National Contests

Tanztreffen der Jugend – Forum

The Forum of Tanztreffen der Jugend is aimed at dancers, dance educators, choreographers, theatre makers with a dance background and students. It is divided into the categories Practice, Dialogue and Focus. The Practice workshops correspond with the artistic positions of the respective leaders and give participants an insight into their approaches and artistic strategies. They are also intended to serve as research spaces to develop choreographic material, and as an opportunity to reflect one’s own artistic practice of working with young people.

Performance discussions, which will always take place on the day after the presentation, constitute the Forum’s dialogue platform. This year, the opening discussion at the launch of the Forum will focus on the content presented by Tanztreffen der Jugend itself. It will address experiences, developments and possibilities of dance with young people and give participants an opportunity to meet.

Attendance at the invited productions presented by Tanztreffen der Jugend is an essential component of the Forum.

Concept and direction of the Forum: Martina Kessel. She studied dance education at the academies of Rotterdam and Essen and followed this with a degree in social and cultural anthropology, Islamic studies and education from the University of Cologne. She worked as a research associate at the Universities of Göttingen and Cologne. From 2003 to 2013, she was project manager of “Take-off: Junger Tanz” at tanzhaus nrw, where she established the department “Dance for young audiences”. Currently, she is project manager of the “ChanceTanz”-programme, a project of the federal association Tanz in Schulen e.V. (Dance in schools) which operates within the framework of “Kultur macht stark. Bündnisse für Bildung”, a programme of the Federal Ministry for Education and Research.


To participate in the Forum programme please register by sending an e-mail to . Please give your full name and institution, if applicable, and indicate the workshop you would like to participate in. Your registration is binding once we have sent you confirmation and your participation fee has been received. Participation in the Dialogue section (Opening and Performance discussions) is always possible and free of charge.

Participation in the Practice-Workshop I
Touch with Joke Laureyns
(concurrent with Practice-Workshop II)
SAT 22 Sep 2018, 13:30 – 16:00
SUN 23 Sep 2018, 9:30 – 12:00 & 13:30 – 16:00
Tickets for the performances on 21, 22 and 23 Sep 2018
(Lunch, dinner and non-alcoholic refreshments included)
€ 110 / reduced € 75

Participation in the Practice-Workshop II
Fusion – Diversity in Dance with Alesandra Seutin
(concurrent with Practice-Workshop I)
SAT 22 Sep 2018, 13:30 – 16:00
SUN 23. Sep 2018, 9:30 – 12:00 & 13:30 – 16.00
Tickets for the performances on 21, 22 and 23 Sep 2018
(Lunch, dinner and non-alcoholic refreshments included)
€ 110 / reduced € 75

Participation in the Practice-Workshop III
„Ballet Is a Woman”? with Ilse Ghekiere & Dr Margarita Tsomou
MON 24 Sep 2018, 9:30 - 12:00 & 13:30 – 16:00
Tickets for the performances on 24 Sep 2018
(Lunch, dinner and non-alcoholic refreshments included)
€ 60 / reduced € 45

Participation in the Practice-Workshop IV
Staging Postcolonial Biographies with Josep Caballero Garcia & Ella Huck
(concurrent with Practice-Workshop V)
TUE 25 Sep 2018, 9:30 – 12:00 & 13:30 – 16:00
WED 26 Sep 2018, 12:00 – 13:30
Tickets for the performances on 25 and 26 Sep 2018
(Lunch, dinner and non-alcoholic refreshments included)
€ 110 / reduced € 75

Participation in the Practice-Workshop V
Body Views by The100hands with Jasper Džuki Jelen & Mojra Vogelnik Škerlj
(concurrent with Practice-Workshop IV)
TUE 25 Sep 2018, 9:30 – 12:00 & 13:30 – 16:00
WED 26 Sep 2018, 09:30 – 12:00
Tickets for the performances on 25 and 26 Sep 2018
(Lunch, dinner and non-alcoholic refreshments included)
€ 110 / reduced € 75

“INVITED” by Ultima Vez – Performance and Workshop with Seppe Beyens
THU 27 Sep 2018, 11:00 – 12:00 & 13:30 – 16:00
€ 80 / reduced € 55


Uferstraße 8, 13357 Berlin
U8 Pankstraße / U9 Nauener Platz / S-Bahn Gesundbrunnen

Stage, Dialogue & Focus:
Haus der Berliner Festspiele
Schaperstraße 24, 10719 Berlin
U9 / U3 / Bus 204 Spichernstraße

Please take care of your accommodation on time.

