Statement of the directors

First Steps or Premier(s) Pas 

We still don't look back on the experiences of the last few months as if they were a thing of the past and the pandemic finally over. The crisis period still confronts us as a festival team with question marks.

The scene has changed, many creative people have been forced to give up their profession. But in the seemingly endless time of the paralysed cultural scene, we also realised that there is no substitute for the live experience, because art is only created when someone is watching. And we realised that what seemed so natural to us is something very special, something precious. Because looking back at the stage changes the art, only with this echo does it become complete.

Now, however, the urge to return to normality is stirring, even though we cannot yet know how the infection will have developed in a few weeks. Nevertheless, there is a sense of optimism in the air. People are hungry for the crackling excitement and the genuine jubilation in the hall. Long live sensuality!

The 31st edition of the Düsseldorf Festival! offers an inspiring mix of dance, New Circus and music! The New Circus, with its courage to take risks and its bold visions, stands for the new liveliness, dance for movement par excellence, and music conveys feelings of happiness that we are all longing for.

As one of the highlights of our programme we had planned the production Bounce, a very special project by the internationally acclaimed Australian circus company Circa, which was to take place in a shiny silver walk-in bubble dome on the Rhine meadows in Oberkassel. A gamble from the start, it turned out in July at the world premiere in Madrid that some technical problems of the project could not be solved ad hoc, so Circa decided to stop the production for the time being. As the saying goes: no risk, no fun?

At least we can present Circa with another new show, Humans 2.0, a stirring fantasy about humans in the world of Big Data. Hofesh Shechter opens the festival with his sensational remake POLITICAL MOTHER UNPLUGGED. The French company La Baraka brings together young dancers from different backgrounds and of all styles in a furious double evening in Premier(s) Pas - which, significantly, means 'First Steps'. Michèle Anne De Mey and Jaco Van Dormael make their fingers dance magically in Cold Blood and Martin Zimmermann shows his latest piece Danse Macabre for the first time in Germany. The festival will close with the wild performers of Urbanatix with a revival of Tabula Rasa feat. Urbanatix, a fast-paced mix of street dance and new circus. And also: music, music, music. Come and celebrate a special festival with us!

We look forward to seeing you!

Christiane Oxenfort, Andreas Dahmen and the entire Düsseldorf Festival team!