It’s All About... Talking: Curation and Communication in the Performing Arts

Communication is crucial for curators. They communicate online and offline, with artists, the audience, politicians, and colleagues. Surrounding this topic of communication, we will learn about the necessary skills from experts, discuss strategies, and exchange experiences. The workshop is presented in cooperation with Tanz im August–Berlin’s international festival for contemporary dance.

Experts from different fields will share their knowledge with us, and a group discussion will follow each presentation. Furthermore, the workshop includes inputs from two experienced curators. One of them is Virve Sutinen, Artistic director of the festival Tanz im August, the other one is Martine Dennewald, Artistic director of festival Theaterformen. Attendance of two performances will give us the opportunity to discuss the artistic quality and what makes a curation good.

Day 1: Artists and Audience

The morning of the first day will be dedicated to the communication between the artist and presenter. There is often an imbalance between the number of artists seeking a framework to develop and present their work and the possibilities that curators can provide. Being aware of the power structures at play and having the knowledge of some feedback techniques may help to create a fruitful collaboration between the two parties. Martine Dennewald, Artistic Director of the international festival Theaterformen, will join us.

Communication with the audience starts with marketing and public relations. In the afternoon Marc Lippuner, a PR manager and specialist in online marketing will provide helpful information on how to utilize social media and other marketing tools. 

Day 2: Audience and Festival Visit

The audience can also be addressed via many kinds of mediatory activities, e.g. community projects, after-show talks, physical introductions and so on. The field of contemporary dance, in particular, has developed a number of inventive mediatory formats, some of which will be presented by the mediator and dramaturge Amelie Mallmann.

In the afternoon we will meet Virve Sutinen in the festival library of Tanz im August and discuss with her the artist-presenter communication and general questions on how to curate a festival. In the evening we will attend a performance.

Day 3: Team, Colleagues, and Crew

Working in a theatre or another institution that houses performances demands the collaboration of its various departments, i.e. the technical department, public relations, customer service, and the general administration. To navigate between each of those organizational structures – also between the structures of the independent art scene and of the city or states theatres –, motivate colleagues and solve conflicts in the team can be a real challenge. These issues will be discussed with experienced coach, producer and dramaturg Eva Hartmann.

Day 4: Sponsors and Politicians

If you need to raise funds and acquire public funds for your organization you may need to not only send in applications but also convince politicians or sponsors of your ideas and your mission. With Madeline Ritter, a lawyer, dance curator, director of a dance company and the Tanzfonds by the German Federal Cultural Foundation, we will discuss how to prepare those talks and have your message successfully reach those “important people”. Upon request, the topics of budgeting for a festival and/or grant writing can also be incorporated into the programme.



Day 1, 14.08.:
10 – 17:00 incl. lunch break, guests: Martine Dennewald, Marc Lippuner

Day 2, 15.08.:
10 – 13:00 guest: Amelie Mallmann
13 – 15:00 lunch break
15 – 17:30 with Virve Sutinen at HAU / Bibliothek im August
19:00 at HAU1, Gunilla Heilborn / Theater im Bahnhof: The Wonderful and the Ordinary

Day 3, 16.08.:
11 – 17:00 incl. lunch break, guest: Eva Hartmann
19:00 at Deutsches Theater, Jérôme Bel: Isadora Duncan (World Premiere)       

Day 4, 17.08.:
10 – 14:00 guest: Madeline Ritter


  • Emerging curators or presenters in the field of dance and performing arts
  • Artists or producers who aim to work as curators or at a performing arts institution
  • Art makers of any field who want to improve their communication skills
  • Practitioners from other arts are also welcome


The course is presented in co-operation with the international festival Tanz im August:

The tickets for the shows by Gunilla Heilborn and Jérôme Bel are included in the course fee.

Karin Kirchhoff is a freelance curator, production manager, and dramaturge. She has worked with institutions and artists in Berlin such as Berliner Festspiele, Sophiensaele, Tanzfabrik Berlin, Sasha Waltz & Guests, Rubato, Jo Fabian. From 2005 to 2008 she has worked at the Tanzbüro Berlin and held numerous seminars on cultural management since then.

