The focus of this Congress is on engaging with the phenomenon of contemporaneity. Since the early 20th century, it has been understood in artistic and theoretical practices as the call to deal with the conditions and radical changes of the present times. We grasp contemporaneity as the diversity of attempts at positioning oneself aesthetically, politically, socially and in dance in one's own times, not least in physical terms as well.

The core of the programme was selected from more than 220 submissions with which artists, theorists, students and other dance creatives from Germany and abroad responded to a thematic Call for Proposals on the question of contemporaneity.

The diversity of voices and thematic heterogeneity of the Congress programme impressively demonstrate the relevance and critical potential inherent to this theme. More than 180 invited speakers from different cultural contexts reflect on our role as contemporaries in workshops, lecture performances, experiments, talks and case studies. Based on their specific practices, they put aesthetic and discursive proposals for dance-making and choreography up for debate and along with the participants engage with current issues of community, the sense of belonging, borders, contemporary witnesses, economic and institutional structures, as well as the utopian potentials of the body.

The Congress Programme is oriented towards a heterogeneous expert audience that is not to be addressed 'with one voice' but stimulated by a broad variety of mediation formats to take part in engaging with the respective themes along with the invited experts. Various presentation forms including performances, lectures, lecture demonstrations, case studies and dialogues provide impetus from an artistic and/or scientific point of view.

The Congress languages are English and/or German. Events held in German and translated simultaneously are marked accordingly with .

The Musée de la danse of Boris Charmatz, one of today's most radical choreographers, opens the Congress at the Opernhaus with 'Musée de la danse: Common Choreographies', a three-part programme compiled especially for Hanover, that offers an itinerary through the dance history of the 20th century and in which the Congress participants, members of the audience, and artists can meet outside of the conventional stage situations.

Questions of contemporaneity are also addressed by the international Dance Programme developed together with the Niedersächsisches Staatstheater and the State Capital of Hannover, the hosts of the Dance Congress 2016, and further partners on location. Additional the Kunstverein Hannover will feature the exhibition 'Bodies and Stages' with lectures, films and performances dedicated to the intersections of dance and fine art.