23 December 2021

tanzhaus nrw #BetterTogether

These past years have been very challenging to all of us, and many great projects lost their visibility due to the circumstances. This is why we have decided to skip most of the regular Christmas posts and instead use our reach to highlight inspiring projects and organizations in the neighborhood of all our Ruby destinations. Our spirit is to promote and support diversity and inclusion, which matters because we are #bettertogether.


Introducing the tanzhaus nrw

Germany, Dusseldorf – The tanzhaus nrw is a cultural landmark in North Rhine-Westphalia, a place of inspiration, and a must-see when you are visiting Dusseldorf. The tanzhaus emerged in 1978 from the socio-cultural initiative "Die Werkstatt", a multicultural meeting place for the cultural avantgarde and an open space for all the various arts they chose to express their creativity with.

In the 1980s, the initiative gained more visibility by organizing festivals, and by the end of the decade, a more formalized character in cooperation with the Schauspielhaus Dusseldorf started to emerge. Over time, more international artists joined their ranks, became supporters and visiting artists, strengthening its profile as a place of cultural exchange and lived diversity. To make all of this possible, the house has always been grounded on solid principles of non-discrimination, and international cooperation with a pivot to address contemporary issues such as economic, ecological, social, and cultural change in today's urban landscape which are an integral part of their performances.

20 years after the Werkstatt was founded, the tanzhaus took residency in a former tram depot, which serves with its vast spaces as a perfect new home for today's two stages, eight studios, and additional rooms for workshops and get-togethers. The doors are open for everyone, regardless of age or skill level. If you bring enthusiasm for this beautiful and diverse form of expression and individuality, you will find yourself amongst equals. Over 80 active artists from over 40 countries teach and share their cunning in more than 350 courses, workshops, and projects with aspiring dancers and enthusiasts. 

In 2013, after almost four decades of dedicated service, Bertram Müller was succeeded by Bettina Masuch. The current intendant has a biography filled with different cultural mandates and successful dance projects and festivals. From 2022 on, Ingrida Gerbutaviciute is designated to follow Bettina's footsteps and will lead the tanzhaus for years to come.

© Peter Hönnemann Kampnagel
© Sabine Große-Wortmann

A place that never tires

The tanzhaus is a bustling place, with over 200 performances performed by different local and international artists every year. There is always something happening for visitors of all ages. In addition, Bettina Masuch has started a "Factory Artists" programme, where hand-picked artists are invited to develop their own formats, bring new ideas and influence various in-house productions. They invite you to come here to be inspired, dazzled, and submerge in the sheer limitless world of dancing.

Dancing is a fine art but is not limited by it. Dancing is essential in musical theater, operas, vaudeville, or performance art – to name a few examples. Dancing is a social act, it is a way to celebrate and preserve cultural history, and it can be fiercely competitive. It can be entertainment or a spiritual act, improvised or choreographed. Dance is fundamentally and thoroughly ineffable, even though it can be described in its practical, socio-historical, cultural, biological, psychological, or metaphysical components, it is an art that must be experienced. Due to this it cannot be adequately described, even with the most sophisticated poetry. Understanding what dance means is only possible if you see it, feel it and witness it to grasp the inherent magic of this fine art.

Dancing is complex work, and it demands much cognitive, emotional, qualitative, and physiological training to truly perform the precise movement that differentiates enthusiasts from professional dancers. However, once you see it, once you feel the enchantment, it will be hard to let go of an honest fascination by what skilled dancers can express, without ever saying a single word.

© Rio Basel
© Nikolaus Ostermann