In 2001, Tanzinitiative Hamburg hosted the festival “manufacturing dance”, which with its title already emphasized the focus on the interaction between creating and producing in contemporary dance. Working with such an experimental approach generates different ways of narrating and different aesthetics, which in turn spur on the development of new presentation formats.
It is a continuous innovative process and contextual broadening of the genre dance. In each of their projects, the freelance curators/producers and artists Barbara Schmidt-Rohr and Irmela Kästner collaborate closely with the respective artists and work with this process in a very specific way.
Barbara Schmidt-Rohr and Irmela Kästner are founding members of the association Tanzinitiative Hamburg, and today operate under its name. The association was called to life in 1993. It develops, produces and realises a spectrum of projects ranging from stage plays, youth and cross-generational community projects, experimental workshops, discussion series over to spectacular performances in public spaces.
The connecting idea behind it is to consider dance as something one can socially take part in, which is conveyed on different levels. The work and thought processes use an interdisciplinary approach. The projects explore present day contexts, discover unusual spaces for the performances, and with this generate and inspire totally new audiences.
We use both local and international settings for the artistic encounters, and realise this through different venues and collaborations with cultural institutions as well as with other partners from science and business worlds.
Other important elements of Barbara Schmidt-Rohr and Irmela Kästner’s productions include research, post-production and media reports. Hence their work is also presented and contextualised in video and television programmes. They host regular, topic-driven artist dialogues and have discussed individual projects in book chapters for scientific literature.