The project documentation provides an insight into the work process and the background to HEUTE: volkstanzen.

K3 - Zentrum für Choreographie:
HEUTE: volkstanzen

The project HEUTE: volkstanzen (TODAY: folk dancing) by K3 – Centre for Choreography | Tanzplan Hamburg, which was carried out in co-operation with the Leipzig Dance Archive and the Schaubühne Lindenfels, Leipzig, looked into contemporary equivalents to traditional folk dance and explored model ways to transmit dance as well as participation.

Based on their initial research, including in collections at the Leipzig Dance Archive, four choreographers – Jenny Beyer (Hamburg), Heike Hennig (Leipzig), Isabelle Schad (Berlin) and Doris Uhlich (Vienna) – investigated the choreographic structures of various folk dance practices, in particularly looking at their communicative and community-building potential. Each choreographer then worked with a group of amateur dancers to develop a piece within the context of their current dance creation activities. This resulted in a folk dance festival, celebrated in Hamburg and Leipzig, in which folk dance practice was reflected inparticipating and presenting (dancing and looking).

A symposium was organised to discuss the issue of passing on traditions and rituals. Speakers included Dr. Hanna Walsdorf from Heidelberg University who gave a lecture on folk dance Tradition. In a discussion Brita Adam – a lecturer in folklore and character dance – and the choreographer Jochen Roller talked about the role of folk dance in ballet training, issues of authenticity, contemporary adaptations and political implications.

An exhibition showed the diversity of folk dance as a cultural practice. A selection of posters relating to folk dance in the GDR (from inventories at the Leipzig Dance Archive) featured event announcements from 1954-1988. Film clips from the Sorbian Cultural Archive were also shown and contrasted with Olaf Marten’s photographic orchestrations of folk dance groups today.

Edit of the folk dance evening

75-minute edit of the full three-hour evening from 19 October 2013 in Hamburg.

Concept | artistic management – Matthias Quabbe
Dramaturgic support / project co-ordination – Lina Klingebeil
Choreography – Jenny Beyer, Heike Henning, Isabelle Schad and Doris Uhlich
Music – Sebastian Reier aka DJ Booty Carrell
Research support / dramaturgic advice – Theresa Jacobs and Patrick Primavesi
Lighting – Dennis Döschner

Discussion with Brita Adam and Jochen Roller

As part of the symposium on HEUTE: volkstanzen, Brita Adam – a lecturer in folklore and character dance – and the choreographer Jochen Roller talked about the role of folk dance in ballet training, issues of authenticity, contemporary adaptations and political implications.


Brita started her classical training in East Berlin and completed it in Hamburg. After working as a dancer at different theatres, in 1971 she started a teacher-training course at Cologne University. She taught at the John Cranko School in Stuttgart from 1973 to 1977. From the founding of the Hamburg State Opera ballet school in 1978 until the summer of 2013, she taught at the School of the Hamburg Ballet, working under ballet director John Neumeier and teaching classical dance, folklore/character dance and Spanish dance.


After training in classical ballet, Jochen studied Applied Theatre Studies in Giessen and choreography at the Laban Dance Centre in London. He has been working as a freelance choreographer since 1997 and has produced more than 40 works for stage, galleries, fashion and film. His stage productions tour Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific region. From 2007 to 2010, he curated the season dance programme at Kampnagel Hamburg, during which time he also founded the annual Live Art Festival with Anne Kersting. He was artistic director of the festival in 2009 and 2010. He has worked as a dramaturge for various choreographers, including Angela Guerreiro (Hamburg), Joavien Ng (Singapore) and Jecko Siompo (Jakarta), and as a dancer and performer for Martin Nachbar, Thomas Lehmen, Matthias von Hartz, Ami Garmon and Gintersdorffer/Klassen. He lectures at the FU Berlin (MA Dance Studies), at the University of Hamburg (MA Performance Studies) and at the Lasalle College of the Arts in Singapore (BA Theatre and Acting).

Jochen Roller’s work Trachtenbummler, a critical look at German dance customs, was premiered at the 2013 Tanz im August festival.

Performance Dates




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