National Contests of the Berliner Festspiele
Tanztreffen der Jugend
Schaperstraße 24, 10719 Berlin
Phone +49 (0)30 254 89 122
Fax +49 (0)30 254 89 132


Let’s talk about Tanztreffen der Jugend!
SAT 22 Sep 2018, 10:30 – 12:00

This is the fifth edition of Tanztreffen der Jugend. A good time to sum up what was, discuss what has been established and develop ideas on what is to come! What is the current state of dance featuring young people in Germany and which developments would we like to see? A conversation with members of the jury of Berliner Festspiele’s national contests, choreographers, other guests and experts as well as interested members of the public.


Body and identity are the central concepts of this year’s Forum. Both our identity and the way we handle our bodies are informed by our respective cultural roots, our social environment, our personal inclinations and experiences, historical developments, social demands or attribution and many more.
The workshops will address this complex of issues from a variety of different perspectives and related approaches in order to perceive, investigate and stage both bodies and identities.

Together with Belgian choreographer Joke Laureyns of the company kabinet k, we will explore the touching and touched body in dance. How does touch occur and what does it trigger in the persons involved? These are central questions in her workshop. Alesandra Seutin examines the culture-related diversity of physical movement in “Fusion – diversity in dance”, a workshop that will introduce us to her fusion of traditional African dance, contemporary dance and hip-hop. Staging postcolonial biographies and the way bodies remember partially diffuse experiences are some of the topics explored in a two-day workshop by Ella Huck and Josep Cabellero García. Ella Huck, artistic director of Hajusom, and choreographer Josep Cabellero García share artistic approaches that they have tested in their joint productions. Taking the #MeToo-debate as their point of departure, Margarita Tsomou and Ilse Ghekiere look at gender staging in dance and the significance of dance and body work as a means of expressing (gender-)identity for children and young people. And finally, a workshop led by Mojra Vogelnik Skerlj and Jasper Džuki Jelen will look at the presentation and viewing of bodies in the context of theatre, trying to break through familiar patterns and seeing or staging bodies in a different way by creating new theatre settings. The final workshop day will be spent together with the Campus-participants this year: For this day, we have invited the Belgian company Ultima Vez with their latest work “INVITED”, under the direction of Seppe Baeyens.

Practice-Workshop I

With Joke Laureyns
SAT 22 Sep 2018, 13:30 – 16:00
SUN 23 Sep 2018, 9:30 – 12:00 & 13:30 – 16:00
The workshop’s working language is English.

In the work of Belgian company kabinet k, the body is the central element. They are driven neither by dance nor a by specific technique, but rather by their interest in physicality and corporeality: bodies that explore, suggest, shift, tell stories, play, reach out and touch. In their practice, the body plays with its environment, with other bodies and not least with itself.Dance as a social act invites contact amongst each other. Regardless of whether this contact is spontaneous or deliberate, in the work of kabinet k, it always occurs free of manipulation, as an “organic” consequence of a purposeful action. Dance as a form of contact is an essential component of the company’s dance vocabulary. Besides breath, touch is the first thing that we experience in our lives. It forms the basis of our being, the foundation of our communication and language. Touch is a permanent component of our lives. But we deal with it in a much less natural way than might be assumed: Cultural differences within our society, stereotypical gender assumptions, tabooed sexual fantasies or touch-triggered fears illustrate the complexity of the notion of touch. But ultimately, the ability to be touched – both in a concrete and in a figurative sense – is the foundation for empathy and thus for tolerance, charity and a functioning society.
We will address this complex topic in our workshop, familiarising ourselves with the artistic process of creation employed by kabinet k. In a playful and active manner, this workshop is an invitation to reflect on how we deal with touch in dance as a means of exploring ourselves and others.

