Jury Statements 2021


Project: Jefta van Dinther
Applicant: Jefta van Dinther, Berlin 
Co-financed by: federal state of Berlin, HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Norrlands Operan Umeå and others

The Berlin-based dancer and choreographer has been developing his own works since 2008 and from the outset achieving a high level of artistic quality for which he has already received numerous awards. At the latest with the performance GRIND (2011), it became clear that here was an artist who knew how to fuse movement, sound and light on a wholly equal level and in doing so reveal his unique style. The TANZPAKT funding will facilitate the professional development and consolidation of an internationally positioned company of seven dancers in the city of Berlin. The two major ensemble works planned for the coming years will be accompanied by a mentoring programme that could serve as a model. The jury was not least convinced by the practical approaches to sustainable production and touring outlined in the application.


Project: UNIque@dance / Netzwerk für mixed-abled Tanzausbildung
Applicant: DIN A 13 tanzcompany, Köln
Co-financed by: federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, city of Köln, Aktion Mensch, Kämpgen-Stiftung

DIN A 13 tanzcompany is the most well known ensemble in and outside of Germany to comprise dancers with and without physical disabilities. Under the artistic direction of Gerda König, since 1995 it has been developing new aesthetic categories that repeatedly question our usual viewing habits. The three-year UNIque@dance programme will now be developing a long-overdue basis for an inclusive dance-training programme by means of a national network of universities, educators and experts with disabilities for mixed-abled dance, professional associations, etc. The jury hopes that, supported by TANZPAKT, the DINA A 13 tanzcompany will in the coming years succeed in changing the structure at dance universities for dancers with disabilities, and do so in such a way that bodily diversity can become a fixed, professional aspect of the cultural and educational landscape.


Applicant: Sebastian Weber Dance Company, Leipzig 
Co-financed by: federal state of Saxony Anhalt, city of Leipzig, city of Bernburg, city of Meißen, city of Staßfurt, Salzlandkreis

All aspects of the concept Machbarschaften [‘feasibilities’, with a play on the word ‘Nachbarschaften’, meaning ‘neighbourhoods’] convinced the jury, since the professionalisation of the company will be tied to the development of structural neighbourhoods: the 10-dancer SWDC has become one of the largest independent ensembles in eastern Germany and now wishes to expand its activities and ever-growing production structures with its own rehearsal stage, which will also be available to other people involved in the independent scene. In addition to a partnership with international tap-dance centres in Barcelona und Liège, the focus for the coming years will be on the development of regional structures: a guest performance network will be launched in central Germany, supported by participative dance-distribution formats, such as COWBOY CONCERTS, and will consolidate dance in culturally weaker regions. For exchange, networking and resource-sharing purposes, the company will be inviting guests to MACHBARSCHAFTSTREFFEN, annual concept-related meetings whose themes will be taken from current practice each time.


Project: Landerer&Company
Applicant: Landerer&Company, Hanover
Co-financed by: federal state of Low Saxony, city of Hanover, Stiftung Niedersachsen

The intention is to consolidate the long-term and sustainable development work carried out by Hanover-based Felix Landerer’s dance company. A permanent four-person dance ensemble will be established to allow for long-term planning as well as a stable working structure. The funding sets the framework for a comprehensive communication programme and supports the idea of monitoring as well as reflections on fair and sustainable working. The long-term perspective supports the development and assurance of a strong artistic signature. The jury welcomes the existing close, high-quality partnerships with the city, the state theatre and other venues on the independent scene that will now be put on a permanent footing and developed further, and thereby make an important contribution to the dance landscape in Lower Saxony, with the focus on Hanover.


Project: INTER-ACTIONS – more than a dance company
Applicant: Edan Gorlicki / INTER-ACTIONS, Heidelberg
Co-financed by: federal state of Baden-Württemberg, city of Heidelberg

Inter-Actions with the choreographer Edan Gorlicki has had a major impact on the dance landscape in Heidelberg and the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region, and in recent years conducted impressive development work for the independent dance scene. The jury is looking forward to existing structures now being continued, stabilised and expanded through the diverse and comprehensive THINKING-ACTIONS programme. A change of location for the Coworking dance studio, which is available to Heidelberg’s entire dance scene, is planned, while a multi-layered programme will connect the creative dance artists involved and create the conditions for artistic quality. A platform for the exchange of information, ideas and experience among artists and with the public and politicians is being established. A broad offer including communication, participation possibilities, promotion of creativity, co-designing and co-determination will create fertile ground for strengthening dance further in and well beyond this region and making it visible.


