DANCE CONGRESS 2016 in Hanover
With the presentation of exclusively compiled excerpts from current German dance productions, the Dance Congress 2016 (June 16 – 19) in Hanover came to an end. Under the motto Zeitgenoss*in sein (Being Contemporary), more than 800 professional visitors took part in the four-day Congress organised by the German Federal Cultural Foundation in the capital of Lower Saxony. Since its inception in Berlin in 2006, the Dance Congress has established itself as one of the most important forums for discussing and presenting dance, choreography and movement.
The French choreographer Boris Charmatz opened the Dance Congress 2016 last Thursday with the three-part programme "Musée de la danse: Common Choreographies" developed specifically for Hanover.
The focus of this fourth edition, organised in close co-operation with the Niedersächsisches Staatstheater Hannover and the State Capital of Hanover, was on engaging with the phenomenon of contemporaneity.
Since the early 20th century, it has been understood as the artistic and theoretical demand to deal with the conditions and radical changes of the present and to position oneself in one's own times aesthetically, politically, socially and in dance, not least in a physical way.
The directors of the Dance Congress 2016, Sabine Gehm and Katharina von Wilcke, stated: "It has become apparent that especially in these times of global crises, an international forum such as the Dance Congress 2016 is more important than ever. Free spaces are urgently needed to discuss the various artistic positions in dance, but also its role and possibilities in view of current political and social developments."
Harald Härke, the State Capital of Hanover's councillor in charge of cultural affairs, added: "For four days, Hanover was the centre and focus of the national and international dance scene. Four days full of workshops and exemplary performances, talks and panels. This Dance Congress has sent signals that will have a long-term impact on the future of dance, in Hanover as well. "
Questions of contemporaneity were also negotiated in the international dance programme developed with the Niedersächsisches Staatstheater, the State Capital of Hanover and further partners on site. Among the guests were the French choreographer Rachid Ouramdane with the German premiere of "Tenir le temps", the Swiss Guilherme Botelho with "Antes" and the Cuban Maura Morales with "Stadt der Blinden" Martin Nachbarn and Gabi Dan Droste with "Ich bin's Deine Schwestern" and Felix Landerer with "Revolte!". More than 5,500 spectators attended the performances and the opening programme with the choreographer Boris Charmatz at the Opernplatz and in the Staatsoper.
Jörg Mannes, who as the ballet director of the Staatsoper Hannover played a decisive role in realising the Dance Congress, said: "The Niedersächsische Staatstheater Hannover is extremely proud to have hosted the Dance Congress 2016 together with other partners. For four days, Hanover once again became the hub of the international dance world. The incredible diversity and expressive possibilities that dance has were presented, discussed and analysed in a variety of forms and styles that is hard to surpass. The national and international exchange is invaluable, as are the numerous personal encounters during the Dance Congress. We are firmly convinced that the inspiration given by the Dance Congress will have a sustained effect and provide stimuli not only for our own artistic work, but also for the entire German dance scene."
On behalf of the German Federal Cultural Foundation as the organiser of the Dance Congress 2016, its artistic director Hortensia Völckers concluded: "Every three years the Dance Congress of the German Federal Cultural Foundation – it is still as necessary as it is now, after ten years, almost a matter of course. The dance scene has since then visibly gained significance and self-confidence. The Dance Congress here in Hanover is a nice proof of the increased public attention given to contemporary dance. The German Federal Cultural Foundation will continue to support a powerful and dynamic development of dance and its anchoring in the range of cultural offers."
The Dance Congress 2016 is an event of the German Federal Cultural Foundation in co-operation with the Niedersächsisches Staatstheater Hannover and the State Capital Hannover. With the support of the Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kultur.