Joke Laureyns (BE) is a choreographer with a special interest in philosophy. Together with Kwint Manshoven, she runs the Belgian company kabinet k. In their productions, professionals perform together with children. Their movement vocabulary derives from concrete everyday movements and gestures which they combine with playful elements. The company prefers to work with children and old people who are not pre-shaped by professional dance techniques or specific movement patterns. Since 2002, they have created a variety of dance productions in cooperation with large-scale theatre companies which brought them international renown. Currently, kabinet k are cooperating with hetpaleis (Antwerp). In this context, the productions “Horses” and “invisible” have been created since 2016 and have been touring both in Belgium and internationally.

Practice-Workshop II

Fusion – Diversity in Dance
With Alesandra Seutin
SAT 22 Sep 2018, 13:30 – 16 :00
SUN 23 Sep 2018, 9:30 – 12:00 & 13:30 – 16:00
The workshop’s working language is English.

Alesandra Seutin’s work is informed by the fusion of traditional African dance, contemporary dance and hip-hop. From this foundation, she explores socially relevant issues and demonstrates contemporary developments of dance with her Afro-European dance theatre. She founded the company Vocab Dance in 2007, which builds bridges between African and contemporary dance.
In this workshop, Alesandra Seutin will give a practical insight into her particular fusion of popular and contemporary South African movement. She invites the participants to reflect on diversity in dance and within the dance companies for young people which they run, to help them address the challenges of our diverse society with joy and courage.

Alesandra Seutin (ZWE/BE/GB) is a performer, choreographer and internationally active dance educator. Born in Harare (Simbabwe), she grew up in Brussels. Today, she lives in London and Antwerp. She holds a diploma from the Laban Dance Centre in London and obtained a degree in choreography and performance from Middlesex University. She trained further at the École des Sables (founded by Germaine Acogny in Senegal), where she worked with choreographers like Nora Chipaumire, Pierre Doussaint, Flora Théfaine, Pedro Pauwels and David Zambrano. With her own Vocab Dance Company, she has created her own work for venues like Sadler’s Wells Theatre, The Place Theatre, Stratford Circus, Théâtre Louis Aragon and tanzhaus nrw. In 2014, she received the Trailblazers’ Award of the Association of Dance of the African Diaspora for her continuous work towards bridging the gap between African and European contemporary dance.

Practice-Workshop III

“Ballet Is a Woman?”
With Ilse Ghekiere and Dr Margarita Tsomou
MON 24 Sep 2018, 9:30 – 12:00 & 13:30 – 16:00
The workshop’s working language is English.

What is the relationship between gender roles and dance? What is the impact of gender relations on dance education? How can gender be reflected in an emancipatory manner both in teaching dance and on stage?
As George Balanchine’s famous quote “Ballet is a woman.” reveals, (western) dance has been strongly shaped by traditional gender images, and even today, there is a strict division of female and male dances – even though gender roles are continually being performed and interpreted. But if gender is, as gender theorist Judith Butler says, in fact a (physical) performance, dance might well be a key to physically blur and reinvent embedded gender divisions.
The workshop will begin with a historical survey of gender staging in dance, with an in-depth look at current discussions on sexism and gender inequality (#MeToo). In a second stage, the significance of dance and body work as a means for children and adolescents to express their own (gender-)identity will be reflected, leading to questions regarding the participants’ own practice. Finally, participants will be asked to examine their own work with young people with regards to gender issues and to develop strategies for a gender-sensitive dance education together.

Ilse Ghekiere (BE) dances, writes, researches and teaches. Based on her training in dance (Artesis Hogeschool Antwerpen) and art history (Vrije Universiteit Brussel), she explores the relationship between literature, body politics and gender history. As a dancer, she has worked with choreographers like Michèle Anne De Mey, Mette Ingvartsen, Jan Martens, Stina Nyberg, Cecilia Lisa Eliceche, Manon Santkin and Pavle Heidler. A scholarship from the Flemish government gave her the opportunity to realign her interests. Since that time, she has focused on the development of feminist artistic practices. She is artist in residence with RoSa (Archive for feminism and gender equality). In this context, she wrote the article “#Wetoo: What dancers talk about when they talk about sexism” and developed the project “OpenCanon”. With the support of Kunstenpunt/Flanders Art Institute, she initiated ENGAGEMENT, an anti-sexist campaign for the entire Belgian art scene.

