The Kulturstiftung des Bundes launched TANZFONDS ERBE and TANZFONDS PARTNER in 2011 after the Tanzplan Deutschland initiative came to an end. Madeline Ritter, the former director of Tanzplan Deutschland, and Ingo Diehl, the former director of Tanzplan’s educational programme, designed the content of the funds. The not-for-profit company they founded, DIEHL+RITTER, is the agency in charge of Tanzfonds. Ms Ritter is its project director.

Tanzfonds Erbe

Funding for artistic projects on the cultural heritage of dance – an initiative of the Federal Cultural Foundation

TANZFONDS ERBE supports the reconstruction and restaging of classic dance works from the 20th century and makes them available to audiences. The projects funded reflect the spectrum of German dance history. The artistic appropriation of dance heritage is no longer limited to the faithful reconstruction of historical works. Interest in historical dance works, themes and personalities is growing, as is the range of artistic formats. Re-enactments, films, installations or online projects deliberately make use of the historical distance offered by archival sources and body memory for contemporary updates of classical works. Different projects are dedicated to the fact there will be always be gaps in any dance reconstruction.

The material resulting from the projects will be documented by DIEHL+RITTER, the agency running TANZFONDS ERBE. In addition to video recordings of the final performances, the documentation also offers an insight into rehearsal processes as well as interviews with artists, contemporary witnesses and experts.

TANZFONDS ERBE facilitates the passing-on of dance in fresh, innovative ways, increases the visibility of dance history and in doing so coincides with the aims of the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The fund, which was launched in 2011, was initially established for three years. The board of trustees of the Kulturstiftung des Bundes agreed to extend its funding of Tanzfonds Erbe for another four years. In the 2014–2018, two million euros were awarded to choreographers, dance institutions and theatres for artistic projects that were dedicated to Germany’s 20th century dance heritage.

Tanzfonds Partner


TANZFONDS PARTNER was funding 12 partnerships between dance institutions and general education schools across Germany, each project lasting several years. The aim was for school children to experience the art form of dance as part of everyday theatre life – and to do so at the highest artistic level.

The key aspect of the initiative was the opening up of theatres and dance institutions for school children: rather than individual artists making flying visits to schools, it was about school children visiting artists as and where they rehearse. In working with the dancers, school children learned about and value artistic methods and the working conditions in the context of a cultural institution.

The co-operation between experienced dancers and choreographers with young people from different social backgrounds also provided artists with new experiences. They encouraged and taught, brought their knowledge into the institution and generated the audiences of the future.