International Tanzprojekt Bielefeld

From 1990 to 2001, the festival was known nationally under the name "International Tanzprojekt Bielefeld". The city arts office and Fred Traguth from Bonn, who was the first artistic director and had developed the concept, combining workshops with high-quality performances, launched the project. Themed "Dance, Poetry, Movement", the city arts office was interested in bringing amateurs and semiprofessionals together for training and further education. The focus was not only on sharpening the participants techniques but also on widening the horizons of dance enthusiasts to new aspects in the complex art of dance. A goal that has remained entrenched in the festival's philosophy until today. 


From the very beginning, the workshops were held in the "Rudolf-Oetker-Halle", that is transformed to a dance center during the summer holidays. Only from 2004 to 2006 was the festival forced to move to the "Rathaus", since the municipal theater was under construction and needed the "Rudolf-Oetker-Halle" as a performance space. The performance program was seen by many thousands of visitors at many different locations during the last 20 years: the "Klosterplatz", in the "Audimax" of the university, in the "Rudolf-Oetker-Halle", in the "Stadthalle", and in the "Stadttheater" - or municipal theater, to name a few. Since 2006, the "Theaterlabor Tor 6" has advanced to become the premiere performance space for the stage presentations; it offers the best technical and front-of-house requirements for the festival. 

Tanzfestival Bielefeld

Large-scale changes came in the year 2002, when the dancers and dance instructors Ulla and Tchekpo Dan Agbetou were designated the artistic directors of the festival. The first "Tanzsommer Bielefeld" offered a more varied and higher quality program than ever before. At three, and later four different proficiency levels, internationally renowned instructors offered an adaptive and custom-made workshop schedule, targeted at a very diverse group of interested parties. This successful concept has been diligently pursued in the following years. Only the name "Tanzsommer Bielefeld" lasted one year. Due to property rights formalities, the festival name had to be changed one more time to the present title: "Tanzfestival Bielefeld".

Due to the continually growing number of courses, workshops will also be held at the DansArt studios and an “Off-Program” offered at the DansArt Theater.