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Galli/Lindner/Paschke/Voigt - playing places

Video by Lily Erlinger documenting the premiere of "playing places" on 10th July 2022


Artistic direction: Simone Schulte-Aladağ and Andrea Gronemeyer 

(Munich, 15.7.2022) On Wednesday, the ninth THINK BIG! Festival came to an end after 10 delightfully exciting days. The international dance, music theatre and performance festival for young audiences proved to be a magnet for children and young people, parents and educators, especially after two Corona years. Some school classes visited a theatre for the first time ever at THINK BIG! The immediate reactions of the very young audience members were touching moments for the artists as well as for the organisers. That's exactly why THINK BIG! exists, as a training camp for looking, marvelling, laughing and pausing, for doing it yourself and thinking ahead. The capacity utilisation was around 85 percent - a result that festival directors Simone Schulte Aladağ and Andrea Gronemeyer are very pleased about in view of the pandemic aftermath.


In over 20 performances, ten new plays from seven countries came to the Schauburg and the schwer reiter, to schools and under the open skies in the city. The performances told in strong images and loud as well as quiet tones about life in troubled times, about courageous self-empowerment, lustful border crossings, about the joy of anarchy and for one's own place in the world, which one sometimes first has to create. The pieces surprised, made people think and celebrated the community: Anne Nguyen's par Terre Dance Company put the focus on the social "underdogs" in a fast-paced performance to the soul music of the 70s. With virtuoso irony, BRONKS/Randi De Vlieghe celebrated the ultimate optimised personality in "The Happy Few" with five transformation artists. Munich choreographer Moritz Ostruschnjak turned the idea of the "brilliant artist" on its head in "Autoplay" with four great dancers. The Zonzo Compagnie & ChampdAction took the audience into a magical world of images, movement and sounds with "Roundabout". Second Hand Dance from England, already several times a guest at THINK BIG!, enchanted the very young audience members from 0-3 years with "We touch we play we dance", and once again confirmed: It's never too early to become a dance fan! On a sunny Sunday afternoon, the Max-Joseph-Platz in front of the State Opera became the stage for the "playing places" of Munich's Simone Lindner, Barbara Galli-Jescheck, Katharina Voigt and Lara Paschke. The Belgian group Laika told the story of three men who have to get along with each other under adverse circumstances in a lighthouse on an island in the middle of the sea. At the end of the festival, Tabea Martin and her four performers posed wonderfully absurd questions that affect everyone in "Don't go into the forest, the forest is the forest": Who makes the rules, who belongs, who is inside and in and who is not? And the performances of Regina Rossi's VR play "Dance Machines" and "Matta Matta" by The100Hands in the schools were again the highlights at the end of the school year for many pupils and their teachers. 


As there were so many positive reactions to the REACH OUT programme with performances in schools in the exceptional state of last year, this module was continued in 2022 and supplemented by a lab for the exchange of students from Munich (Theatre Studies, LMU) and Frankfurt (Contemporary Dance Education, HFMDK). REACH OUT also offered audience talks with artists, workshops for young people, dance and theatre professionals and much more.


THINK BIG! #10 will take place in summer 2024.


by the Artistic Direction THINK BIG! Festival

Dear Audience,


finally, we can think big again!


Our festival THINK BIG! will enter its 9th round from July 4 to 13, 2022. In 22 performances, we present brand-new pieces from seven countries at the Schauburg, the Theater schwere reiter, in schools and open air in the middle of downtown. The performances show dynamic dance, with powerful images, with loud as well as quiet sounds about life in these troubled times. 

The artistic works of our guest ensembles playfully give insight into diverse worlds and give courage. They stand for empowerment, otherness and crossing borders. The performances surprise, focus on deplorable conditions, invite you to reflect and celebrate community. Each one sparkles with imagination.


Since there was such a great response to our REACH OUT- program of performances in schools during last year's pandemic state of emergency, we are continuing this module in 2022 and expanding it to include a Lab for exchange of students from Munich (Theater Studies, LMU) and Frankfurt (Contemporary Dance Education, HFMDK). 

REACH OUT also offers audience talks with artists, workshops for young people, dance and theater professionals and much more.


Come in large numbers, bring the whole family, school classes and teachers and make THINK BIG! a roaring festival of encounters!

On behalf of the festival team, we wish you and yours an inspiring festival. 


Simone Schulte-Aladağ and Andrea Gronemeyer


by the Cultural Officer of the City of Munich

Dear dance fans,

it's great, isn't it, that five festivals have developed in Munich to show contemporary dance? The internationally oriented DANCE Festival and Tanzwerkstatt Europa have been around for around three decades. They were joined in 2009 by the Junger Tanz series and in 2010 by Rodeo, the Munich Dance and Theater Festival.


THINK BIG! has enriched the Munich dance world since 2011 with international guest performances, workshops and professional exchange days. Through diverse artistic works with a focus on contemporary dance and music, this 9th festival edition opens up access and experience of current art production to young people as early as possible and invites them to create for themselves in workshops and school projects.


THINK BIG! has thus developed a unique profile that gets children and young people excited about dance and performance. In this form, it was the first festival of its kind in Bavaria and has long since established itself as a brand in the European dance scene.


The name of the festival is also its motto: Think Big! A few years ago, FOKUS TANZ found a new partner and venue in the Schauburg. Andrea Gronemeyer and Simone Schulte-Aladağ are jointly responsible for the program. THINK BIG! is a good example of how the independent scene and municipal theaters can work together.

The curators are tirelessly developing their network. Together with many partners and participants, and with the support of the municipality and the federal government, they open up access to aesthetic education and participation in cultural events in the city. After the experiences of the past two years, which were dominated by the pandemic, we are looking forward to a diverse program of performances by international artists and choreographers from Munich.


I am looking forward to Anne Nguyen with "Underdogs", Regina Rossi with "Dance Machines", Bronks with "The Happy Few", Moritz Ostruschnjak with "Autoplay" or The 100Hands with "MATTA MATTA 2.0", to highlight just a few productions.


Anton Biebl

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