30 years of Tanz im August: New archive reflects the legacy and history of contemporary dance in Berlin

© Tanz im August / HAU Hebbel am Ufer 2018, photos: Klaus Rabien


It’s almost time for Tanz im August, and the festival for contemporary dance is celebrating its 30th birthday this year by gifting itself an archive.

We spoke to Tanz im August’s artistic director, Virve Sutinen, and Claudia Henne, who is spearheading the archive effort, about the urgent need for an archive before priceless memories of the dance festival disappear.

Claudia Henne. © Tanz im August/HAU Hebbel am Ufer, photo: Dajana Lothert, 2018

This year’s festival features international and local dancers alike, and accordingly offers its digital archive in both German and English. Henne sees the archive as a crucial way to help Berlin’s newcomers understand how the city’s dance scene developed over the past 30 years not only artistically, but in the “cultural and political surrounding of West Berlin and then the unified Berlin.”