Project: TANZPAKT in residence (working title)
Applicant: Villa Wigman für TANZ, Dresden
Co-financed by: federal state of Saxony, city of Dresden

An independent network of creative dance artists in Dresden has been working to protect, renovate and develop Mary Wigman’s former workplace since 2016. Supported by funding from TANZPAKT Stadt-Land-Bund, in 2019 the Office of Culture of the City of Dresden in co-operation with the HELLERAU production centre achieved the development of a long-overdue centre for the city’s very active independent dance scene. The jury sees the residency programme in the Villa Wigman für Tanz e.V.’s application as an important step in the further development of this independent production venue, and is convinced that, once the renovation work has been completed, the funding will give rise to an important new location for the independent dance scene in eastern Germany.


Project: Hebel für die Exzellenz
Applicant: TanzFaktur, Cologne
Co-financed by: federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, city of Cologne, Westwerk Immobilien GmbH & 
Co.KG, Annelie und Uwe Hoffmanns Stiftung

Thanks to a great deal of perseverance and continuous development work, the TanzFaktur has in recent years developed into one of the most important production locations for dance in and outside Cologne, something that is also reflected in the support received from urban and rural areas. The jury sees the further development of the WerkHalle as an important infrastructural development for dance in the region with major potential for the independent scene and national appeal. This is a good example of the leverage effect of the TANZPAKT Stadt-Land-Bund promotion programme in the development and on-going consolidation of sustainable structures for dance.


Project: Geben-Nehmen-Brauchen
Applicant: Jenny Beyer, Hamburg
Co-financed by: city of Hamburg

Under the motto “give, take, need”, Jenny Beyer is formulating an undertaking that is as ambitious as it is firmly established in her practice to date. Building on the “Offene Studios” that she has been running since 2014, she is now expanding its catchment area via a change in paradigm that the jury found particularly convincing: from audience involvement to audience development. For the next stage of development for the Offene Studios, Jenny Beyer will be reaching out to the public (figuratively and spatially) and developing new pitching and openness strategies to reach people who do not appear on the usual distribution lists for cultural services and traditionally drift out of focus.


Project: tanz.nord
Applicant: city of Bad Oldesloe / Department of Culture
Co-financed by: federal state of Schleswig Holstein, city of Hamburg, ArGE Stormarn kulturell 
stärken, Sparkassen-Kulturstiftung Stormarn

The regional differences in Germany’s dance landscape are as conspicuous as the differences between urban and rural areas. The jury welcomes the fact that the tanz.nord project links two regions and two different living spaces, while at the same time remembering that rural regions, rather than starting at city limits, also form part of metropolitan regions. Rather than regional contrasts being played off against each other, a model will be developed on the basis of joint tasks and addressing dance distribution and communication comprehensively beyond the usual centres.


Applicant: LOFFT – DAS THEATER, Leipzig
Co-financed by: federal state of Saxony, city of Leipzig

The Lofft, an important production location in Saxony and a nationally and internationally networked performance venue, has been running the mixed-abled dance ensemble Fast Forward Company since 2019. The jury is convinced that, after its initial productions in the past two years, the Fast Forward Company can use the funding for the next steps: to stabilise and further develop its own practice through new co-operations and productions. Particularly important is also the linking of research, production, communication and touring, which can lead to strong development of both the ensemble and the production structure.


Project: Tanzhaus temporär – Auf dem Weg zu einem Tanzhaus für Kassel
Applicant: Tanzwerk Kassel
Co-financed by: federal state of Hessen, city of Kassel, Gerhard Fieseler Stiftung, cdw Stiftung, 
Kasseler Sparkasse

Tanzhaus temporär will be strengthening an initiative that serves as a good example of a medium-sized city developing a sustainable, excellence-oriented structure for dance. Building on the intensive, sometimes more than 25 years’ engagement of many of the stakeholders in contemporary dance, a resilient structure will be established that stands for visibility, professionalisation and social relevance. The content-related and organisational discussions for a temporary dance theatre, a festival and a symposium, as well as professional training sessions, guest teachers and research weekends, are laying a foundation that, as best practice, also provides an opportunity to inspire others in other German cities. The jury is impressed by how structures arising in voluntary work are being continued in a meaningful way and anchored in a sustainable way.


