"Theoretical Turn? On the Institutionalization of Theory(s) in Contemporary Dance Education"

Duration: October 2018 till September 2021
Jun.-Prof. Dr. Constanze Schellow
Funded by BMBF, focus: Small subjects – Great potentials


The 3-year dance studies research project based at CCD examines the function, the concepts and practices of theory in Contemporary Dance education.

The initiative, which is intended to be basic-scientific and application-oriented at the same time, investigates artistic-scientific teaching and learning situations at European study institutions, including the following partners besides the CCD: SNDO Amsterdam, DOCH Stockholm, HZT Berlin, Justus-Liebig Universität Gießen, Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Frankfurt.

Since the 1990s the research in Dance Studies of Western European Contemporary Dance is often characterized by the reference of artists to theoretical (inter alia, philosophical, political and cultural) discourses. At the same time there has been an increase of “theoretically-reflective“ framed study contents in the curricula of dance practice; recently those take place embedded in or in close connection to practical teaching formats. Both developments will be reflected in relation towards one another. Therefore, for the first time, international participants and institutions of the theoretical field of Contemporary Dance Educations will be integrated and the developments of school internal curricula, study profiles and tender texts over a period of 10 years will be evaluated. The investigation and analysis of selected education contexts puts in perspective the interrelation of practice and theory into a concrete research environment that is being addressed with more and more urgency in many disciplines. The results to be expected are interdisciplinary compatible.

"Cultural Educational Research in Dance"

Duration: November 2016 till November 2019
In association with Prof. Dr. Yvonne Hardt (Cologne), Prof. Dr. Nils Neuber (Münster), Prof. Dr. Martin Stern (Marburg), Dr. Claudia Steinberg (Mainz)
Funded by BMBF, focus: Cultural Education


Dance obtains a very particular role in cultural education. Its artistic and remarkably physical practice promises a diverse and uncomplicated access so that already at numerous schools and in extracurricular institutions dance projects are being realized which are considered having an educational effect in general. A systematic research of dance practices as an element of cultural education only exists in early stages of development so far.

The overarching goal of this cooperative project is to establish a differentiated and methodical base for research in dance dissemination constellations as well as to develop instruments to capture the impact of cultural educational dimensions.

On that basis that there is not only “one“ understanding of dance but that objectives, content and teaching methods of dance practices are clearly differing from one another, one cannot refer to “the“ relevance in education of “the“ dance per se. Previous survey methods do not live up to the heterogeneous educational potential of the dance field. Hence, the complex figurations of dance dissemination shall be collected and evaluated in selected projects and educational institutions via ethnographic methods. Guidelines will be developed and summarized in a dynamic analysis model. In the second working period observation guidelines will be developed as a tool for the research of dance dissemination situations in respect of its educational efficacy. It is aimed at training the gaze of researchers in addition to generating a manual.