Dance Congress 2019

Funded as a Cultural Institution of Excellence

In 2006, the Federal Cultural Foundation breathed new life into the Dance Congress tradition. Modelled after the legendary dancer congresses of the 1920s, the new Dance Congress brings diverse dance scenes in Germany together. Funded by the Federal Cultural Foundation as a “cultural institution of excellence”, the Dance Congress has sustainably raised public awareness of dance in recent years. Since the first edition in Berlin in 2006, dance congresses have been held every three years – in Hamburg, Düsseldorf and Hanover. Meanwhile, the Dance Congress has cemented its reputation as an internationally singular forum for dance which explores cross-genre aesthetic issues and as a festival, idea competition, research site and coproduction marketplace all in one.

The upcoming edition of the Dance Congress will take place at HELLERAU – European Centre for the Arts in Dresden from 5 to 9 June 2019. The fifth edition marks its return to one of its most significant places of origin. The Festspielhaus Hellerau was founded as a modern laboratory for the contemporary arts. This is where Mary Wigman began training to become a dancer. Gret Palucca, her most famous student, founded her own dance school in Dresden in 1925. Both women were involved in the historical dancer congresses. To this day, Dresden’s tradition as a city of dance is cultivated in numerous institutions and continues to inspire its vibrant contemporary dance scene. In keeping with its original function as an “academy of music and rhythm”, the Festspielhaus Hellerau consists of numerous rooms and spaces suitable for an event like the Dance Congress. In addition to its main auditorium for performances, the building complex consists of various rehearsal and practice rooms, as well as spaces for discussion and academic exchange. The Dance Congress may very well introduce other international impulses to the cultural life of Dresden.

After four successful editions, organised by the cultural managers and curators Sabine Gehm and Katharina von Wilcke, the programme of the fifth Dance Congress will be developed by a choreographer. The Federal Cultural Foundation has succeeded in enlisting Meg Stuart, one of the best known choreographers on the international scene, as the artistic director of the Dance Congress 2019. Meg Stuart’s works comprise a richly diverse spectrum of themes and are known for relentlessly testing the boundaries of dance as an artistic form of expression. Thanks to her many years of experience working at some of the most renowned performance venues in Germany, Meg Stuart is as familiar with contemporary dance in Germany as she is with the international dance scene where numerous pieces by her company Damaged Goods regularly premiere.

The Federal Cultural Foundation will be supporting the Dance Congress 2019 with 960,000 euros.

05.06.2019 - 09.06.2019 Europäisches Zentrum der Künste Hellerau, Dresden Dance Congress 2019