dance on 

When are we old? How can experience and embodied knowledge be brought into creative play? And what is the role of dance in questioning the idealisation of youth in our culture?

In view of the demographic challenges faced by our society, the non-profit cultural organisation DIEHL+RITTER has been championing the value of age and experience since 2014 with its initiative Dance On.

The Dance On Ensemble, founded in 2015, celebrates the artistic excellence of dancers aged 40+ and explores the relationship between dance and age both on stage and in society. Working with internationally renowned choreographers and directors including among others Rabih Mroue, Deborah Hay, Lucinda Childs and Jan Martens, the Dance On Ensemble is developing a repertoire of ground-breaking and challenging contemporary dance works. Its aim is to create a solid base for a rich and ambitious future repertoire for dancers 40+.

The cross-generational educational programme Dance On Participation, which will accompany the performances on the road, will generate sustainable socio-political stimuli in the local area. Since 2017 regular workshops of the choreographic laboratory Dance On Lab have been held at various locations.

Dance On will create strong alliances with coproduction partners – on a national and international level, among them Kampnagel Hamburg, tanzhaus nrw, Berliner Ensemble, Munchner Kammerspiele, Sadlers Wells London, Holland Dance Festival, STUK House for Image, Dance and Sound, ONASSIS STEGI Athens, Mercat de les Flors, and CND - Centre national de la danse. These alliances will ensure the DANCE ON concept is implemented sustainably and make an active contribution to establishing a dance repertoire 40+.

In 2016 the Creative Europe-funded large scale cooperation project Dance On, Pass On, Dream On was launched, bringing together nine partner organisations from eight European countries to address the problem of ageism in the dance sector. DIEHL+RITTER is the lead partner and project coordinator, and Dance On plays a central role within the project. 

Dance On, Pass On, Dream On will enter its 2nd phase in September 2020. The large-scale European cooperation project has once again been awarded funding from the Creative Europe programme of the European Union to continue its work of imagining a Europe where older dancers are valued for their experience and charisma, where our common European dance heritage is cherished and serves to inspire younger artists, and where older people are respected an engage in meaningful, creative activities. We will be working again with six of our existing partners – Sadler’s Wells in London, Holland Dance Festival in Den Haag, Nomad Dance Academy in Ljubljana, Compagnie Jus de la Vie | Age on Stage in Stockholm and Codarts in Rotterdam – and five new partner institutions: STUK in Leuven, Mercat de les Flors in Barcelona, Station Service for Contemporary Dance in Belgrade, Kumquat Performing Arts in Paris, and Onassis Stegi in Athens.

Dance On is funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media and co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union as part of DANCE ON, PASS ON, DREAM ON.