HELLERAU – European Centre for the Arts, Dresden

HELLERAU – European Centre for the Arts is one of the most important international centres for the contemporary arts in Germany and Europe. Since July 2018, Carena Schlewitt has been its artistic director. With some 250 events a year, HELLERAU organises interdisciplinary co-productions and guest performances, providing a venue for producing and presenting the contemporary arts – dance, theatre, performance art, music, new media art and the visual arts. One consistent feature is the biennial contemporary music festival TONLAGEN. HELLERAU. The company in residence is the Dresden Frankfurt Dance Company.

HELLERAU was built in 1911 as a festival theatre and school of Rhythmics based on the visions developed by Heinrich Tessenow (a pioneer of modern architecture) and the music educator Émile Jaques-Dalcroze. Between then and 1914, this legendary site, the cultural centre of Germany’s first Garden Suburb, drew artists from all over Europe to Hellerau, including Rilke, Kafka, Diaghilev, Van de Velde, Kokoschka, Gropius, Van der Rohe, Werfel, Busoni, Milhaud, Le Corbusier, Nolde and Stefan Zweig. In the 1930s, the theatre was used as a military camp; later, it became a barracks for the Soviet army. In the 1990s, it began to be brought back to life by the reviving power of art.