Tanzplan Deutschland
TANZLABOR_21 / A Tanzplan Deutschland Project312

Current Activities64
The City of Frankfurt and State of Hesse will continue to fund Tanzlabor_21 at the previous level. The Frankfurt-Rhine-Main Cultural Fund will also now fund the project for five years and a regional foundation alliance has also been established. The total funding of 560,000 euros per year is now higher than the previous Tanzplan budget. The universities of Frankfurt and Gieen will continue the new M.A. study programmes initiated by Tanzplan. All elements of the Tanzplan project in Frankfurt are therefore being continued and developed further. (May 2011)620

Project description78
TANZLABOR_21 / A Tanzplan Deutschland Project dedicates itself to professional dance education and connects all of the major dance-related institutions in the Rhine-Main region. It aims to amalgamate dance practice and theory by improving networking among universities and institutions.
First up is the founding of new programmes of study that will enormously strengthen the practical aspect of dance education: a masters programme in dance education, specifically for contemporary dance at the Hochschule fr Musik und Darstellende Kunst Frankfurt am Main (School for Music and Performing Art, also known as HfMdK), and a masters programme in choreography and performance at the Hessische Theaterakademie (Hessian Theatre Academy, aka HTA), in co-operation with the HfMdK and the Institut fr Angewandte Theaterwissenschaften (Institute for Applied Theatre Studies) at the University of Giessen. Also planned: the founding of a dance ensemble made up of graduating students, who will be able to gather performance experience by working with choreographers. Furthermore, coaching for professional dancers and dance students will be established as well as a biennial summer lab, which will work on and present the results of the TANZLABOR_21. An artists-in-residence programme will involve international artists in the project. Finally, an existing project, Knstler in der Schule (Artists in schools) will be further expanded to include dance.
The project management has been attributed to Knstlerhaus Mousonturm, the directors board consists of Dieter Buroch, Knstlerhaus Mousonturm Frankfurt am Main GmbH, Prof. Heiner Goebbels, Institute for Applied Theatre Studies at the Justus Liebig University of Giessen und Prof. Dieter Heitkamp, School for Music and Performing Art Frankfurt am Main.

The coordination office, affiliated to Mousonturm, will be connecting and coordinating the institutions involved in Tanzplan Frankfurt as well as the press and communication for the project.
(Current as of October 06)

Contribution by Gabriele Wittmann in
"Jahresheft Tanzplan Deutschland 2006/07" (March 2007)

Frankfurt was never a city to celebrate the representative in the theatre. It has tended to host the development of experimental and groundbreaking positions such as those of William Forsythe or Einar Schleef. The name of the Frankfurt-Rhein-Main regions Tanzplan ties in with this historical position. "Tanzlabor_21" stands for the experimental and process-oriented linking of practice and theory. Dance science should not simply complement practice as a theoretical discipline, but should be integrated into dance training and into the public perception of dance, and conversely practice should be more closely incorporated into theoretical training. This fundamental idea pervades all the projects planned in the context of Tanzlabor _21. It also applies to the two new Masters courses and to networking with existing institutions, which is designed to further the working and development processes of dance professionals in the region.

Three practical men have come together to form the executive team of Tanzplan Frankfurt Rhein-Main. Dieter Buroch is the artistic and managing director of the Knstlerhaus Mousonturm, Dieter Heitkamp is head of the Field of Study of Contemporary and Classical Dance (ZuKT) at the College of Music and Performing Arts in Frankfurt (HfMDK), and Heiner Goebbels is director of the Institute for Applied Theatre Studies in Gieen. Melanie Franzen coordinates the projects from a flexible organisational office in the Mousonturm.

Who is teaching contemporary dance? Its usually someone from the dance scene who has already danced for a long time themselves. Didactics have so far played a secondary role. To change this situation, a Masters course in "Contemporary Dance Pedagogy", starting in the winter semester of 2007/08, has begun at the HfMDK. American dancer, choreographer and dance educator Kurt Kgel has been appointed as professor. Initially about ten students will be accepted every two years. In addition to training, they must also be able to demonstrate several years of dance practice. During their studies they should join in training with Hessian companies in the Hessische Theaterakademie and gain their own experience as training leaders, as well as taking advantage of the opportunities for involvement that Frankfurt offers. Further qualification measures have been created for sports sciences students from the universities in Frankfurt and Gieen, which are designed to ensure increased quality after the introduction of dance classes into schools. At the same time, the knowledge of the sports scientists also enhances the dance pedagogic training, optimising training methods, for example.