Since 2009, she has been curating Tanz! Heilbronn, an annual international festival at the Theater Heilbronn. The festival represents a variety of contemporary dance productions, from large companies to works created by young choreographers, including educational formats such as community projects, workshops, dance film, work introductions, etc.



Anke Kautz is a mediator BM® as well as a coach and trainer for communication, conflict management, team building, and diversity. She supports people in how to best manage change within an organization or in their personal lives. Alongside being a mediator, she has also been a journalist for more than 25 years. Anke is engaged in the German Association of Independent Performing Arts and gives workshops on conflict management/communication while also supporting artists in designing inclusive projects. She also moderates talks and events.

Amelie Mallmann is currently working for Tanzkomplizen in Berlin as dance mediator and educator. She studied Dramaturgy in Munich. From 2002 to 2005, she was a dramaturge at the Landestheater Linz (Austria), in 2005 she moved to Berlin to work as a dramaturge and theatre pedagogue at the Theater an der Parkaue. From 2011 to 2018, she was a freelance dramaturge, theatre and dance pedagogue and worked for different venues and festivals, e.g. Kunstfest Weimar, Festival Theaterformen, Deutsches Theater Berlin, Festival Augenblick mal!, tanzfabrik Berlin. Since 2015, she is a member of Tanzscout, a Berlin initiative for dance mediation.

 Virve Sutinen studied comparative literature, theatre and sociology at the University of Helsinki and graduated from the New York University Performance Studies Department in 1994. From 1997 until 2007 she was director of the Kiasma Theatre and head of the Performing Arts Programme at Kiasma, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki. Besides that she was artistic director of the festival Moving in November and Rotation Dance Film Festivalin Helsinki, as well as artistic co-director of the festivals and URB Urban Festival in Helsinki, both of which she co-founded. From 2008 until 2013 Sutinen held leading positons at various international and european institutions and networks, among others at the IETM (international network for contemporary performing arts).
Since 2018 Virve Sutinen is a Jury member of the European Festival Association Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe (EFFE). Since 2014 Virve Sutinen serves as artistic director of Tanz im August- International Festival Berlin, produced by HAU Hebbel am Ufer.

Hendrik von Boxberg (b. 1976) is a freelance PR consultant based in Berlin. He studied Journalism and Communication Science at Ruhr-Universität Bochum. From 2005 to 2011 he was Head of Communications at Museum Folkwang, Essen. From 2012 to 2014 he was Head of PR at Ruhrtriennale – International Festival of Arts, under art director Heiner Goebbels. After moving to Berlin in 2014, he established a PR office specializing in cross-genre projects with a focus on visual arts, photography, performing arts, contemporary music, and architecture. Projects and clients include La Biennale di Venezia, Deutscher Pavillon (2015), HAU Hebbel am Ufer: Tanz im August – Internationales Festival Berlin (2015-today), KunstFestSpiele Herrenhausen (2015-today), Tanzkongress (2019), Forecast Forum/Festival (2019-today), Stiftung Humboldt Forum im Berliner Schloss (2019) and the Biennale für aktuelle Fotografie (2017/2020), among many others.

Madeline Ritter is a lawyer, arts manager, and dance curator. With her Berlin-based non-profit organization DIEHL+RITTER, she has been developing and driving forward new funding policies for dance and creating ground-breaking models for sustainable cultural practice. In 2016, she received the prestigious European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Award for Dance Fund Heritage, an innovative program fostering a diverse and lively cultural memory of dance. In 2014, DIEHL+RITTER launched Dance On, a multi-faceted initiative promoting artistic excellence in the context of 'dance and age'. Madeline Ritter is a certified coach and facilitator of processes of change and teaches cultural management at various European universities.

Run period:
14.08.2019 – 17.08.2019
Course time:
10. am – 5. am
Application Deadline:

Course fee:
EUR 350

Min. number of participants:
Max. number of participants:

For further information please contact: