Bureau Ritter founded the Berlin-based Dance On Ensemble in 2015, with the support of the Budget Committee of the Bundestag and the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media. Since then, its 14 charismatic dancers aged between 43 and 70 have been making a powerful artistic statement against ageism in dance.
Dancers are traditionally expected to retire from the stage around the age of 40. In the Dance On Ensemble, they are celebrated for their experience, physical intelligence and charisma. By rejecting the idea of an upper age limit, the Dance On Ensemble has embarked on a unique success story and won over audiences all over the world. It has also shown that it is possible to transform attitudes and create change in even the most entrenched structures in the professional dance sector.
The ensemble has collaborated with renowned artists including Rabih Mroué, William Forsythe, Mathilde Monnier and Jan Martens in a wide range of artistic projects, regularly receiving standing ovations on its international tours. Drawing on its wealth of embodied experience, the ensemble stages seminal works by iconic choreographers such as Merce Cunningham and Lucinda Childs, and invites contemporary artists to create “replies” to these historical works.
Alongside the ensemble’s tours, the intergenerational engagement programme Dance On Participation offers creative dance initiatives for older people, setting examples for a sustainable and inclusive artistic practice. The choreographic lab Dance On Lab has been holding workshops since 2017 and has now developed into a regular dance group of older amateurs. They meet regularly have toured nationally and internationally with their own productions.
The Dance On Ensemble is at the heart of the European cooperation project Dance On, Pass On, Dream On.