Funded by The Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media
Greeting by Minister of State to the Federal Chancellor
Prof. Monika Grütters, Member of the German Bundestag
on the occasion of the DANCE ON-kick-off event
24 November 2015 in Berlin
"In a society in which everyone is getting old but no one actually wants to be old, it’s part of most people’s self-image to be as young as they feel. If someone’s felt age happens to be more than their actual age then it’s possible they’re a dancer: after all, while other people see life beginning at 40, people in this profession have often reached retirement age already. It’s a shame, as excellence in dance isn’t just about physical strength, it also takes personality, experience and charisma – qualities that often only start developing with age.
I’m delighted, therefore, that the model project DANCE ON, with the establishment of a company for dancers aged over 40, is drawing attention to the value of age for dance as an art form as well as for our society. This new and unique initiative in Germany brings together well known international artists who will certainly be impressing audiences not only with their dance art but also by questioning the idealisation of youth and the fear of old age. A society in the midst of demographic change can only benefit from this kind of creative approach to looking at its attitudes towards age.
I wish DANCE ON every success and the attention it deserves – and I wish all those involved a great deal of pleasure in creating and presenting their repertoire."
Prof. Monika Grütters, Member of the German Bundestag, The Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media
Greeting by Rüdiger Kruse, Member of the German Bundestag
DIEHL+RITTER succeeded in 2014 in convincing the German Bundestag's Budget Committee to make new funds appropriated for the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM) available for their project DANCE ON. Rüdiger Kruse (MdB, CDU), representative for culture and media in the German Bundestag's Budget Committee, was decisively involved in attaining this substantial funding.
"The tragic fate of ageing dancers was hidden for a long time. Although their radiant bodies were celebrated on stage while they were young, it was accepted they would disappear into the shadows once they were over 40. With the exception of a few ageing dancers, such as Carolyn Carlson or John Neumeier who became great choreographers, dancers were ultimately the silent victims of a ritual that honoured beauty through dance.
A couple of things have recently helped to realign the situation. Our idea of aesthetics has changed and we are now inclined to consider the beauty of ageing. Alongside this development, it has become usual for older dancers to appear on stage after Pina Bausch’s choreography ‘Kontakthof' initiated this now widespread movement.
The time has now come to recognise the extraordinary value of older professional dancers. With the Dance On project, which sets out to exploit the potential of exceptional dancers aged over 40, we are taking another step in this direction. I am convinced that the performance strengths of the 40+ generation will strengthen the vitality of our dance landscape. Dance is an expression of life – for life." - Rüdiger Kruse
Rüdiger Kruse is a member of the German Bundestag and the rapporteur for Culture and the Media on the Budget Committee.
Co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union as part of DANCE ON, PASS ON, DREAM ON
Supported by the NATIONALES PERFORMANCE NETZ (NPN) Coproduction Fund for Dance, which is funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media on the basis of a decision by the German Bundestag