Dear Friends of Tanz im August,
We here at Tanz im August have found ourselves between a rock and a hard place. We have been working in good faith toward the 2020 edition of the festival, but as time has gone by, despite many positive developments, we are now forced to re-evaluate our situation. Together with HAU Hebbel am Ufer’s artistic and managing director Annemie Vanackere, the Senate Department for Culture and Europe and the Capital Cultural Fund,we have taken the unavoidable decision to cancel the live performances of this year’s festival. This follows our careful consideration for the possibility of presenting an international programme of relevance when the artists have not been able to rehearse, premiere or tour due to social distancing and travel restrictions. The nationwide ban on mass events until 31 August and the closure of all Berlin theatres until the end of July have also made it difficult to realise a festival the size of Tanz im August.
We are proud to present the list of artists who would have joined us in Berlin this August:
Boris Charmatz, Faye Driscoll, William Forsythe, Clara Furey, Israel Galván & Niño de Elche, Thiago Granato, Geumhyung Jeong, Milla Koistinen, Jaamil Olawale Kosoko, Louise Lecavalier / Fou Glorieux, Dana Michel, La Veronal, Lea Moro, MOUVOIR / Stephanie Thiersch, Naïf Production / Sylvain Bouillet & Lucien Reynès, Robyn Orlin / Moving Into Dance Mophatong, Ayelen Parolin / RUDA asbl, PME-ART / Jacob Wren, and Arkadi Zaides.
I would like to add that when programming was halted in March, we were still in discussion with some remarkable artists. We are releasing a digital programme book for our festival as it was at that moment. Please, download it here. There is great sadness in letting go of the programme, which so many people have contributed to with hard work. The dance sector is rather vulnerable as most of the artists are freelancers and live from one production to another. When writing this, many festivals and whole seasons have been cancelled, which means real hardship for thousands of artists. And surely, just like us, our audiences will miss the excitement of live works and the overall festival spirit.
Still, we wish to make some magic happen! After some mourning, we are in the process of developing a Tanz im August Special Edition 2020. This work will be done in close collaboration with artists, other festivals and partners to be able to bring artists and audiences together. First: Good news for those who are already weary of staring at screens. Our Magazin im August will be published as a special edition full of interviews, articles and portraits. Secondly, we are currently drafting a programme for Tanz im August Online, together with a rich diversity of contemporary dance artists from all over the world.
On a political level, we are actively participating in policy discussions in networks such as IETM – International Performing Arts Networks and EFA – European Festival Association, where the terms and conditions for continuing international collaboration and exchange are advocated now. We are convinced that the performing arts, with live happenings and physical presence, have a crucial part to play in re-building trust and re-opening societies in the coming years.
We are announcing the cancellation with heavy hearts, but convinced that this is the only path towards a safe future for everyone.
We will keep you updated and hope this finds you safe and well,
Virve Sutinen, Artistic Director, and the Tanz im August Team