CircusDanceFestival is a Cologne based organization dedicated to current aesthetics, practices and discourses in the field of contemporary circus and dance. Initiated in 2019 by the company Overhead Project as a pilot project as part of the TANZPAKT Stadt-Land-Bund funding, CircusDanceFestival is continued in 2023 with the support of the Federal Cultural Foundation (Germany). The annual festival is combined with structural projects such as the European Creation Laboratory between circus and dance academies, the Young Savages youth and young talent support program, an international residency and co-production program, the realization of symposia and the publication of the VOICES magazine.
Close to the borders of France, Belgium and the Netherlands, countries in which — unlike Germany — contemporary circus has already been recognized and structurally supported by cultural policy for several decades, CircusDanceFestival is located in North Rhine-Westphalia, a Federal State with one of the most versatile art and culture scenes in Germany. As a model institution, the CircusDanceFestival lays an important foundation for long lasting structures for contemporary circus in Germany.
About Overhead Project
The company Overhead Project, initator of CircusDanceFestival, stands for performances on the border of contemporary circus and dance – two languages that allow different perspectives on the human body and a multidimensional approach towards space and architecture. The works of the company reflect the stage situation as a place of communication and works on social and political phenomena.
The company, directed by choreographer and circus artist Tim Behren, evolved from an intensive acrobatic-dance duo work with former co-founder Florian Patschovsky. Today the artistic core team exists out of composer Simon Bauer, visual artist Charlotte Ducousso and several longtime performers, collaborators and thinkers from various fields. Numerous productions and several guest choreographies for municipal theaters with large ensembles have been created. The company received a number of international awards and choreography prizes for its works.