Theatre and Dance

Dialoge 20-13 - Kolkata von Sasha Waltz / Padmini Chettur / Mahler Chamber Orchestra
Dialoge 20-13 - Kolkata von Sasha Waltz / Padmini Chettur / Mahler Chamber Orchestra | Photo: Martin Wälde
The performing arts are highly regarded all over the world, and many forms of theatre are widespread cultural practices. Through various activities the Goethe-Institut contributes to the discovery of and engagement with German theatre and dance abroad. Our focus is on acting, contemporary dance, performance art, children’s and youth theatre, puppet theatre and new German drama.

The Goethe-Institut Theatre and Dance Department advises and provides impetus, support and funding to Goethe-Instituts abroad as well as their partners and projects. Our various programmes, the fruit of an ongoing dialogue, provide international exposure for the current theatre and dance scenes in Germany and spark discourse about the performing arts. Central to our efforts are initiatives to enable artists in Germany and abroad to meet face to face.

Generally speaking, the Goethe-Institut seeks to nurture international artistic partnerships, developing project ideas involving close collaboration between Goethe-Instituts and local institutions such as theatres, festivals and educational establishments as well as individual directors, choreographers and others in the performing arts.

The Goethe-Institut provides support for performances abroad by German ensembles and artists based in Germany, as well as funding for young aspiring artists, and promotes culture exchange through residency programmes and grants both in Germany and abroad. We promote cooperation with German festivals, organizers and theatres through guest performances in Germany by outstanding ensembles from developing and transition countries.

The Theatre and Dance Department is assisted in its decision-making by an honorary advisory council made up of distinguished figures in the German theatre and dance scenes.



The Theatre and Dance Department provides support for guest performances by theatrical and dance ensembles from “cooperation countries” receiving German development assistance. 


In order for young artists from Germany to make their first international contacts and experiences, the Theatre and Dance Department has set up a special programme for young performing artists. 


The Goethe-Institut funds research residencies abroad for performing artists based in Germany to help them to prepare internationally-oriented projects and to make contacts abroad.


Every year the Theatre and Dance Department awards residencies in Germany to young theatre makers and choreographers from abroad. 

These residencies range from a two-week participation in the International Forum of the Berliner Theatertreffen (an annual theatre festival in Berlin) to internships in productions by dance companies and public theatres. 


With the International Coproduction Fund, the Goethe-Institut aims to encourage new collaborative working processes and innovative productions in intercultural exchange in order to promote the emergence of new working networks and approaches within a global context and to explore further forms of intercultural collaboration.
This Fund targets professional artists, ensembles and initiatives abroad and in Germany working in the fields of theatre, dance, music and performance art. There are no topical or regional restrictions, but preference will be given to projects between German and non-European partners, especially in transition countries.