The DANCELAND programme is one of the many measures, with which the Federal Cultural Foundation demonstrates its broad-based commitment to the field of dance. The purpose of DANCELAND is to present the diversity of contemporary dance – represented by more than 60 city and state theatre ensembles and independent dance companies – to regions outside the established centres of dance. Funding is granted to guest performance partnerships by dance ensembles and venues located outside the metropolitan hubs.
The funding measures are accompanied by innovative educational formats which are designed specifically for the individual venues with the purpose of generating public interest and appreciation of contemporary dance. At the centre of the programme are the 375 guest performance venues of INTHEGA (interest group of cities with guest theatre performances). In cities and regions with no established ensembles of their own, INTHEGA theatres play an important role in enriching the theatre and dance scenes in their localities. The DANCELAND programme was thus created to draw increased cultural-political attention to rural regions, as well as smaller and medium-sized cities. The programme has already funded 55 guest performance partnerships with 2.4 million euros.
In light of the programme’s success in enhancing attractive, high-quality cultural programmes, the host venues as well as the participating city and state theatre dance ensembles have expressed great interest in continuing the funding activities of DANCELAND. For the ensembles, the programme has generated a welcomed increase in visibility thanks to the increased performance opportunities, which in turn, have had a positive influence on public recognition and demand in larger cities. Therefore, the Federal Cultural Foundation has decided to finance another 20 guest performance partnerships until 2026. According to the new funding guidelines, the former tandem partnerships can now be expanded to include additional partners. For instance, an INTHEGA performance venue can invite three ensembles in the future, or alternatively, one ensemble can guest-perform at several venues. All INTHEGA member venues are eligible to apply.
With the “Dance Plan”, the “Dance Heritage Fund” and the establishment of the triennial “Dance Congress”, which took place in 2019 for the fifth time and has meanwhile become a cultural institution of excellence, the Federal Cultural Foundation has implemented long-term measures to ensure that contemporary dance receives greater attention and support than ever in the public sphere and among cultural policymakers. However, there is still a significant discrepancy between what is offered in large cities, where most of the 60 permanent dance ensembles are employed at city and state theatres, and smaller towns where hardly anyone can watch contemporary dance or ballet productions for lack of their own ensembles. With its programme DANCELAND, the Federal Cultural Foundation provides funding to guest performances of permanent ensembles and the independent scene so that (more) contemporary dance productions can be staged in smaller to medium-sized towns.
DANCELAND is not only targeted at INTHEGA – an alliance of 375 guest performance theatres in Germany – but also at representatives of dance ensembles at city and state theatres and the independent scene with the aim of initiating partnerships between them. Organising more frequent performances at multiple venues by way of guest performance tours poses daunting challenges to both sides. The aim of this programme is to expand and intensify guest performance activities through cooperative projects and thereby “set the stage” for generating more appreciation and interest among viewers and potential public sponsors after the Foundation’s funding programme concludes. Since the first application round in 2017, the Federal Cultural Foundation has supported 55 guest performances through DANCELAND with a total funding volume of 2.4 million euros.
The Federal Cultural Foundation is grateful to the Dachverband Tanz and its managing director Michael Freundt and his team for establishing and carrying out the first programme phase which will conclude in 2021. The Federal Cultural Foundation has now allocated 2.8 million euros to extend the DANCELAND programme until 2026. In the future, applications for funding can be submitted directly to the Federal Cultural Foundation. The amount of funding granted to the selected partnerships is determined by the Executive Board based on the recommendation of a jury of independent experts. The funding guidelines and application modalities will be announced in the coming weeks. The first round of applications is planned for the early summer 2021.