New Danshuis unites all dance styles under one roof in Rotterdam
The future Danshuis (dance house) combines all dance styles under one roof. The philanthropic Droom en Daad Foundation invited the Chinese firm MAD Architects to design the transformation of a former warehouse located on the south bank of the river Maas in Rotterdam into a dynamic house for dance. The former warehouse is originally part of the Fenix warehouse, where Stichting Droom en Daad is currently creating FENIX; the museum for migration. The Danshuis is the latest major cultural project of the Droom en Daad Foundation.
In the future, the Danshuis is intended to become the place for professionals and amateurs, from hip hop to classical dance. The Danshuis welcomes dance initiatives from near and afar; from the neighbourhood and the world. It will be equipped with professionally equipped dance studios, an exhibition space, a showcase studio and an amphitheater on the roof. Where FENIX becomes the museum for migration and the movement of people as a universal and timeless phenomenon, the adjacent Danshuis wants to inspire people to move themselves. Dance has connected all people, all over the world, for all times.
Rotterdam: rich past, bright future
Rotterdam has a rich dance history. Josephine Baker visited the city several times, as did the legendary Ballets Russes. Rotterdam is home to Codarts, the oldest professional dance school in the Netherlands, founded in 1931 by dance pioneer Corrie Hartong. Scapino Ballet Rotterdam (1945) is the oldest dance company in the Netherlands, and the world’s first HipHopHuis was founded in Rotterdam in 2002. The current dance culture in Rotterdam is flourishing. It is practiced to an increasing extent with a growing and diverse audience. Rotterdam alone has 168 dance schools and locations for modern and classical ballet, for salsa and street dance. There is a varied professional dance sector with companies and production houses such as Conny Janssen Danst, Lloyds Company, Dansateliers and Misiconi Company. Rotterdam also fosters new and promising initiatives such as the Rotterdam International Duet Choreography Competition and the International Dance League.
There is an urgent need in Rotterdam for suitable studios for both professionals and amateurs. Dance is one of the art forms for which you don't need a lot of equipment or funds; a good floor and music will suffice. However, many spaces in Rotterdam do not meet the minimum requirements of a good and accessible accommodation. All dance companies, small or large, professional or amateur, will be welcome to use the facilities of the Danshuis. Established names and young creators can work here and the public can attend rehearsals, performances and dance classes, accessible to everyone.
Samuel Wuersten, co-initiator of the Danshuis, Artistic Executive Director Holland Dance Festival and Artistic Director BA/MA Dance Zürich University of the Arts “Dance is fleeting. Therefore it is so poignant to create a vibrant place with the Danshuis, where everything and everyone can be in constant motion; young and old, dancing all dance styles, all day long. The energy in the building is contagious, no one can sit still at the Danshuis!”
Architect Ma Yansong (Beijing 1975) founded MAD Architects in 2004. MAD Architects is currently working on the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles. FENIX is the first museum design in Europe by a Chinese architect. The Droom en Daad Foundation intends to renovate the adjacent Provimi warehouse and unite it with the Fenix warehouse.
Ma Yansong: “FENIX is all about movement.”
Droom and Daad Foundation
The philanthropic Droom en Daad Foundation was founded in 2017 with the purpose of making the city of Rotterdam a world leader through arts and culture. The foundation aims to empower and connect the cultural fabric of the city. The foundation does this through fostering and facilitating existing parties, and by initiating new projects. The Director is Wim Pijbes, formerly Director of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, with Laura Dufour as Deputy Director.
The Foundation has been operating for six years. The Danshuis is the latest major project in a series of revitalizing former historical harbor buildings, warehouses and derelict city areas, in order to inspire inhabitants and visitors to experience the wonders of the arts.