The second course being created is the Masters in "Choreography/Performance", which is designed to close a gap that the practice of choreographic work has opened up. It is no longer enough just to be able to "dance well". Dancers have been working with all the means available to the theatre since the 1970s. In parallel to this, knowledge about the body has increased in the humanities. Practice and theory must be limited if justice is to be done to this growing complexity. The theoretical basics should enable future choreographers to reflect critically on their practice. Conversely, the practical testing of concepts forms the basis for artistic development. The Choreography/Performance course focuses on the interface between choreographic and performative, post-dramatic and intermedial approaches. The understanding of dance incorporates movement and the body in the broadest sense. The course of studies resides in both the Dance Department of the HfMDK Frankfurt and the Institute for Applied Theatre Studies Gieen, in cooperation with the Hessische Theaterakademie. It will start in the winter semester of 2008/09.

Where can the young dancers go when they have completed their studies? One future option will be the experimental "Projektensemble TLB". Selected graduates from the courses in Frankfurt (ZuKT) and Gieen develop a piece over the course of the year, thereby receiving the opportunity of gaining careers experience with professionals. The first project ensemble researched as a collective, with ex-Forsythe dancer Nik Haffner as mentor. After an intensive week in December 2006, it is currently developing a performance that will be staged in June and go on tour next year.

"Training for the pros", which will take place daily in Dr. Hoch's Konservatorium (Conservatory) with ex-Forsythe dancer Christine Brkle started in January 2007. Training is provided not only to dancers from the project ensemble and dance students, but to all dancers in the city. This is a novelty for Frankfurt, where no regular open training was previously available. It is also very affordable. One training course costs four Euros, and ten cost 25 Euros. They are designed to enable the regional scene to professionalise and to give dancers and graduates an incentive to stay in the city, to develop their own projects and to work locally with choreographers. Various guests will be teaching. When choreographers such as Olga Cobos and Peter Mika develop a project with the dance students at the HfMDK, they will also host a training for the pros session. In parallel to this, guests will give open master classes on Saturdays, in which they will demonstrate their approaches to their work. Ginette Laurin, Richard Siegal, John Jasperse and Anouk van Dijk started this project off. Artistic residencies are also planned, in which guest artists could pursue their researches in Frankfurt and for their part assist prospective artists from the Choreography/Performance course by providing tutoring or in other ways.

The next generation is also being taken care of. In Darmstadt a dedicated teacher has already succeeded in providing the 12th class with dance instead of sport classes for six months of the year over several years. Now "Tanz in Schulen (dance in schools)" is to be introduced into three secondary schools in Frankfurt, Offenbach and Darmstadt. A choreographer will be in charge of the project, together with dance pedagogy and sports students and a teacher from the respective schools. This process will be documented and evaluated by the sports sciences students. Their long-term goal is that dance become part of the regular education in schools.

To experiment with new forms and discuss examples: the Sommerlabor, a biennale workshop for professional artists, invites participants to do all this and more from 2008. The Tanzlabor_21 will present its activities here, supplemented by internationally-oriented workshops, lectures and demonstrations of work. Another important task of Frankfurts Tanzplan is to build up a video archive, which is designed to improve the materials situation for choreographers and for the teaching of dance history at German universities and colleges. It will be developed in cooperation with the Mousonturm, the HfMDK and the Institute for Applied Theatre Studies. Cooperation with dance film archives in Bremen, Leipzig and Cologne is also planned for the long term.

And what do audiences make of all this? In the new "talkART tanzlabor" series, artists talk to the public about their work. 20 such talkARTs are planned to take place in the Mousonturm in 2007. There will also be new formats, such as Lecture Performances, starting with Moving from the skin in April.314

Tanzplan Deutschland