Bielefeld Dance Festival

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The Bielefeld Dance Festival has been an annual festival for contemporary dance since 1990 . It ran under the title “Internationales Tanzprojekt Bielefeld” until 2001, was renamed “Tanzsommer Bielefeld” in 2002, but after a year it was renamed “Tanzfestival Bielefeld” for copyright reasons. It always takes place in the first two weeks of the NRW summer vacation. In Germany it is one of the largest dance festivals for contemporary dance, which combines a wide range of workshops with an international performance program.


In 1990, the cultural office of the city of Bielefeld , together with the first artistic director, Fred Traguth from Bonn, developed a concept that combined highly qualified dance lessons by internationally renowned lecturers with a high-quality performance program. With the change of artistic directors in 2002 to Tchekpo Dan and Ulla Agbetou, who manage the Bielefeld dance studio and training center DansArt, this concept was differentiated and expanded. The range of workshops has been refined and expanded over the years, so that lessons now take place at four different levels of qualification. The performance program has a different motto every year, which takes up developments in contemporary dance. Up until 2012 there was a national focus that provided a stage for companies from different countries within the performance program. The country's main focuses included Hungary, Greece, Italy, Iceland, Latvia, Flanders, England, Switzerland, Austria, Poland.


The workshops cover a wide range of dance forms and styles of contemporary dance at four different levels, ranging from beginners to dancers with previous knowledge to advanced and professional dancers. In addition to ballet , modern dance , contemporary and jazz dance, this also includes various hip-hop styles ( e.g. locking , house dance, new style), ethnic dances ( African dance , Afro Cuban, Samba Brasil, flamenco , salsa , oriental), and Body experience courses ( Pilates , Body-Mind-Centering, Tai-Chi Dao-Yin). Separate courses for children, participants over 50 and mixed-abled courses are also offered.


Until 2011, the performance program of the dance festival consisted of four performances, which took place in the Tor 6 theater. Since 2012, the four to five performances in Theaterhaus Tor 6 have been referred to as the main program. Established national and international ensembles are booked for the main program, including

  • Imperfect Dancers Company (Italy, 2019)
  • Khambatta Dance Company (USA, 2019)
  • Cie. LAC (France, 2018)
  • Cie. Dancers of the Bucharest National Opera (Romania, 2017)
  • Cie. Zahrbat (France, 2016)
  • Quorum Ballet (Portugal, 2016)
  • MM Contemporary Dance Company (Italy, 2015/2017)
  • Cia. Palermo in Danza (Italy, 2015/2017)
  • Cie La Vouivre (France, 2014)
  • Cie Toula Limnaios (Berlin, 2013)
  • Polish Dance Theater (Poland, 2012)
  • Cie. Thor (Belgium, 2011)
  • Pál Frenák Company (Hungary / France, 2010/2014)
  • Cie. Minako Seki (Berlin, 2009)
  • Cie. Salzburg State Theater (Austria, 2008)
  • Cie. LaRoque (Austria, 2008)
  • Aura Dance Theater (Lithuania, 2006/2014/2017)
  • Cie. Dialaw 'Art (Senegal, 2005)

In addition to the main program in Theaterhaus Tor 6, there has been an off program in the DansArt Theater since 2012. Young up-and-coming dancers and choreographers present themselves in the off-program. This serves on the one hand to offer new, unknown artists a stage and thus to pick up on the latest developments in contemporary dance, on the other hand the openly designed off-program is a communication platform for the young artists.

In addition, the participants of the workshops show their newly acquired knowledge in two final presentations, each after the end of the first and after the end of the second week.


The Rudolf-Oetker-Halle is a concert hall that was inaugurated in 1930. Every year for the dance festival it is converted into a dance house with four studios in which the workshops take place. Due to the gradual expansion of the workshop offer, the space capacities of the Rudolf-Oetker-Halle are no longer sufficient since 2010. The advanced level courses (for very advanced and professional dancers) as well as the courses on body experience have since taken place in DansArt's three dance studios.

The studios include a private theater with approx. 200 seats, the DansArt Theater. This is where the off program takes place. The main program takes place in the Theaterhaus Tor 6, which belongs to an internationally operating free theater collective, the "Theaterlabor". It holds just under 290 visitors, making it the larger of the two venues.

The first participant presentation after the end of the first workshop week will take place as an open-air party on the town hall square in Bielefeld. The final presentation after the end of the second week will be shown in the large concert hall of the Rudolf-Oetker-Halle with 1,451 seats.

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Coordinates: 52 ° 1 ′ 42 "  N , 8 ° 30 ′ 48"  E