Workshop with Bertram Müller or Dancehouse for Bratislava

Members and the co-ordinator of Contemporary Dance Platform (PlaST) took part in a creative vocational meeting focused on the topic of new structure for contemporary dance in Bratislava at the weekend of 21-22 October. The two-day long workshop was led by Mr Bertram Müller, an expert in working with people (a psychologist), but more importantly a founder and for many years a leading person of Tanzhaus NRW (Düsseldorf), European Dancehouse Network and International Dance Artist Service (iDAS NRW), in other words, an expert in planning and creating space for dance.


A survey to gather information from PlaST members preceded the weekend meeting. We were interested in detailed ideas the member base of PlaST has on the new dance structure for the Slovak capital. The data evaluation revealed that the dancers in Bratislava long for a multifunctional space focused on contemporary dance. The most crucial absence is felt for a production place – a space for the creative process of rehearsals and presentation of the works of art. At the same time, this space should offer educational programmes – for professionals as well as for general public. Besides a place for co-production given by residential space, it should also offer information and archive services, but at the same time it ought to be a place of dramaturgy focused on contemporary dance art and supporting the new, progressive artists.

It was this, here just briefly summarised, introductory data that formed the base for the whole programme of the workshop. The detailed discussions were led around questions in the following fields:

  • starting situation
  • human resources of the emerging preparation project and the centre itself
  • basic needs and  supportive forces in process of creation
  • architectural and dramaturgical intentions
  • organisational and management possibilities
  • fundraising and PR strategies.

Based on his rich personal experience, the lecturer pointed out potential critical moments and risks of the project as well.

PlaST and Bertram Müller spent a productive weekend that added to the clarification of the visions for creating a space which the contemporary dance in Bratislava desperately needs and certainly deserves too. The outcome of this meeting will be a specialised study on the gained know-how, specifications in architectural, material, technical, or human provision and the proposals for organisational solutions of this newly evolving institution.


The vocational event was supported using public funding by Slovak Arts Council.