Dance at the depot: tanzhaus nrw in Düsseldorf

A.R. Real Bodies_Image Kampagne 2016

In a former tram depot ...

... an institution almost unique in Europe was opened for dance in 1998: tanzhaus nrw. On a 4,000 square metres surface, it is at the same time a performance venue with around 200 changing annual events on two stages, acclaimed training centre, the Academy, with an average of 350 courses and workshops per week in eight studios, a centre for dance with and for children and youths, the Young Tanzhaus, as well as a production centre for professional artists. tanzhaus nrw evolved from Die Werkstatt, which in the middle of the 1970ies began to give a continuously growing mixed-age audience an understanding of contemporary dance in its aesthetic and cultural diversity. tanzhaus nrw has succeeded in joining under one roof different areas of dance that usually occupy different spaces and structures: It is at the same time theatre and school of dance, production site for free choreographers from North Rhine Westphalia and Europe and internationally respected lively role model for promoting dance at all levels.

Katja Illner Cliffdancers

From contemporary dance ...

... via multimedia performances to performing art: with more than 200 stage events per year, tanzhaus nrw presents the whole international spectrum of contemporary dance in the context of festivals, guest performances, theme series and co-productions. tanzhaus nrw features international guest performances by renowned contemporary choreographers such as Jérôme Bel (FR), Louise Lecavalier (CA), Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui (BE), Yasmeen Godder (IL), Lia Rodrigues (BR) and Raimund Hoghe (DE). Since the season 2014/15, when Bettina Masuch became artistic director of the tanzhaus nrw, three Factory Artists are working regularly in the house: Alexandra Waierstall (DE), Jan Martens (BE) and Sebastian Matthias (DE). In 2017 with Choy Ka Fai (SIN/DE), Claire Cunningham (UK) and Ligia Lewis (US/DE) the second generation of the Factory Artists at tanzhaus nrw has been starting to work. The series Now & Next provides a platform for young choreographic talents. Public discussions, open rehearsals, film documentations and introductions prior to the events complement the repertoire. Other artistic focal points are the festivals so called Dance Days. Amongst these are the Flamenco Festival, Tap and Afro Latin Dance Days. These festivals create a tangible fusion of cultural and aesthetic forms of expression in the training studio as well as on stage.

Together with a large number of partners engaged in the cultural sector, tanzhaus nrw is doing pioneer work to familiarize children, youths and young adults with dance art by allowing the young spectator or dancer to experience dance either in the classroom or on stage. tanzhaus nrw followed his work for young audience with the extremely successful project Take-off: Junger Tanz, a project initiated by the Federal Cultural Foundation, which has been continued beyond the year 2010 with the support of city and state. Today the whole range of activities including the youth company B2B is called Young Tanzhaus.

Katja Illner

The special atmosphere ...

... is to a large extent due to the 80 instructors from all over the world who teach more than 3600 course and workshop participants per week with and without dance experience anything from modern dance to Samba and Power Yoga. The Academy programme addresses all generations from age two to 75 and gets its dynamics from artistically minded personalities. The term with more than 360 courses and workshops regularly ends with a big festival where all participants perform in front of an audience for the first time.

In 2000, architect Jochen Boskamp and tanzhaus nrw were given the award for "exemplary buildings in North Rhine Westphalia".