Dance is a universal language that knows no boundaries. As a means for expressing feelings and telling stories, dance is a part of human and cultural history. In the belief that it is society’s duty to foster artistic talent, the German Ministry for Education and Research is a supporter of the Dance Education Biennale, whose 5th iteration will take place from 15 to 22 February 2016 in Cologne.
Active engagement with culture offers an important contribution for personal development. It can foster many – disadvantaged children and youth in particular. This is the starting point for the Ministry’s Kultur macht stark (Culture makes you strong) programme. By studying a musical piece or learning a new choreography, the young learn to persist despite their mistakes; they learn that working together with others carries them further than working alone; they learn that concentration and effort pays off when working toward a goal. Cultural projects inculcate attitudes and qualities that lie at the core of education itself: willingness to work, tolerance for frustration, self-confidence, perseverance, and awareness of legitimate viewpoints other than one’s own. At the same time, cultural projects are opportunities for experiencing immediate success: rarely do children and youths get feedback as quickly as on the stage.
“Feedback und Reflexion” is the theme of the 5th Dance Education Biennale. The goal is to spread knowledge and advance dance and dance education. I want to thank everyone involved for their engagement. And I wish the participants lively exchanges, interesting encounters and much stimulation and inspiration while in Cologne.
Prof. Dr. Johanna Wanka
Minister for Education and Research