Dance is a universal language that unites diverse cultures and audiences. That’s why we organize Bolzano Danza, an international festival that brings together the top names in today’s dance world.

Event calendar

The Bolzano Danza

Every July, a wave of energy sweeps through the city. Performances take place at the Teatro Comunale di Bolzano, as the municipal theatre is called, as well as in picturesque locations such as the streets of Bolzano’s historical centre, museums, parks and castles. Founded in 1985, the Bolzano Danza Festival ranks among Italy’s top contemporary dance festivals, highly esteemed within the country and abroad.

The key to its success? A bold marriage of highbrow and pop culture, unforgettable performances and artivism projects, which promote social inclusion and bridge distant worlds. Classes in various dance styles, curated by the Südtiroler Kulturinstitut association, and artistic dialogue transform the festival into a captivating laboratory for culture.

History of
the Festival
















Bolzano Danza is born as a spin-off of Bolzano Estate’s classical dance section. The new festival, comprising both performances and dance workshops, is organised by the city and province of Bolzano. Loredana Furno is the first artistic director; Ulrich Roehm is responsible for the workshops.

Ulrich Roehm and Giuseppe Carbone are named co-artistic directors of the festival. They invite leading European ballet schools as guests. The Roland Petit Evening, with Alessandra Ferri and the Ballet National de Marseille, is a great success.

Lanfranco Cis is appointed artistic director and remains supported by Ulrich Roehm until 1996. The festival makes a decisive turn towards contemporary dance, becoming a bridge between Central European and Mediterranean culture. Bill T. Jones, an icon of African-American dance, is amongst the guest artists this year.

Angelin Preljocaj and Carolyn Carlson make their first appearance at Bolzano Danza; they will return on several occasions.

The festival and dance workshops are reorganised: the former is coordinated by the province’s Department for Italian culture, the latter by the Department for German culture. The individual editions of Bolzano Danza become thematic.

Maguy Marin presents her masterpiece May B at the festival.

Bolzano Danza is handed over to the Nuovo Teatro Comunale – Auditorium Provinciale Bolzano foundation. The Teatro Comunale di Bolzano becomes the main festival venue, the festival itself is is recognised by the Italian Ministry of Culture. Italian debut of Red Giselle with the Eifman Ballet.

The festival celebrates its twentieth anniversary with Trisha Brown, Marie Chouinard and Germaine Acogny. From this edition onwards, the festival will increasingly give space to female choreographers.

Manfred Schweigkofler becomes artistic director of the festival. Bolzano Danza expands under his leadership. Alongside the performances in the theatre there are various free open-air events in the city and in spectacular venues such as Sigmundskron Castle.

Shen Wei presents the European premiere of Re–Parts I, II & III at the festival.

Bolzano Danza is becoming a “Festival 2.0” with an increasingly inclusive nature, reaching the urban public space with its new outdoor section and implementing various projects that involve the local community.

Emanuele Masi is appointed artistic director for the Dance and Opera departments of the Teatro Comunale di Bolzano, thus also for the festival. Bolzano Danza hosts the Italian premiere of Tragédie by Olivier Dubois, which will be followed by a long series of premieres in Bolzano by the French artist.

Organisation of Bolzano Danza passes to the Haydn Foundation with Emanuele Masi becoming the festival’s artistic director. The festival is revamped under his leadership, with a focus on social inclusion, sustainability and interactivity. Each edition is entrusted to an external guest curator. Rachid Ouramdane participates in Bolzano Danza for the first time with Tenir les temps; he will subsequently become an associate artist and return on several occasions.

The Gauthier Dance//Dance Company Theaterhaus Stuttgart, which made its first appearance at Bolzano Danza in 2006, becomes an affiliated company of the festival for the period from 2018 to 2022.

The festival reinvents itself with EDEN – Danza per uno spettatore (Dance for One Spectator), an innovative response to the pandemic: each performance in the theatre has only one spectator and one dancer, a symbolic encounter between two “primordial” human beings in search of lost perfection. The project receives the Danza&Danza prize from the Italian critics.

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