Dr Margarita Tsomou (GR) is an author, dramaturg and curator. She is editor of the pop-feminist Missy Magazine and writes for German newspaper and radio.
In her work, she regularly cooperates with institutions like HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Kampnagel, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Maxim Gorki Theater, Münchner Kammerspiele and others. Her most recent project was a series of events in the discursive programme of Paul B. Preciado at documenta 14. She obtained her doctorate within the postgraduate programme “Assemblies and Participation: Urban Publics and Performance”, a research cooperation project of HafenCity University Hamburg, K3 – Zentrum für Choreographie and FUNDUS THEATER in Hamburg.
Margarita Tsomou’s work focuses on queer-feminist criticism of sexuality and culture as well as on political and interventionist performance. She is a member of the publishing collective b_books and the artistic activists’ group Schwabinggrad Ballett.

Practice-Workshop IV

Staging Postcolonial Biographies
With Josep Caballero García and Ella Huck
TUE 25 Sep 2018, 9:30 – 12:00 & 13:30 – 16:00
WED 26 Sep 2018, 09:30 – 12:00

Hajusom, a centre for transnational performance art, has been creating performances featuring young people with a migration background since 1999. The basis for their work is a common understanding of migration as the normal state of humanity and of integration as a reciprocal process. Based on this premise, the workshop will explore various exercises and strategies of addressing postcolonial biographies in movement and theatre. How do bodies remember certain experiences and how can we choreograph and/or stage these sometimes diffuse memories? In our creation processes, we use a variety of materials and sources of inspiration like images, videos, storytelling, biographical texts or familiar rituals to prompt these body memories, personal associations, thoughts and emotions. Various approaches and tasks in movement- and theatre-improvisations then help us to stage and choreograph these elements and to give them a theatrical form. We would like to share and try out a range of approaches with the participants.

Josep Caballero García (ES/DE) studied contemporary dance in Barcelona as well as at the Centre national de danse contemporaine d’Angers and concluded his training at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen. He has worked as a dancer for Pina Bausch, Urs Dietrich, Doris Stelzer and Xavier le Roy since 1994. Since 2006, he has been living in Berlin and developing his own choreographic projects in cooperation with HAU Hebbel am Ufer and Kampnagel. He realises some of his artistic work with children and young people. He heads dance projects in Berlin and Hamburg: Houseclub at HAU Hebbel am Ufer, TanzZeit e.V. Berlin, K3 – Zentrum für Choreographie, JTW Spandau and others. Since 2016, he has been working regularly on transdisciplinary productions with the transnational ensemble Hajusom (Hamburg), a company that consists of young people who have a migration history or are refugees. Furthermore, he gives workshops on dance education for and with children and young people at various international institutions.

Ella Huck (DE) trained as an actor with Jacques Lecoq at the École Internationale de Théâtre in Paris. She has been working as a performer in interdisciplinary performance projects since 1992, coproducing with Theater im Pumpenhaus and Kunstakademie in Münster, among others. Together with Dorothea Reinicke, she initiated a holiday workshop in theatre and performance training for underage, unaccompanied refugee children and young people in 1999. Together with the young performers, they developed the award-winning art project Hajusom, which has coproduced with Kampnagel (Hamburg) and the Theater im Pumpenhaus (Münster) and worked with many international artists, among them Patrick Kabré (Burkina Faso) and Yaya Coulibaly (Mali). Ella Huck is Hajusom’s artistic director and directs all Hajusom-productions. She also teaches physical theatre.

Practice-Workshop V

Body Views by The100hands
With Jasper Džuki Jelen and Mojra Vogelnik Škerlj
TUE, 25 Sep 2018, 9:30 – 12:00 & 13:30 – 16:00
WED, 26 Sep 2018, 9:30 – 12:00
The workshop’s working language is English.

