Based on the movement theories created by Rudolf von Laban Kurt Jooss and Sigurd Leeder developed Eukinetics (movement dynamics) and Choreutics (movement form) to serve as basic principles in dance education and choreographic application. According to Jooss even dance classes were understood as a creative process that is not confined to the teaching of fixed movements and step patterns. In addition their movement vocabulary relied on an inner attitude, which the dancers needed to embrace and follow.
Due to this underlying philosophy the dance taught at Folkwang contains a creative potential that encourages students to explore movement independently. Education is perceived at Folkwang as a creative process in constant flux. The goal is not to train dancers but dancing human beings.
Open-mindedness and curiosity enable the Folkwang dance to seek and establish collaborations and exchanges with well-known companies, theatres and schools. As a consequence the dance department continually absorbs new contemporary impulses and the students’ and the teachers’ horizons are broadened. A very important contribution is also made by the tutors who, next to their duties at the Folkwang University of Arts, work nationally and internationally elsewhere as dancers, choreographers, teachers or researchers.
Internationally renowned choreographers work for and with the students on choreographies for the annual school presentations. The aim is to give the students an early chance to benefit from the experience, knowledge and capabilities of experienced artists and so develop their own artistic qualities.
Tuition is supplemented by workshops with guest teachers who teach a diverse range of contemporary dance techniques. Independent creative work is also a key component of the course. In addition, prospective dancers have the chance to seek out cross-disciplinary collaboration with musicians, composers, performing artists and media artists.
A further important part of the professional education is the encouragement of individual choreographic work. A selection of the students´ choreographies is publicly performed each year. For many young choreographers this performance has been the launch of their artistic careers.