Cultural Heritage Dance

Around one million documents on dance in the past and present are preserved in the dance archives.

Five archives are members of the German Dance Association and act together as a network of German dance archives to safeguard the cultural heritage of dance in Germany and to make it accessible and known (also internationally).

As a national task, the project is being advanced in the context of comprehensive digitization. On a platform of the archives, in national portals and in the Europeana, the documents should become visible for the professional public and a large audience. We are also working on a relaunch of the Digital Atlas of Dance.

Initiative UNESCO Application "Modern Dance in Germany"

The Federal Republic of Germany has proposed to UNESCO that modern dance in Germany be included in the international list of intangible cultural heritage recognized by UNESCO. Numerous representatives and actors of modern dance in Germany participated in the application for inscription. It is expected that the responsible committee of the UN organization will decide on the application at the end of 2022. The Dachverband Tanz Deutschland supports the nomination and has initiated the production of the application video.

In April 2021, the nomination dossier, signed by Michelle Müntefering, Minister of State for International Cultural Policy at the Federal Foreign Office, was submitted to UNESCO. We are already looking forward to a hopefully positive decision, because we are firmly convinced: Modern dance in Germany belongs on the list of intangible cultural assets.

More Information:

Pressemeldung des Dachverband Tanz zur "Nomunierung: Moderner Tanz als Immaterielles Kulturerbe der Menschheit" vom 06.04.2021

Digital Atlas of Dance

Notebooks, libretti, programs, photographs, films, posters, books, letters, typescripts, manuscripts, drawings, printed music, costumes and masks are among the materials and objects collected in the dance archives and contribute to the understanding of dance history and artistic work in dance.

The Digital Atlas of Dance is an online platform that offers insights into the holdings of the archives cooperating in the Network of German Dance Archives. In this way, knowledge about dance is to be made accessible in its historical, aesthetic and interdisciplinary development.

In 2018, the German Dance Association took over the materials of the Digital Atlas of Dance from the Akademie der Künste. The Digital Atlas of Dance is to be relaunched and present the cultural heritage of dance in connection with contemporary dance. As soon as the relaunch takes place, we will inform you.
More information at:

Cooperation with the Association for Dance Resaerch (Gesellschaft für Tanzforschung)

Verbund Deutscher Tanzarchive

Preserving the knowledge of dance

Dance is the most ephemeral of the performative arts. At the same time every new dance creation and aesthetic development is to some extend based on earlier works, continues them or designs radical artistic counter-positions.

The German Dance Association is committed to the preservation and better equipment of dance archives in the Verbund Deutscher Tanzarchive, an association of five large dance archives in Germany, and supports corresponding symposia and good-practice projects. Together, we want to generate more visibility for the often invisible work that contributes to preserve Germany's dance heritage.

Symposium of the Association of German Dance Archives at the German Dance Archive Cologne (2016) / PDF Dokumentation "Zugänge schaffen" (in German, not barrier-free)