Project: tanz(t)räume
Applicant: LUNA PARK, Berlin
Co-financed by: federal state of Berlin, Gesundbrunnen-Grundschule

The LUNA PARK initiative has been working with children and young people – most of them with a migration background – at the interface between contemporary dance and cultural education for a number of years now, and it has already produced outstanding and exemplary results. Its project idea of using contemporary-dance artist residencies to drive cultural participation at a primary school, and to achieve a long-term impact beyond language boundaries, is as innovative as it is intelligible. The initiative’s solid network with cultural institutions and education partners in Berlin’s Wedding district augurs well for successful working on an equal footing in a social and cultural setting that to date has only had limited contact with dance as an art form. The jury is expecting from tanz(t)räume a model for the development of dance residencies at schools up to their introduction into educational-political curricula on a permanent basis.


Project: Tanzinitiative Brandenburg
Applicant: fabrik Potsdam
Co-financed by: federal state of Brandenburg, city of Cottbus, city of Potsdam

The Tanzinitiative Brandenburg planned by Fabrik Potsdam and TANZwerkstatt Cottbus/tanzcompagnie golde g. has set itself the goal of focusing on and strengthening the dance structures in Brandenburg that have been wound down or become eroded in an alarming way since the 1980s. In doing so, the initiative can build on the experiences of the local contemporary dance scene’s first networking project, the “DiR Brandenburg” residency programme, funded by TANZPAKT RECONNECT. The project’s central building blocks are information exchange, residencies outside the major cities, research and work meetings, professionalisation and further-training programmes, and the opening up of new fields of work for creative dance artists. In the partners’ intensive network activities and the proactive connections with existing festival and event formats, the jury sees great potential for the development of a sustainable and resilient structure for the independent contemporary dance scene in Brandenburg.

Statements of the Jury 2019

Project: Offensive Tanz für junges Publikum
Applicant: Offensive Tanz für junges Publikum, Berlin
Co-financed by: Land Berlin

The Offensive Tanz für junges Publikum (dance for young audiences offensive) will bring together and network with existing actors in the field of ‘dance for young audiences’ and establish a continuous, high-quality offering for peopled aged from 0 to 18 years, and in doing so achieve an exceptional level of excellence in the sector and continue to enhance dance as an art form. The special thing about this co-operative partnership is the union of two young stakeholders, namely PURPLE – International Dance Festival for Young Audiences and the TANZKOMPLIZEN initiative, which were only launched in 2017 but have nonetheless been very successfully established, with two already well-known venues for children’s and youth theatre, namely Theater Strahl (founded in 1987) and Theater o.N. (founded in 1979), which are striving to develop their sector of the dance world. The four partners have set themselves ambitious goals but their application has convinced the jury that they can, in addition to innovative transfer formats, put dance for young audiences on an exceptional and sustainable footing in Berlin in terms of structure, audience attraction, visibility, transfer and production.

Project: Villa Wigman + Hellerau - Tanzpakt Dresden
Applicant: Amt für Kultur und Denkmalschutz Dresden
Co-financed by: Land Sachsen, Stadt Dresden, TreuBau Stiftung

Tanzpakt Dresden is aiming to sustainably strengthen dance in the city via two measures as well as a co-operation of two main stakeholders: on the one hand, targeted construction measures will turn the Villa Wigman into an independently run rehearsal and production space for the city’s independent scene; on the other hand, the HELLERAU – European Centre for the Arts will set up a comprehensive residency programme in which both high-quality stagings and in particular larger formats will be produced and presented. According to the jury: “The application from the City of Dresden offers impressive evidence of the local commitment to Dresden as a dance location and is supported content-wise by an equally convincing and sustainable co-operation project involving the local independent scene and an established international production venue. Refitting the Villa Wigman will not only reactivate an important location in dance history but will also take a major developmental step towards establishing an excellent dance location, and thus also laying the foundations for presenting independent dance productions on an equal footing at HELLERAU.”

Project: Der Freiraum
Applicant: Ben J. Riepe Company, Düsseldorf
Co-financed by: Land Nordrhein-Westfalen, Stadt Düsseldorf, Kunststiftung NRW

Der Freiraum (the free space) sees itself as a development and co-operation project for the creation of an ‘artist-run space’. In newly rented rooms, the Ben J. Riepe company will be setting up a research, residency, production and co-working space available free of charge to artists in and around Düsseldorf. The aim is to provide a protected space for art that is not based on actual production, is run on the basis of a flat hierarchical structure and facilitates open encounters, exchange and synergies in a lasting way.
“By creating an interdisciplinary artistic production location, the project is filling an important gap and at thereby providing substantial support for the on-going development of Düsseldorf’s professional dance scene.” The jury acknowledges the explicitly co-operative approach of an excellent applicant that in recent years has already been presenting consistently high quality choreographic works and through this concept will be creating sustainable artistic spaces in a self-managed structure and testing new forms of partnership working and exchange. 

Project: Tanzpakt Stuttgart
Applicant: Stadt Stuttgart, Kulturamt
Co-financed by: Stadt Stuttgart

The City of Stuttgart will be providing the independent scene with its own venue from 2023 onwards. As moderator, the Office for Culture in Stuttgart has brought together various partners (Theater Rampe, Akademie Schloss Solitude, Musik der Jahrhunderte, Produktionszentrum Tanz+Performance and the non-profit organisation Freie Tanz- und Theaterszene) in order to strengthen the interdisciplinary quality of contemporary dance together. The concept adopts a holistic approach: in addition to spaces and production funding, resources will also be made available for artistic research. The areas of training, research and art education will be included from the start. A biennial interdisciplinary festival will be jointly curated. The concept impressed the jury on account of its use of established, well-known local partners who are either opening themselves up to contemporary dance or wishing to strengthen this field. The project is therefore able to benefit from experience and good local roots from the start and it promises to make lasting improvements in Stuttgart’s independent dance scene.

Project: TanzRAUM Nord - Global Moves
Applicant: Felix Landerer and Helge Letonja, Bremen/Hanover
Co-financed by: Land Niedersachsen, Land Bremen, Stadt Hannover, Stiftung Niedersachsen, Theater Bremen, Karin und Uwe Hollweg-Stiftung

The jury was particularly impressed by the coming together of two choreographers – Felix Landerer (Hanover) and Helge Letonja (Bremen) – with the intention of creating a contemporary ensemble of ten consistently engaged dancers. Co-operative networking models of this kind are needed for the development of structures that are effective in the long term. Tandem productions with four local and international choreographers each time will also open up new perspectives for other artists in their own work. The linking up of the independent scene with municipal and state theatres, e.g. as partners for guest productions, means that TanzRAUM Nord - Global Moves has the potential through and beyond TANZPAKT to strengthen the structure and quality of contemporary dance in the northwest region in the long term. Productions and co-operations with the ensemble will open up new fields of work for local dance professionals, e.g. the newly established production offices in both cities will be offering one-to-one consultation sessions to artists.

Project: Nomadische Akademie
Applicant: Anna Konjetzky, Munich
Co-financed by: Stadt München

“The jury supports the special and thus outstanding aspect of Anna Konjetzky’s application for the establishment of the NOMADISCHE AKADEMIE which is to initiate a network project alongside the strengthening of her own Munich-based dance company with which she has achieved a high artistic quality as well as great success and recognition. The network project will instigate a stimulating and mutually reinforcing dialogue between the Munich and Bavarian dance scenes and international networks in Poland, Palestine and Australia. The Munich and Bavarian dance landscape is currently lacking a permanent discourse on questions of dance aesthetics and production methods. Initially as a temporary training, educational and research centre, the NOMADISCHE AKADEMIE is thus attempting to present the topic of border(s) and alternative spaces/communities in both theory and practice and in the shape of three annual platforms with international representation, at the same time taking the needs of the respective local scenes into account. The close will be a dance festival in Munich featuring new choreographic works and a symposium involving all participants and new artistic positions.” 

Project: Cologne Dance-Circus Festival
Applicant: Overhead Project, Cologne 
Co-financed by: Land Nordrhein-Westfalen, Stadt Köln

Tim Behren and Florian Patschovsky are at the forefront of exploring the border area between contemporary circus and dance in the German-speaking region. Their powerful performances tour nationally and internationally. Their Cologne-based company Overhead Project develops model formats for presentation and production in the crossover genre of dance and circus. The new TANZPAKT-funded Cologne Dance-Circus Festival, which will feature a programme of performances, workshops and a symposium, is creating a new platform for this genre, which still has little presence in Germany, and thereby helping it to achieve greater visibility and encouraging national and international artists, circus artists and acrobats to connect the two art forms. A residency programme and the mentoring format Junge Wilde (wild youth) will be dedicated to promoting existing and up-and-coming artists, and will thus develop a reach in and beyond Cologne and NRW. The Cologne Dance-Circus Festival is also intended to attract new audience groups. The jury was impressed by both the ensemble and the precisely outlined sections of the festival. 

