Overhead Project

Overhead Project stands for pieces on the border of contemporary circus and dance.  Two languages that allow different perspectives on the bodies of their actors as well as the handling of the stage space. The label, based in Cologne (NRW) and Tübingen (BW), has been in existence since 2008 and is artistically directed by Tim Behren. In close collaboration with long-time collaborators, a circus-choreographic form with a multidisciplinary perspective on body and space has emerged.

Since the founding of Overhead Project, more than 10 productions in the independent scene and 4 guest choreographies at the City Theatre have been created, which have received many international awards. Since 2019, the "CircusDanceFestival" has been added as part of the TANZPAKT Stadt-Land-Bund excellence funding, with a focus on hybrid artistic works from the field of circus dance. In Baden Württemberg, the company receives project funding, in North Rhine-Westphalia, the state's top funding.

Together with Florian Patschovsky, Tim Behren founded the label in 2008, which he now directs artistically. After training together as partner acrobats at the Contemporary Circus School Ecole Supérieure des Arts du Cirque in Brussels, the duo began their journey as cross-dressers in the international dance scene.
Tim Behren broadened his perspective a few years later with the study supplement "Dramaturgie Circassiene" at the Centre National des Arts du Cirque (CNAC) in Chalons en Champagne. He is also an active member of the Bundesverband Zeitgenössischer Zirkus (BUZZ) and campaigns for the recognition of this genre as an art form and part of the performing arts in Germany. Since 2019, he has been the initiator and artistic director of the Circus Dance Festival as part of the TANZPAKT Stadt-Land-Bund funding. He is a guest lecturer and student coach on the master's programme in choreography at Fontys University Tilburg, and in 2020 he will be attending the university course "Curating in the Scenic Arts" at the University of Salzburg.

In May 2022, Overhead Project was awarded the Tabori Award 2022 by the Performing Arts Fund. According to the award jury, this "honours a unique signature of the fusion of contemporary dance and contemporary circus, creating a performative language of its own that makes a special contribution to both the establishment and mediation of the formats and their differentiated thematic worlds." In July 2022, the CircusDanceFestival (deputy Tim Behren & Jenny Patschovsky) published the workbook "Circus in flux - Zeitgenössischer Zirkus | Contemporary Circus" by Verlag Theater der Zeit.


Photo: © Katharina Klapdor

Touring Productions