Photos: Andreas Siegel, Bettina Stöß


Palucca University


The individual with their own abilities and skills takes centre stage in our educational programmes.

The curriculum rests on the three pillars of Ballet, Contemporary/Modern Dance and Improvisation. The aim is to develop a common approach, breaking down the barriers between these techniques. The three pillars are developed over the whole period of study, with a full range of complementary subjects. Linking theory and practice enables the students to develop as autonomous, thinking creative artists who benefit from these techniques as the key to freedom.


The traditions of ballet are steeped in hierarchy, involving highly standardised physical demands and often a rigid structure in technique, both in choreographic processes and in mentality. The Palucca University initially gave purely Vaganova-based ballet training, as did many institutions in Eastern Europe. Today the focus is more on developing an approach to ballet that is unique to the Palucca University, based on complementary work including Contemporary/Modern Dance and Improvisation. The approach is dialogue-based, influenced by current demands and developments in today’s dance world. Movement principles such as suspension and release, use of a spiral dynamic and working with resistance are now commonplace in ballet training.

Through all levels, a full programme of pointe work, pas de deux and variations classes are included.

contemporary/modern dance

Contemporary/Modern Dance represents a wide range of different techniques and styles which generally stem from dance works and techniques developed in the 20th century. The roots of Contemporary/Modern Dance at the Palucca University are in Free Dance. As the dance scene has evolved, Contemporary/Modern Dance as now taught at the Palucca University reflects Humphrey/Limon and release-based techniques, which follow a very individual, mixed approach. This method is unique to the university. The international faculty is ideally suited to promoting this approach, which is in sync with current developments in the dance scene.

For the younger students, TTI (Dance/Technique/Improvisation) is taught, a combination of Contemporary/Modern Dance and Improvisation. Later these two areas are split into separate subjects and complemented by classes in floor work, repertoire and partnering.


Improvisation classes explore various sources of inspiration including the dimensions of time, space, weight and the environment. Big or small, fast or slow, dramatic or neutral, to cite a few examples, are elements upon which improvisation can be built; in this way the students learn to express their personality. The Palucca curriculum explores various techniques through which students are encouraged to involve their whole body, mind and spirit.

For the younger students, TTI (Dance/Technique/Improvisation) is taught, a combination of Contemporary/Modern Dance with Improvisation, which is later split into separate subjects. The students’ improvisational skills are also developed through classes in composition, Laban Movement Analysis, Forsythe Improvisation Technologies, partnering and contact improvisation jams.