Pina Bausch at practice
© Pina Bausch Foundation; Photographer Walter Vogel

“It is not about art, also not about pure technique. It is about life, and therefore it is about finding a language for life.“
— Pina Bausch

Finding a language for life – the Arts Foundation of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Pina Bausch Foundation have been following up on Pina Bausch’s credo since 2016 with a co-developed grant programme and award the Pina Bausch Fellowship for Dance and Choreography.


Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic

The ongoing restrictions on face-to-face meetings and international travel pose challenges for the Pina Bausch Fellowship, as it particularly focuses on international exchange and direct contact between grant holders and their cooperation partners. Therefore, the Kunststiftung NRW and the Pina Bausch Foundation have decided to announce a digital fellowship for 2021.

Interested applicants can apply with virtual cooperation formats from 15th of February until 15th of March 2021. Applications based on physical encounters cannot be considered this year, as it is not possible to anticipate the development of the different international restrictions.

The adapted format gives grant holders the opportunity to test how exchange and artistic development can be realized in the digital space. Through virtual exchange with self-selected cooperation partners, they can immerse themselves in intensive artistic processes. The digital format can be designed individually by the applicants and their cooperation partners.


In 2021, only virtual cooperations are going to be funded. These could include:

- Cooperations with renowned institutions of dance and choreography education
- Unpaid cooperations with ensembles or choreographers, or
- Virtual studies of dance techniques with renowned personalities

The virtual format gives grant holders the opportunity to digitally gain new experiences and to be able to gather new influences for their artistic work.

For this, they choose a cooperation partner in whose artistic work they are interested in or with whom they would like to work with. Possible cooperation partners are, for example, renowned ensembles, choreographers, or institutions and personalities in dance and choreography education.

The cooperation format is planned jointly with the cooperation partner and is to be realized digitally. The design of the virtual format is left to the creativity of the applicants and their cooperation partners. Each applicant has to contact his or her cooperation partner himself/herself and confirm the cooperation for the respective time period through a letter of intent.

Overview of previous cooperation partners.

Download Information for Cooperating partners


The Pina Bausch Fellowship is not a project fund, nor is it aimed at the development of new pieces.

The 2021 fellowship runs from the 1st of June 2021 until the 1st of August 2022. The duration of each of the 2021 virtual fellowships depends on the self-developed format. Unlike in previous years, in 2021, five fellowships are going to be funded with a lump sum of € 5.000 each. Due to the exclusive digital format, no travels will be supported.

The fellowship is promoted internationally and aims at single artists in the fields of dance and choreography. Dancers and choreographers, who meet the personal requirements can apply.


For dancers

  • university/academic degree in dance and/or two years professional experience with a renowned ensemble

For choreographers

  • independent creation of at least one production with a public performance in the last three years

    There are no age restrictions.

    A basic knowledge of English is required. The exchange between fellow grant holders, the project presentation, public relation formats, as well as the general organisation (e.g. e-mail contact etc.) will take place exclusively in English.

    How to apply?