German Dance Award 2022

Jury awards two main prizes this year

Marco Goecke and Christoph Winkler receive each the German Dance Award 2022,
while Reinhild Hoffmann and the association Aktion Tanz are honored.

For the first time since its founding in 1983, the main prize will be awarded to two outstanding dance artists: the jury, chaired by Dr. Patricia Stöckemann, has decided to award Marco Goecke and Christoph Winkler each with the German Dance Prize 2022, endowed with 10,000 euros. In addition, the jury has decided to honor Reinhild Hoffmann with a lifetime achievement award, also endowed with 10,000 euros. The Aktion Tanz association will be honored with 5,000 euros for outstanding developments in dance.

The jury explained this unusual decision with the desire to better reflect the enormous diversity of dance, which is created both within the permanent ensembles   at theaters as well as in the independent dance scene. The artistic and choreographic impact and significance of the award-winning artists for the German and international dance scene are outstanding.

The award ceremony and dance gala took place on October 15, 2022 at the Aalto-Theater in Essen, Germany. 


Festschrift und Programm Tanz-Gala 2022

German Dance Award 2022 for Marco Goecke

Feverish, vibrating, energetic, original, full of powerful ideas. These are some of descriptions with which choreographer Marco Goecke’s unique dance vocabulary is acclaimed. His exceptional work traverses the spectrum of dance, from Ballet to contemporary, bringing forth a distinctive signature that is his very own. With a constantly evolving language that reveals ever new ideas and struc-tures, he has not only been convincing his audiences the world over. Even the jury finds his work worthy of the German Dance Award 2022.  

Unperturbed by the initial negative resonance for his unusual choreographic signature, Goecke continued to develop works that have made him one of today’s most celebrated choreographers. Apart from being the Chief Choreographer at the Stuttgart Ballet for over a decade, his works are today in the repertoire of a wide range of established institutions, from the Hamburg Ballet to the Ballet of the Opéra de Paris and the National Ballet of Canada. Not to mention the prestigious awards he has received, the most recent being the Jiri-Kylián-Ring.  

What finally stands forth about Goecke’s work, is his evolving contribution to the development of modern dance. One, in terms of the originality and distinctiveness in dance vocabulary he is known for, constantly evident in how he explores and interprets human movement in bringing forth work that is also deeply contemplative and emotional. Every isolated gesture, feverish and powerfully fluid at the same time, is yes, a convincingly unusual image each time. The other, and particularly worth the mention, is how he works with his dancers. He highlights their very own personality and expressivity, when he takes them to and beyond their limits, beyond mere versatility.  

The jury thus takes pleasure in selecting this exceptional German choreographer for this year’s dance award.

Biography Marco Goecke



German Dance Award 2022 for Christoph Winkler

The artistic work of Christoph Winkler encompass a broad spectrum of the most diverse formats and approaches – uncompromising and unconditional. They range from political topics in the area of conflict between fascism and criticism of capitalism to poverty in old age, to very personal questions, a kind of choreographic, dance-like house squatting. Winkler does not shy away from dealing with unwieldy and socially difficult issues, often looking beyond a Eurocentric view of the world, thinking about current social discourse in a different, new and fresh way and reflecting on it choreographically. He consciously seeks choreographic-intellectual friction within a social context. Christoph Winkler is one of the most versatile and successful choreographers of the independent dance scene in Germany and beyond. Just as diverse as his work are the stages of his life, a sketch of extremes. Born in the former GDR, he was a Spartakiade champion in weightlifting, continued his path as a martial artist and breakdancer to a street dancer, and finally came to the Staatliche Ballettschule Berlin and completed his choreography studies at the “Berlin Hochschule für Schauspielkunst Ernst Busch” (Berlin University for Drama Ernst Busch). Since 1998, he has been creating dance productions in ever-changing artistic constellations as a freelance artist with a fascinating curiosity about people. He discovers and mentors dancers and performers. His working style is characterized by great respect for his fellow performers, across all dance and theater traditions, across all cultures. And he constantly asks himself anew the question of how to dance today, under the concept of contemporaneity, under consideration of the dance history that has taken place. He is interested in the choreographic research for new forms, in the field of tension between dance and concept, always searching for movement and story, with a great love for unadorned sound and blunt music, solid and fierce.

For his outstanding artistic work Christoph Winkler receives the German Dance Award 2022.

Biography Christop Winkler

Honorary Award for Lifetime Achievement for Reinhild Hoffmann

Reinhild Hoffmann belongs to pioneering generation of German dance theater. Her artistic work has tremendous importance for dance in Germany. She has contributed to the emancipation of dance as its own genre and has anchored it in art and society. Starting in the 1970s and onwards, she used her immense creativity as a dancer, choreographer and director to develop a signature choreographic language with unmistakable pictorial imagination. 

In her precisely told (body) stories, Reinhild Hoffmann brought a political dimension of the body into focus. With her underlying interest in visual arts and a high level of musicality, she explored contemporary social issues in her group and solo works.  

Reinhild Hoffmann trained with Kurt Jooss at the Folkwang “Hochschule” (University) in Essen. There she produced her first choreographic group works as director of the Folkwang Tanzstudio (alongside Susanne Linke). In addition, she created solo pieces that were characterized by movement-linguistic rigor and reduction and made the exploration of (physical) freedom through limitation their theme. 

After various scholarships, including one to New York, Reinhild Hoffmann founded her own dance theater ensemble at the Bremen Theater in 1978 (initially together with Gerhard Bohner).  

The pieces she developed, first at the Bremen Theater (1978-1986), then at the Schauspielhaus Bochum (1986-1995) were presented at many international theaters and received numerous awards; several productions were invited to the Berliner Theatertreffen. 

Since 1995 Reinhild Hoffmann has been working as a freelance choreographer and director.She has shifted the focus of her work tomusic-theater. She often works with contemporary compositions and, as in her entire life's work, takes innovative approaches to critically question current societal themes. The jury of the German Dance Award 2022 acknowledges Reinhild Hoffmann’s lifetime achievement with this honorary award.

Biography Reinhild Hoffmann


Honor for outstanding achievment in the field of dance


For their outstanding achievement in the field of dance, the “Deutscher Tanzpreis” (German Dance Award) 2022 honors “Aktion Tanz - Bundesverband Tanz in Bildung und Gesellschaft” (Dance Action - National Dance Association for Education and Society)

Aktion Tanz – Bundesverband Tanz in Bildung und Gesellschaft has been doing outstanding, extremely productive work for 15 years to support the visibility of dance as a medium of social participation and as a democracy-sensitising approach for people regardless of age, body and origin. The association connects dance artists, organisations and projects active in this field throughout Germany and develops ideas and programs together with its members in order to make dance in all its diversity a tangible experience.  

It began in 2007 with the desire to create dance projects in cooperation with schools in order to enable cultural participation and access to the art of dance for all children and young people. Through intensive networking and commitment to quality assurance in the field of cultural education and the sponsorship of the ChanceTanz funding program, Aktion Tanz has created a foundation for the further development of relevant issues for the dance education scene.    

In recent years – parallel to its expansion of members from almost all German federal states, Austria, the Netherlands and Switzerland – the association has taken on further thematic areas as fields of action. These include inclusion, school development, equal opportunities, sustainability, resilience and democracy development. All these socially relevant topics are reflected together with the members in relation to dance and new perspectives are created as fields of action.    

The jury honours the outstanding commitment of Aktion Tanz with a prize as part of the German Dance Award 2022.

Award Winners of past years