CocoonDance was founded by choreographer Rafaële Giovanola and dramaturge Rainald Endraß in 2000. Swiss-born Giovanola was a soloist in Turin before being brought to the Frankfurt Ballett by William Forsythe for the duration of eight years. After this, she worked with Pavel Mikuláštik’s Choreographisches Theater, with Bonn as the last station. Since 2000, CocoonDance has been producing and performing in the independent Theater im Ballsaal in Bonn; since the season 2004/05 the company also is curating the dance program and is responsible for organization and financing of the theatre.
CocoonDance has established itself as a dance-arts institution with an extensive network not only within the artistic world, but also in the field of cultural education. It is characterized by the efficient and successful interplay of variable components which are:
- a professional company that operates with visiting freelance artists, national and international networks, co-producers, co-operations across the world
- a performance space which has established itself as a center for curated contemporary dance productions with two renowned international festivals and residence programs
- a young dance ensemble sponsored and has gained recognition with the public and political
- professional associations and innovative partnerships with local schools for the delivery of cultural education.
The engine behind the 19 years of artistic development at CocoonDance is improvisation, a strong dramaturgic approach and high emphasis on incessant teamwork. For years, CocoonDance has been “consistently experimenting with new narrative techniques, artistic methods for contemporary dance“ (Westdeutsche Zeitung). They have toured five continents by now and received numerous prizes. In 2018 and in 2020 CocoonDance was invited to the platform Germany, the most important biennale of contemporary dance and choreography in Germany.
Their practice focuses on perception as a starting point for change in modern dance. It involves audience not merely in representation of reality, but also of its generation. The ensemble revisits performative space that allows for distance and thinking, and reaches beyond the narrative space.
We are all spectators. A theme that Rafaële Giovanola and Rainald Endraß have been working on for years in their productions for CocoonDance and brought electrifying productions to the audience. (Thomas Linden, Trailer, 27.07.2017)