The Tanztreffen der Jugend’s Forum is aimed at dancers, dance facilitators, choreographers and theatre makers with some dance experience. It is divided into the series Praxis, Dialog and Focus. The Praxis workshops are based on the workshop leaders’ artistic positions and offer the participants an insight into their approaches and artistic strategies. They serve as research spaces for the development of choreographic material as well as one’s own reflection on artistic practice when working with young people. Dialog has a new format, dedicated to the works and working methods of the different ensembles invited to Tanztreffen der Jugend this year. Fokus invites discussion and exchange of experiences centring on the (im)possibilities of the current situation for creating dance productions, as well as dealing with how this situation has influenced the selection and scheduling of this year’s Tanztreffen der Jugend.

The participation in this year’s Forum programme is free of charge, however, registration is necessary.

Concept and direction: Martina Kessel studied dance education at the academies in Rotterdam and Essen, followed by a degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology, Islamic Studies and Education from Cologne University. She then held research associate positions at the Universities of Göttingen and Cologne. From 2003 to 2013, she was project manager for Take-off: Junger Tanz am tanzhaus nrw, where she established the department Dance for young audiences. She currently manages ChanceTanz, a project of Aktion Tanz e. V. 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.

All participants are required to register by email for the Forum at . Please state your full name, the name of your institution where applicable and the requested workshop/s. Your registration becomes binding after confirmation from our side. As we have a reduced number of workshops this year, we would ask you to notify us if you are unable to attend a workshop, so that we can free up the place. Thank you!


Music Was My First Love – Musical Work and Musical Dramaturgy in Dance-mediating and Choreographic Practice

Saturday, 19 September 2020, 13:30–16:00
Sunday, 20. September 2020, 9:30–12:00 & 13:30–16:00
With Felix Berner and David Pagan

Many dancers and choreographers working in dance facilitation settings rarely get the opportunity to work with musicians or composers when developing productions. They frequently have to put together the soundtrack for a dance piece by themselves, using music that has already been produced. This often means that the dance or scenic actions have to adapt to or stand up to existing music.

In this practice-oriented workshop, composer David Pagan and choreographer Felix Berner will show how they work from their respective artistic practice and – in the context of creating a piece – in a joint process of music and dance. Felix Berner offers an insight into his strongly rhythmical basic training, which he uses in dance teaching processes. David Pagan invites you to a new way of experiencing and questioning both listening to and making music from the perspective of a musician and composer. One part of the workshop will deal with our understanding of music: How do I listen to music? Where and how do I find music? Which parameters do I use when choosing music for a dance production? The other part looks at how to productively use music in the rehearsal process, and how to develop a coherent dance and music dramaturgy for a production.

Felix Berner studied Dance at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen and worked as a dancer with choreographers such as Pina Bausch, Ann van den Broek, Sharon Eyal, Tero Saarinen, Club Guy and Roni and Jan Pusch. He has been choreographing for professional ensembles since 2012 and directs various young people’s dance and theatre projects, which have received numerous awards. He has been working in dance and theatre education at Staatstheater Mainz and teaches dance education at various universities.

Born in 1979 on the border between Scotland and England, David Pagan studied Drama and Music in London and has been living in Germany since 2008. He initially worked as performer and musical director of the international theatre group NIE – New International Encounter and currently performs and composes mainly in and for theatres for young audiences in Germany and Europe.

Contemporary Urban Dance

Monday, 21 September 2020, 9:30–12:00 & 13:30–16:00
Tuesday, 22 September 2020, 9:30–12:00 & 13:30–16:00
With Raphael Hillebrand

In this workshop, Raphael Hillebrand will initially direct our attention to the beginnings of Hip Hop culture: Video clips from the early Hip Hop years provide an insight into the culture’s founding myths and enable us to understand its emergence. We learn about the fundamental movement styles of Hip Hop and their historical connections.

The participants learn basic Hip Hop techniques and experience how to use those basics to find and develop an individual style that fits their own body and preferences. This individual creativity is one of the fundamental principles of Hip Hop, which we will experience during the workshop. Everybody will have the opportunity to experiment, even if they have little or no previous connection to Hip Hop culture.

Armed with these experiences, we will dive into the current dance world to find creative connections of apparent opposites: autodidactic vs. academic, head vs. body, John Cage vs. James Brown. Thus Hip Hop builds the bridge to contemporary dance.

The workshop is suitable for all levels and is aimed at participants with little previous knowledge and advanced students alike.

