Aktuelles aus Berlin

Statement by the AG Tanzförderung

Statement by the AG Tanzförderung on the press release by the Senate for Culture and Social Cohesion dated 15 December 2023 „Cultural budget strengthens diversity, excellence, resilience and social cohesion“.

First of all, we would like to thank the dance scene for supporting our first petition. Over 500 dance professionals signed it and we were able to hand over all the signatures to the Senator for Culture, Mr. Joe Chialo, at the opening of Tanznacht 2023. In his subsequent speech to the assembled dance scene, Mr. Chialo assured us: „We stand by your side in solving your problems“. This statement was interpreted by the dancers and choreographers as a positive signal for support in solving the acute financial and structural problems of the dance scene in Berlin.

We therefore read the press release from the Senator for Culture dated December 15, 2023 with great interest. We congratulate our colleagues from Constanza Macras | DorkyPark, Nico and the Navigators, Rimini Protokoll, Gob Squad Arts Collective, She She Pop, Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop, andcompany&co on the new budget title and the additional funding of € 600,000. We are delighted that it is possible to establish new structures within the funding system in the short term and to provide financial compensation for some groups.

This initially looks like a step in the right direction. However, as the previous approaches of these companies will be included in the new budget title, the 2 and 4-year concept funding, which is so important for the independent scene, will have around a quarter less budget in future and will be significantly weakened as a juried funding instrument.

This development is once again particularly bitter for the chronically underfunded dance sector: only one of the seven companies favoured by these individual political decisions belongs to the dance genre. At the same time, the jury’s decision on basic and conceptual funding has already led to 15% fewer dance artists receiving funding in the coming years. Last but not least, the Round Table Dance has not been given the much-needed development perspective for its seven structure-strengthening measures, but is still confronted with a cut after the conclusion of the budget negotiations.

All of this means that structural, sustainable and cross-generational support for the professional dance sector in Berlin is hardly possible.

Contemporary dance in Berlin, which is a flagship for Berlin as a cultural location due to its internationality, innovation and linguistic accessibility, is threatened by these decisions with a substantial, existence-threatening weakening of diversity, excellence and resilience, with consequences for the dance scene for many years to come.

The jury’s decisions not only meant that groups working in Berlin for many years were stripped of the working structures they had built up over decades at the stroke of a pen, but also that younger choreographers who had been highly praised by critics were downgraded.

In our discussions with the Senate Administration, we have tried to gain an understanding of the effects of these decisions and the actual problems within the funding structure, but have realised that our concern for continuous funding open to all generations is not shared.

We are once again criticising and problematising the unfair „jump in, jump off“ bus system for funding independent artists and companies.

A clearly and transparently structured funding system, created in dialogue with the professional dance scene, is the basic prerequisite for sustainable artistic work.

The fact that there was no special fund for individual project funding and no at least temporary assumption of structural costs for the dance scene, which was disproportionately affected by cuts, emphasises the need for a reorganisation of the funding structure.

The reinstatement of institutional funding and an increase in funding for some groups, as important as it is in individual cases, will not solve any of the problems in the dance sector. Instead, it continues the unequal treatment of dance artists following last year’s jury decisions. We cannot and will not accept this, because we are very concerned about the future of contemporary dance in Berlin.

We are interested in creating more specific structural and target group support within the existing funding system.

We therefore reiterate our desire to enter into a constructive dialogue with all those involved in order to give dance and all dance artists in Berlin a secure perspective.


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