Dance performances create an ideal context to present and view the body. But what are our personal and culturally determined ways of viewing bodies or having our own body viewed? Which processes of interaction are concealed behind the viewing and the presentation of bodies in the setting of a performance? We would like to pursue these questions in the workshop by giving up the traditional division of the theatre into stage and auditorium and blurring the roles of performer, spectator and choreographer. This will create opportunities to break through patterns that determine our range of movement and our possibilities of interaction, and to achieve new forms and ways of staging.
As in all human interaction, in viewing bodies the gaze is of essential significance. By concentrating on the gaze, we will experience the mostly subliminal games of power and vulnerability controlled by viewing.
The workshop provides a platform for personal exploration and introduces methods of creating a “safe” environment for the young participants. We will learn about tools for training, creating, performance and discourse that are important in the context of presenting and viewing bodies while working with young people.

“but freedom, freedom never greater than its owner / freedom is the mastery of the known / freedom, freedom never greater than its owner /no view is wider than the eye”, Kings of Convenience

Jasper Džuki Jelen (NL/SI) studied dance at Codarts – Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Rotterdam and worked as a dancer for more than ten years, with a close connection with Erik Kaiel/Arch8 in the international context. In parallel to his career as a dancer, he developed his own works at dansateliers in Rotterdam, at Dance Centrum Jette in Brussels, at Korzo Theater in Den Haag and at the Holland Dance Festival. He also taught at various academies in the Netherlands and Belgium (Codarts – Hogeschool voor de Kunsten, Artesis Hogeschool Antwerpen, Fontys Dance Academy, Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten/5 o’clock class). In 2014, he founded the young theatre collective The100Hands together with Mojra Vogelnik Škerlj. Fascinated by the complexity of relationships between people, he often leaves the traditional theatre context in his works in order to redefine the relations between performers and audience.

Mojra Vogelnik Škerlj (SI) studied architecture and the practice of various dance/body-techniques at the same time, including capoeira, improvisation technique and partnering, working with teachers like J. Hamilton, Nancy S. Smith and D. Zambrano). Architecture and the relationship between spectators and performers play an important role in her work. In this context, she explores how dance, improvisation and LARP (Live Action Role Play) can open spheres of experience and lead the audience to active participation in the events of the performance. She is currently interested in sustainable cultural practices, both on a physical and an ecological level, examining how cultural practices can change both our view of production processes and our handling of our body as the main resource of our work.


“INVITED” by Ultima Vez – Performance and Workshop with Seppe Beyens
THU 27 Sep 2018, 11:00 – 12:00 & 13:30 – 16:00

The final workshop day will be spent together with the Campus-participants this year: For this day, we have invited the Belgian company Ultima Vez with their latest work “INVITED”, under the direction of Seppe Baeyens.


Performance discussions
SAT 22, SUN 23, MON 24, TUE 25, WED 26 & THU 27 Sep 2018, 17:30 – 18:30
With Jo Parkes

The daily performance discussions will start off with descriptions and observations on the productions presented on the previous night. Choreographers, jurors and FORUM participants will discuss aspects of form and aesthetics, themes and content regarding the productions. We are looking forward to conversations full of the participants’ expertise and criticism, curiosity and a sharp eye and, not least, an openness to new perspectives.

Jo Parkes (DE/UK) is a freelance dance artist and director. She creates participatory installations and performances for the public sphere and in the context of her video art projects. She is the founder and artistic director of Mobile Dance e.V. Mobile Dance is committed to socially relevant work: Its co-creative processes reach many people with little access to participatory artistic creation. The projects include “Postcards from…” (2009-2017) and “JUNCTION” (since 2014), a dance and video workshop programme in five refugee accommodations across Berlin. Jo Parkes is an international guest lecturer in Community Dance and has taught at Dans och Cirkushögskolan (DOCH) in Stockholm, at Bern University and at HZT Berlin, among others. In 1995, she received a Fulbright Scholarship to obtain her Master’s degree in choreography at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She has a First Class degree in English Literature and German from the University of Oxford. In 2002, she won the Bonnie Bird New Choreography Award. In 2009, her project “Postcards from Berlin” received the “Kinder zum Olymp”-award. In 2016, she received a scholarship from the Berlin Senat. Her work “On tradition: the young generation)” (tjg. theater junge generation, Dresden) was presented at the 2017 Tanztreffen der Jugend.


Tanztreffen der Jugend

Impressions of the festival 2017

Tanztreffen der Jugend

The chronicle

All dance productions since 2014