymnastics at age four, modern dance at seven and ballet at nine. When she saw Gene Kelly in the movie “An American in Paris”, her dream to come to America to dance, was born. She first studied with Elisabeth Müller-Brunn, a former protégé of modern dance icon Mary Wigman, then at the OTEVREL BALLET STUDIO and ballroom dance at the TANZSCHULE TRAUTZ in her hometown of Augsburg. From age 14-18 she studied pantomime, worked with an experimental theater company “Freies Theater München” and was an intern at the State Theater Augsburg. At the same time she commuted to take weekly lessons a the prestigious DANCE CENTER IWANSON in Munich, a roundtrip that took 6 hours for the young dance lover. During this time she already taught ballet lessons after school.
NEW YORK DANCE EDUCATION
Right after high school graduation, Marianne moved to New York City, not knowing anybody there, to pursue her dream of dancing and acting. She received scholarships to study at STEPS ON BROADWAY, The ALVIN AILEY DANCE CENTER, the MERCE CUNNINGHAM DANCE STUDIO and the NATIONAL SHAKESPEARE CONSERVATORY, where she studied acting and directing as well. While still studying she was pulled out of a ballet class by a TV producer and hired as a principal dancer for 9 national commercial spots by the Kroger company, in which she portrayed scissors snipping prices.
BALLROOM DANCE CHAMPION
In 1996 Marianne rediscovered ballroom dancing, which she had learned at age 15, and within a few months, after pairing up with Lucas Jaime, the couple won their first ballroom dance competition and went on to win many dancesport championships between 1996-1999. They competed in professional American Rhythm (Latin), Theatre Arts and Cabaret, Show Dance and Hustle. They received coaching from some of the best teachers in the business: Pierre Dulaine, Louis Van Amstel, Victor Kanevsky, Rufus Dustin, Nick Kosovich, Diana and Gary McDonald, Gary Pierce, Eddie Simon, Karen McDonald, Peter DiFalco and many others.
Here is a list of dance competitions in the Professional Theatre Arts, Show Dance and American Rhythm categories they excelled at:
New York Empire State Ball 1st place
La Classique Du Quebec Championships (Canada) 1st place
Can Am Dancesport (Toronto, Canada) 1st place
The Emerald Ball (Los Angeles) 1st place
Sabado Gigante (Univision TV, Miami) 1st place
The Disco Classics, Florida, 1st and 2nd place
The Eastern Dancesport Championships (Boston) 2nd place
Hustle USA (New York City) 2nd place
Ohio Star Ball 2nd place
United States Dance Sport Championships (USDC) 3rd place
Manhattan Dancesport Competition 2nd place
Texas Challenge Dancesport 1st place
Yankee Classic Dance Sport Championships 2nd place
Virginia State Dancesport Championships 1st place
New Jersey State Open Ballroom Championship 1st place
PROFESSIONAL DANCE PERFORMER
Since 2000 Marianne Hettinger has been making featured guest appearances under the direction of the brilliant conductor JACK EVERLY with National and International symphony orchestras:
The National Symphony Orchestra/ Washington/ Kennedy Center
National Arts Centre/ Ottawa Symphony
Partners included Greg Mitchell (veteran performer of 13 Broadway shows, Feld Ballet and the National Ballet of Canada), Christian Perry (of TV’s Dancing with the Stars), and current partner Ramon DelBarrio ( choreographer of the 2007 Live Action Short Oscar “Westbank”). Since 2002 Marianne Hettinger has performed solos and duets for BROADWAY BENEFIT SHOWS on a regular basis: BROADWAY’S LATIN RHYTHMS with partner and choreographer Richard Amaro, starring Chita Rivera, Antonio Banderas and Rosie Perez.
Off-BROADWAY she has played 13 different roles in the hit show LES INCROYABLES, danced the Waltz in the FEATURE STEPFORD WIVES and has danced in numerous national commercials and on the LATE NIGHT WITH DAVID LETTERMAN in which she danced a duet with ANTONIO BANDERAS.