Born in Hong Kong in 1982, Raphael Hillebrand’s roots are in Germany and West Africa. He was raised in Berlin and trained in Hip Hop. In June 2014, he received a Master’s degree in Choreography from the University of the Arts – HZT Berlin. From this perspective, he takes on socio-political topics in his work and transposes the wide variety of cultural facets and identities into choreographies for Hip Hop dance theatre. Deeply passionate about empowering people to dance, he has been working in diverse settings with professional dancers, children and teens as well as university students since 1998. As creative force and founding member of the world’s first Hip Hop Party “Die Urbane. Eine Hip-Hop Partei”, he campaigns for causes such as decolonisation, empowerment and cultural diversity. His current production “Auf meinen Schultern” premiered at Ballhaus Naunynstraße, Berlin, in September 2019. At the German Dance Awards 2020 this October, Hillebrand will receive a special award for outstanding development in dance.

Rhythm and Move


Wednesday, 23 September 2020, 9:30–12:00 & 13:30–16:00
Thursday 24. September 2020, 9:30–12:00 & 13:30–16:00
With David Hernandez and Michel Debrulle

David Hernandez’ and Michel Debrulle’s collaborative work is about transforming rhythmic concepts into physical movement. The workshop will begin by offering a detailed insight to rhythmic structures from different cultural origins. You will learn about African, Afro-Cuban, Indian and contemporary rhythms amongst others, which will then become the starting point for movement development and contribute to creating new movement patterns. Rhythmic architecture determines the moving composition of the body and provides impulse and form. Through internalisation of the rhythms and the ability to experiment more and more freely with them, participants will experience new and surprising moments of movement, which can be playfully adapted with regards to tempo and space. David Hernandez and Michel Debrulle teach together at the Belgian training centre P.A.R.T.S (Performing Arts Research and Training Studios) and are known for their lively teaching style.

David Hernandez studied Studio Music, Jazz and Opera in Miami before taking up Dance at the New World School of the Arts. He went to New York to study with the Trisha Brown Dance Company amongst others. In 1993, he came to Europe with Meg Stuart, was involved in founding Damaged Goods, and worked for about five years as performer, lead dance and Meg Stuart’s assistant. He regularly works for and with artists like Brice Leroux, Labor Gras, Rebecca Murgi, Anouk van Dijk and Rosas as choreographer, dancer, composer, teacher and dramaturg. Together with Meg Stuart and Christine De Smet, he developed the improvisation project “Crash Landing” (1996–1999) which was performed in Vienna, Paris, London and Moscow. Further improvisation projects were developed for festivals like Klapstuk, Spring-dance and Sum of the P.A.R.T.S. David himself has danced in improvisation projects with artists such as Katie Duck, Steve Paxton, Vera Mantero und Meg Stuart and has been choreographing his own works since the 1990s. He has been operating under the company name DH+ since 2009 and, together with Michel Debrulle, he created the production “Hullabaloo”, a sextet with live music, in 2015. David Hernandez is an internationally sought-after lecturer, who has been teaching at P.A.R.T.S. in Brussels for 10 years and has managed the Performance Education Programm (PEP) at STUK in Leuven. He is currently working on a joint production with Moya Michael for the Xin Jin Dance Theatre in Shanghai.

Michel Debrulle is a percussionist/drummer and has been artistic director of the Collectif du Lion since 1989. He works with dancers and choreographers such as David Hernandez, Maria Clara Villalobos David Zambrano, Dominique Duszynski and Thomas Hauert. Michel has been teaching rhythm classes at P.A.R.T.S. in Brussels and holds workshops in Vienna, Lisbon, Berlin, Brussels, Liège, and Paris. He is also a guest lecturer at the Royal Conservatory in Liège (Drama Department), at INSAS (Institut Supérieur des Arts) in Brussels and teaches rhythm and dance to students in academic courses. As a musician, he is an active member of numerous collectives such as the Trio Grande, Orchester Rêve d’éléphant, Tout est Joli/All is pretty, SilverRat Band, Amis Terriens or the L'Orchestre du Lion. To date he has released more than 30 CDs in various formations and has performed in Europe, Asia, Africa, the USA and Canada.


This year, due to the limited possibilities for regular performances, we have developed a presentation format in which the ensembles present their work. Part of these presentations is a moderated discussion about the pieces and the work processes.

The presentation formats will take place from Saturday, 19 September to Thursday, 24 September at 20:00.


Alles auf null! – Alles anders?! (Everything to zero! – Everything different ?!)
Saturday, 19 September, 10:00–12:00

The pandemic has set limits for us, which (has) had a massive impact on our dance artistic work with young people. We were and are facing a variety of challenges and are looking for new ways and possibilities in our work. The selection and programming of the Tanztreffen der Jugend also had to be rethought and planned. Focus invites all guests and jury members to a discussion and exchange of experiences about the effects of the current situation on the development of dance pieces and discusses how this situation has influenced this year’s Tanztreffen der Jugend.


Praxis Workshops

Tanzraum Wedding
Oudenarder Straße 16–20, 13347 Berlin
Unit A-West, 2nd floor, between the staircases A7 and A8
U9 Nauener Platz, Tram M50, M13, Bus 106, 120, 142, 327 (Osram-Höfe)

Stage, Dialogue, Focus

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

Please organise your accommodation in good time.