Statements of the Jury 2018


Project: Teilgesellschaften / Sub-societies
Applicant: Antje Pfundtner in Gesellschaft / Antje Pfundtner in Society

The jury was convinced by Antje Pfundtner’s project Teilgesellschaften because of the plausible way it builds on and continues the choreographer’s previous artistic work. Her ‘round table societies’ are intended to create a platform to enable and promote the sharing of information, ideas and experience among artists and thereby influence the scene – an initiative that the jury feels is certainly welcome and worthy of support. By strengthening the structure of her dance company and its artistic creativity, Antje Pfundtner is also ensuring excellence in her own work.

Project: Making a Difference
Applicant: Sophiensaele 

The jury is supporting the Making a Difference project as it is underpinned by a special concept to promote dance with and for people with physical and sensory disabilities. The project’s interesting modules, stretching over several years, and the planned strengthening of national and international networks make it a unique undertaking.

Project: EinTanzHaus+
Applicant: EinTanzHaus 

The jury welcomes the initiative – developed by the artist tandem Eric Trottier and Daria Holme, and supported by the City of Mannheim and the State of Baden-Württemberg – to establish a contemporary dance centre in the southern region of Germany. Realisation of the concept will promote the development of a model meeting place with opportunities for performance, theoretical discourse, and residency and workshop programmes for dance with a national and international reach. EinTanzHaus+ can therefore become a venue with a professional infrastructure but which also attracts southern Germany’s fledgling but lively independent dance scene and the project is also flanked by the establishment of a junior company and co-operations with the ZKM centre for art and media in Karlsruhe and the Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe, for example.

Project: TanzWert
Applicant: Tanztheater Erfurt

The funding awarded to this co-operative development concept drawn up by Tanztheater Erfurt with DNT Weimar and Theater Erfurt will provide a fresh boost to the presence and performance of dance in Thüringen, and in doing so enabling the TanzWert project to revitalise dance in the region and establish a stable artistic network in the longer term. The jury also takes a positive view of the inclusion of participatory projects with low-threshold transfer programmes that are intended to support the new productions. This will not only make the diversity of the programme at the theatres both identifiable and visible but also the exemplary nature of the link between an independent dance company and two local theatres.  

Project: Co-operative Dance Development Concept Freiburg
Applicant: Cultural Office of Freiburg

The Co-operative Dance Development Concept Freiburg, which has been drawn up by the Cultural Office of Freiburg, is a model example of how administration can act as a strong partner in the long-term and productive co-design and promotion of a city’s cultural life, including its dance scene. The jury is convinced that the concept, which has been developed by several partners, will make it possible for the independent dance scene to develop itself structurally on a continuous basis and in addition achieve a high level of visibility. In this way, the funding awarded to the project will actively support the consolidation of the independent dance scene in Freiburg and the emergence of a centre of excellence for contemporary dance in Baden-Württemberg.

Project: Vorpommern tanzt an / Western Pomerania dances in
Applicant: Western Pomerania Dance Region 

The Vorpommern tanzt an concept, which emerged from the bundling of expertise at Perform[d]ance (Stralsund), schloss bröllin (Fahrenwalde) and Theater Vorpommern, convinced the jury on all levels. It starts at exactly the right point, with the development of the fundamental structures needed for an independent dance scene need in this region: from the establishment of a centre of competence for dance with choreographic labs and mentoring for young dance creators via a dance transfer programme with touring classroom pieces, qualification measures and an annual dance festival and up to the setting up of a specialist dance agency for regional and national networking.

Project: Gastgeberschaft / BE OUR GUEST!
Applicant: MOUVOIR

The works of the choreographer Stephanie Thiersch stand out for their internationally co-operative stage pieces and above all their interventions in public spaces, for example the recent City Dance Cologne 2016 action involving 500 participants. The funding awarded to the Gastgeberschaft project will help the Cologne-based dance company MOUVOIR to expand its activities in dialogue with other artists, amateurs, experts and local residents, but at the same time without any production pressure, and to forge new alliances with the public and in doing so give dance a stronger place at the heart of society. 

Project: EXPLORE DANCE! Discovering dance for young people
Applicant: fabric moves 

Dance productions for children and young people are still rare in Germany despite the big demand for high-quality works for this target group. The EXPLORE DANCE project intends to close this gap by creating a strong network of theatres and schools in Potsdam, Munich and Hamburg, supported by an international council. The jury welcomes the initiative, which will not only result in new productions but will also invest in networking, artistic reflection and a long-term funding perspective. The hope is for this to lay the foundation for the long-term development of this key area for dance.