Building a Dancehouse explored the development of houses for dance and structures in Europe. The philosophical approach will be the starting point of the investigation: the first network, the values that inspired its first founders and the cooperation between many directors… And linked to the architectural aspect of building a dancehouse.

Many dancehouses in Europe have been created over preexisting buildings: convents, factories, industrial sites, brick houses, distilleries, to name some examples. They have been developed recycling architectures and redefining the identity of spaces. Few houses are now in the process of being built and the relationship between architecture, needs and contents leads inevitably to explore the subject of sustainability.

The Atelier was articulated in two morning sessions:

  • 20 August: Session focused on the philosophical values inspiring, in the past and the present, the building of a dancehouse and its European network. The session was moderated by Dany Mitzman (freelance journalist).
  • 21 August: Session focused on the experiences of commissioning a new building, recycling an old building, defining the identity of a space and its sustainability. The session was moderated by Gabriel Smeets (artistic director of Cullberg Ballet).

This Atelier took place in a series of editorial meetings aimed at considering and tracing the European, as well as the international, dancehouses history. The first exploration began at tanzhaus nrw Düsseldorf in May 2015.

The Atelier was documented extensively:

Additionally, you can download the programme of the Atelier which includes an introduction of all speakers, as well as the presentation of the Dance House Helsinki currently under construction.

Presentation of the plans for Dance House Helsinki

Picture: James Batchelor (Australia), "Metasystems". Performed during b.motion 2015 on piazza Liberta.

Centro per la Scena Contemporanea

CSC Bassano del Grappa

Artistic director I Rosa Scapin
Bassano del Grappa I Italy

La Briqueterie

CDCN | Centre de Développement Chorégraphique National du Val-de-Marne

Artistic director I Sandra Neuveut
Vitry-sur-Seine I France

Member since May 2018

Sadler's Wells

Artistic director I Alistair Spalding
London I United Kingdom

EDN member since
December 2015


Artistic director I Kristin de Groot
Rotterdam I Netherlands

EDN member since
December 2015

Tanzhaus Zürich

Artistic director I Catja Loepfe
Zürich I Switzerland

Member since June 2010

Tanzhaus nrw

Artistic director I Bettina Masuch
Düsseldorf I Germany

Founding member of the association in May 2009

Tanssin Talo

Director I Niki Matheson
Helsinki I Finland

EDN member since
September 2013

O Espaço do Tempo

Artistic director I Rui Horta
Montemor-o-Novo I Portugal

EDN member since
September 2013

Mercat de les Flors

Casa de la Dansa

Artistic director I Àngels Margarit
Barcelona I Spain

Founding member of the association in May 2009

Maison de la Danse

Artistic director I Dominique Hervieu
Lyon I France

Founding member of the association in May 2009

K3 Zentrum für Choreographie

Tanzplan Hamburg Kampnagel

Artistic director I Kerstin Evert
Hamburg I Germany

EDN member since
February 2012

ICK Dans Amsterdam / ICK Artist Space

Artistic director I Suzy Blok
Amsterdam I Netherlands

EDN member since
September 2013

Art Stations Foundation

Artistic director I Joanna Leśnierowska
Poznań I Poland

Founding member of the association in May 2009