A Carte Blanche at Tanzquartier Wien


During my trip to Vienna, I was able to meet with Tanzquatier and ImPulsTanz. One is a dance house with an activity from October to May and the other a festival going from July 16th to August 16th. I concentrated my time on meeting with the teams and getting a feel of the dance culture in Vienna. Unfortunately the performance season for Tanzquartier was over and ImPulsTanz was starting a week later. I was visiting in the small gap period where the dance activity was slowing down.

Important moments of my trip:

Meeting with the Tanzquartier communication team
The head of communication department Lisa Kerimi, arrived at Tanzquartier a year and a half ago following a change in the artistic direction. Since then the team structure, the print and online strategies have been modified.

The communication team is structured with a head of department, an assistant, a press relation’s assistant, and a group and public relations assistant. It was interesting for me to understand the team structure. How they shared their responsibilities. Lisa Kerimi, head of department, gives the general directions. At her arrival she decided to change printer, to modify the graphic design of the documents and the content. She is also part of creation comity and participates in writing texts.

Tanzquartier used to communicate with a large brochure. The new model chosen is a calendar for a two-month period and a membership leaflet. The aim is to lighten the documents and encourage traffic on the website.
The social media strategy is also changing. They already have a facebook and twitter page. They now want to create an Instagram page and develop links between the various media tools. The aim is to diversify the public.
For the graphic design, a gold publicity badge is added on the documents to underline the promotional aspects (fees and advantages).

To initiate the public to contemporary dance, and develop a community, the person in charge of groups and public organizes a brief presentation/explanation before each performance. During the year, Tanzquartier represents the dance world in Vienna.

Tanzquartier offices are in the heart of Vienna, and part of Museumquartier (a museum center). They are financed by the city but do not own their offices. The public will recognize their visual identity (shapes, colors: blue, gold and circles). However they are often considered as being linked to ImPulsTanz, Vienna’s summer dance festival. The main reason for the confusion between the two institutions is that Tanzquartier do not own their theatre. They rent two halls in Museumquartier. The public see performances from various institutions, festivals and private companies in the same theatre. Impulstanz start their festival shortly after the end of Tanzquartier’s season. The Viennese public is lucky to have dance performances all year round.

For Tanzquartier it is a challenge to stand out in the Viennese dance field as a unique institution. They make a difference thanks to the diversity of their activities. They have 3 studios, a media library and two theatres (1200 and 320 seats). Therefore they offer workshops, dance space, content and performances.

Visit of ImPulsTanz offices
I met with Joachim Kapuy head of the communication department. He introduced me to the team and gave me an overview of what is Impulstanz for Vienna. The festival has existed for about 30 years now. It is one of the largest festivals of contemporary dance and performance worldwide. Each summer, thousands of dancers, choreographers and artists from all over the world come together in Vienna, work together for five weeks. They put forward the importance of professional choreographer working and teaching amateurs and get through to a public as large as possible, thanks to their activities and their multiple locations in the city.

Their communication strategy is at it’s peak in May. They spread the city with advertising posters on billboards, monuments, city bicycles, projections on churches… A specific print document (brochure) is made for each activity in German and English: performances and workshops. People can buy cards for the entire festival (79€), a workshop card (49€) or a performance card (29€). They are present everywhere. They occupy studios, theatres and stages throughout the city. Their opening night is in the heart of Vienna on the Museumquartier square.
The festival is now very important for the development of contemporary dancing Vienna.

Developing an online catalogue
Meeting with Lejla Mehanovic from the Tanzquartier Media Centre
Tanzquatier wants to launch an online catalogue. All their performances are filmed and can be seen in their library. Thousands of videos are available but only about 300 will be put online because artist are little by little signing the broadcasting authorizations. The Numéridanse website inspired their project but the videos will be published full length. The catalogue is to be launched in September.

To be a dancer in Vienna
During my trip I was asked to meet with green party politician Ursula Burner. She was interested with the CND structure and especially with the professional resource department. There is no retraining program for dancers in Vienna. The artist’s career is not considered yet. The CND model is unique in Europe: dancers can find advice all though their career and make appointments for legal advice. I explained the CND structure, which inspired her for the next elections in October.

During my trip, the people I have met have been very welcoming. It was interesting to see and compare structures: The differences between Tanzquartier and The CND as well as Tanzquartier and Impulstanz. How do these structures deal with temporality? What are their different activities? How do they stand out and how they exist in the city and find their public.

Vanessa Garcin
Communication and Promotion Assistant at CND Paris
27 July 2015