The award winners have been announced on 5th of April 2019 at the Aalto Theatre Essen.
The German Dance Award will be presented by the German Dance Association (Dachverband Tanz Deutschland), jointly supported by the city of Essen, the Ministry for Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, and by funds from the Federal Government.
The German Dance Award will be endowed with the sum of €20,000.
Gert Weigelt receives the German Dance Award 2019
Gert Weigelt has dedicated his life to dance. As a dancer, he worked with choreographers such as Hans van Manen, Jerome Robbins, Jiří Kylián, Kurt Jooss, Glen Tetley and Birgit Cullberg.
Following his dance career and his artistic photography studies, he accompanied the outstanding choreographers of our time, such as Pina Bausch, Hans van Manen, Maurice Béjart, Susanne Linke, William Forsythe, Gerhard Bohner and Martin Schläpfer, with his camera.
Weigelt's works are not only documents of dance, they are works of art in their own right. They reveal external form and internal movement. They are a celebration of movement and the body. Furthermore, they are a celebration of dance, which always offers new perspectives and makes the hidden and undiscovered visible to us. At the moment portrayed in the image, the stage, the photographer and the camera seem to have become one to capture the soul of dance – for an instant.
Weigelt's works have paved the way for the ephemeral art form of dance to enter the world of journalism and the media, and therefore also the digital world. He places the dancers at the centre of his works, portraying those who create dance – with their elegance and passion, their grace and energy, with sex appeal and precision.
Dancer and choreographer Isabelle Schad studied classical dance in Stuttgart and has danced for numerous choreographers. Since 1999 she has been producing her own choreographic works at the interface between dance, performance and visual arts.
Isabelle Schad explores the body. The search for internal impulses of movement, for that which moves in the body, forms the starting point of her choreographies. This means that the body is not simply a tool to create choreographic figures or a certain expression but rather undergoes continuous metamorphoses, is observed and brought into play again and again. Her dance and the bodies of her dancers seek less to create a fixed image or a clear form of expression than to help us to experience how movements turn into art. And when these processes are applied to the dancers, completely new forms of collective work emerge.
This particular creative process has had a decisive influence on contemporary dance in recent decades. Isabelle Schad's works are outstanding examples of this.
Jo Parkes is a dance artist. For 17 years she has been initiating and leading participatory dance projects (community dance) and innovative art projects with participants from very different social and cultural backgrounds. JUNCTION, a dance and video workshop programme in four Berlin refugee accommodation centres, was also created in this manner.
Motivated by the conviction that everyone has a right to participate in art and especially in contemporary dance, and that dance offers an area of experience in which individual as well as social issues can be processed and shaped on an aesthetic and expressive level, she has worked with various groups, especially those that are socially and politically disadvantaged and neglected.
In an extraordinarily impressive way, Jo Parkes' artistic projects convey how dance can affect our society. They exemplify many developments in community dance in Germany and the social commitment of the protagonists of dance.