tanzkongress 2009

Next Dance Congress 2013 in Düsseldorf!

Dance Congress 2009: No Step without Movement!

Under the motto “No Step without Movement!”, around 200 international lecturers shed light on dance from an artistic, sociological, philosophical, and cultural-historical perspective in 80 events that took place from November 5 to 8 in Hamburg. With great intensity and passion, the congress participants made use of salons, labs, master classes, and working groups to discuss theoretical issues, as well as forward-looking methods in choreography, training and education and the sustainable enhancement of production conditions and promotion structures.

The huge response reflected in 3,000 congress visitors made it clear how great the need is for exchange among experts, reflection and critical debate on the levels of dance and society. However, the Dance Congress as an exchange platform not only served particular interests but covered a broad spectrum ranging from pedagogy and art to science and cultural education.

It was pointed out in numerous events that an independent national representation of dance succeeding Tanzplan Deutschland is required to continue the unique spotlighting of this art genre and anchor it in the awareness of the public. At the same time, politics was asked to maintain, expand and further develop the municipal and state structures created by Tanzplan together with representatives of dance.

President of the Bundestag, Norbert Lammert, who opened the Congress, stated: “The great interest which the DANCE CONGRESS 2009 has met reflects the vitality and diversity of the dance scene in Germany and at the same time highlights the need for action on the side of cultural policy.” He went on to say that, in order to effectively support the status of dance in our cultural landscape, long-term financial and structural measures are needed, for which, according to our federal constitutional order, the states and municipalities are foremost responsible, but whom the federal government should promote and strengthen within the scope of its possibilities.

Hortensia Völckers, Artistic Director of the Federal Cultural Foundation, said that after the knowledge of dance had been set in motion at the first Dance Congress 2006, one could now see how much self-confidence dance and those engaged in it have gained. She called it the perhaps most important task of the Congress to draw attention to the requirements of continuity, so that what has been achieved is not forfeited. Hortensia Völckers added that the Federal Cultural Foundation will continue to place a main focus on dance: “The success of the Dance Congress 2009 gives us hope that dance is on a good path to finding a proper place in the cultural landscape and in society.”

In her lecture, the dance scholar Gabriele Klein pointed out that dance per se is not political because it is a corporeal and sensuous medium. It is instead political whenever aesthetic practice causes friction with and changes prevailing orders, norms, habits, and conventions. “Dance is a core field of the political when by questioning its central categories of rhythm, power, space, time, energy, dynamics, and flow, it reveals the kinetic foundations of modern society.”

Therefore we hope through the talks, discussions and initiatives which have begun during the Congress lead to a larger common movement that will lastingly enhance the conditions of dance in all areas toward the inside and outside.

Sabine Gehm und Katharina von Wilcke
Kulturstiftung des Bundes

A German Federal Cultural Foundation event in cooperation with Kampnagel Hamburg, K3 – Zentrum für Choreographie I Tanzplan Hamburg and the Centre for Performance Studies at the University Hamburg. Supported by: Behörde für Kultur, Sport und Medien Hamburg, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG).