The CCD is an interdisciplinary centre for dance research. In this capacity, the CCD profits directly with its cooperation with the Dance Archive Cologne, as well as with a strong connection to the artistic degree programs. Dance-historic approaches as well as decided practice-theoretical approaches and those concerned with the Theory-Practice-Transfer are supported in the course work and in the research projects. Along with the course program for the Masters in Dance Studies, the CCD offers (since 2009) the only possibility in Germany to complete a doctoral dissertation (Dr. Phil.) decidedly in dance studies.
In this program, a wide spectrum of content, methodology and methods for dance research is promoted. In general, at the CCD, dance is understood to be a form of knowledge production that is interdisciplinary and critically focused, using methods from cultural and social sciences. The varied perspectives for research include: body(ies), media, knowledge production critical as well as post-colonial and institution critical theories, aesthetics of dance, practice-theoretical research perspectives as well as Practice as Research Projects.
The wide spectrum of methodologies includes critical historiography and discursive analysis along with methods for qualitative, empirical social research on dance immanent, semiotic, sociologic phenomenological and performative methods towards research on movement, dance and bodies. Furthermore, the development of innovative object related and “grounded theoretical" approaches are actively supported. A critical and constructive feedback culture is an important part of the vision for dance studies at the CCD and is practiced in regular doctoral colloquiums, research conferences, and workhsops.
The research context at the CCD is compromised of a research college for dance studies that since 2015 has worked in cooperation with the German Dance Archive Cologne to support international research by providing institutional and content focused connections as well as individual research projects (third-party funding) for the lecturing staff. Currently this includes the research project: “Dance and Movement Theatre" an artistic-pedagogic project on cultural education (Bildung) in an all day elementary school (Ganztaggrundschule).” This project is a participating project in “Forschungsfonds Kulturelle Bildung zu den Wirkungen Kultureller Bildung” a project by Rat für Kulturelle Bildung e.V (Advice for Cultural Education) funded through the Mercator Foundation.