Deutsches Tanzarchiv Köln (German Dance Archive Cologne) at a Glance


The Archive includes over 400 artistic estates and the collections of dancers, choreographers, dance teachers, and dance critics (such as the Sacharoffs, Harald Kreutzberg, Kurt Jooss, Mary Wigman, and Dore Hoyer), a photographic collection that includes approximately 160,000 photographs and 117,000 original negatives (among them photographers’ artistic estates such as Siegfried Enkelmann and Hans Rama, for example), an art collection on the subject of dance (such as from the estates of Ernst Oppler and Arthur Grunenberg), and a costume collection.

Museum of Dance

The Deutsches Tanzarchiv Köln (German Dance Archive Cologne) not only preserves the art of dance and its artifacts: in the Tanzmuseum (Museum of Dance) dance’s past and present can be experienced in a unique way in yearly temporary thematic exhibitions. The exhibitions are supported by the rich collections of the Deutsches Tanzarchiv Köln. The Tanzmuseum seeks to encourage its visitors to see the phenomenon of dance “with new eyes”: the exhibitions seek to convey the essence of dance to the visitor. As such the focus is not on that which is already visible, but rather the process of visualization and perception.

The events accompanying the exhibitions such as tours, lectures, film presentations, readings, and discussions make the Tanzmuseum a meeting place; these events further offer visitors ever-new approaches to the subject of dance, and present dance to a wide public in its cross-cultural diversity and fascinating history.


The library has a reference collection encompassing 13,000 books on all the aspects of dance, current journals from around the world, as well as an inventory of 19,000 periodicals.



The approximately 600,000 articles that comprise the extensive collection of newspaper clippings document the German dance scene nationwide almost continuously since the early 1950s. In addition to approximately 25,000 performance program guides the archive also holds important materials, for example, on the history of modern dance in the 1920s and 1930s.

All photos: Susanne Fern

The Film Collection

The Filmsammlung (Film Collection) includes a reference library of over 3,500 films from various dance film categories: camera choreography, cinematic reinterpretation of repertoire, experimental dance film, documentary, dance-themed movies, musical as well as theater performance recordings. After logging-in, guests can view the materials in the archive, free of charge. The research is supported by a dance video catalogue, TanzVideoKatalog, which is available online. In cooperation with the Goethe-Institut and local organizations, the Deutsches Tanzarchiv Filmsammlung presents regular dance film screenings internationally.



The publication of monographs are based on the respective individual’s own holdings, CD-ROMs, exhibition catalogues, and videos. The publication of a scholarly dance publication series, an Internet-based journal, photo portfolios, posters, and postcards is another focus of the work of the Deutsches Tanzarchiv Köln (German Dance Archive Cologne).


In addition to the aforementioned program of events that accompanies the exhibitions the Deutsches Tanzarchiv Köln (German Dance Archive Cologne) is a venue for panel discussions, meetings, and symposia. In cooperation with the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Deutsches Tanzarchiv Köln awards the Tanzwissenschaftspreis NRW (The NRW Scientific Study of Dance Award) to individuals that are involved in the scholarly study of dance every five years.


The Museum Educational Program

The Museum Educational Program (Website in German) includes specially designed tours and activities in which children and school groups learn about the history of dance in the Tanzmuseum (Museum of Dance). Young visitors can thereby actively engage with the themes and exhibits. Adults, too, are able to participate in special tours of the Tanzmuseum as well as receive an introduction to Tanzarchiv’s work, upon request.


The use of the Deutsches Tanzarchiv Köln (German Dance Archive Cologne) and of its holdings is provided free of charge. For special services that the Archive provides on behalf of its patrons (preparing reproductions, research services, delivery of copies, etc.) fees shall be charged. The use of certain holdings (artistic estates, special collections, and photographs) requires prior registration, and/or an appointment.


Deutsches Tanzarchiv Köln Friends and Sponsors

The Freunde der Tanzkunst am Deutschen Tanzarchiv Köln (Friends of the Art of Dance Association at the German Dance Archive Cologne, Website in German) was founded in 1997 by dance enthusiasts. The association’s goal is to actively support the Deutsches Tanzarchiv Köln in an effort to promote the greater international exchange of dance scholars and to make known the work of the Deutsches Tanzarchiv Köln to the general public. The Association regularly organizes trips to dance performances and special events, introduces the diversity of artistic stage dance, as well as provides information about the work of the Deutsches Tanzarchiv.

Dr. Donatella Cacciola

Dr. Donatella Cacciola
Information, archive, library and video library

tanzarchiv( at )

Tel.: +49 221 88895400
Fax: +49 221 88895401