Since its foundation in 1997, LOFFT – DAS THEATER has stood for the promotion of the performing arts in Leipzig and Saxony, of young talent in the local area and for national and international productions in the field of dance, performance and theatre art. It is one of the most important venues for the independent performing arts in Saxony and has been located on the grounds of the Spinnerei Leipzig in Hall 7 since 2019.
The promotion and development of artists and their work are just as important to the LOFFT as the mediating presentation of important artistic positions. Our profile continues to develop organically in national and international contexts, strengthening relationships to Leipzig and Saxon cultural life along with its actors.
A multi-tiered newcomer programme supports new artists during their first experiments in the workshops, through the mentoring programme Impulse programme’, and into the ‘Artist Development Programme’, which establishes and networks local artists nationally and internationally. Openly advertised co-productions, themed festivals and numerous co-operations lead to a programme of around 150 events a year, which are accompanied by an education programme. LOFFT - DAS THEATER is a non-profit organisation.
We are committed to the interests of independent performing artists in cultural policy at local, regional and national level, including in the State Association of Independent Theatres in Saxony, the Federal Association of Independent Performing Arts, and the associations ‘Dachverband Tanz’, and ‘Kreatives Leipzig’. In addition, we organise open advisory services for artists, qualification workshops and work for our artists in a way comparable to a management agency.
The Spinnerei Leipzig, once the largest cotton mill in Europe, is now known as an international centre for contemporary visual arts. Galleries and exhibition spaces, countless studios and workshops form a "cosmos of art", which has been expanded by the diversity of the performing arts since the opening of LOFFT in March 2019.
The LOFFT does not have its own ensemble. We work in project-related partnerships with freelance artists and groups from Germany and other European countries. Every year, more than 450 artists from 15 countries perform at LOFFT. Our aim is both to create a high-quality, artistically interesting offer for our audience, to promote interest in the performing arts and to support freelance artists and offer them fair working and presentation opportunities.
Since 2019, we have increasingly been working on showing parts of our programme in rural areas of Saxony. As an equal co-production partner of freelance artists, our work complements the ensemble-based theatre work of the municipal and state houses in Leipzig and Saxony.
Since 2002, LOFFT has developed an open and transparent selection process for artistic collaborations: Every year we publish an open call for co-productions and receive over 100 submissions from all performing arts disciplines.
The selection is made by an artistic advisory board consisting of the artistic directors of LOFFT - DAS THEATER, critics, patrons and well-known personalities from Leipzig’s cultural scene.
LOFFT supports co-productions in their realisation of a project with a financial subsidy. In addition, rehearsal space and stage are provided free of charge, technical support is provided and the production is advertised and publicised. We support artists with our entire team. Our partners also receive a fixed fee per performance. Currently, the co-productions have a focus on artists living in Germany.
The FORWARD DANCE COMPANY is the first permanent professional dance company in Saxony in which dancers with normative and non-normative physicalities work together under professional conditions. The FORWARD DANCE COMPANY was founded by LOFFT - DAS THEATER and the socio-cultural centre DIE VILLA Leipzig in 2019. LOFFT has been promoting Leipzig's contemporary dance scene in the field of mixed-abilities for over 10 years. The first in-house mixed-ability dance company at an independent production house is also a pilot project for Saxony and the whole of Germany.
The promotion and development of young artists is very important to LOFFT. That’s why we offer co-productions within the framework of the Impulse Programme to new artists that we believe have high potential.
We also support their projects through mentoring in a specific artistic area for which there is a particular need, offering them low-cost qualification opportunities, for example workshops on project management and financing, insurance and tax issues, dramaturgy, lighting design or choreography.
In the course of implementing the Impulse Programme, it quickly became clear that young artists from the region needed support for several years beyond productions, as well as for their work outside LOFFT - DAS THEATER. For this reason we started the Artist Development Programme, with which we continuously support young artists and groups over a period of two years and beyond individual productions.
Together with WERKSTATTMACHER e.V. we offer opportunities for premiering the artistic works of young artists. These artists receive support from WERKSTATTMACHER e.V. in the form of production assistance and a small budget for their try-outs. Once a month, the audience discusses the works after three performances, in this way the artists enjoy a direct exchange with their visitors and receive unfiltered feedback.
With the PLATFORM, we offer local and regional artists our infrastructure for the presentation of their works at reduced rates. The LOFFT offers productions a platform to present themselves to the public, but is not directly involved in the production process.
To promote national and international networking of the artists we co-produce, we are part of the guest performance networks DANCE TRANSIT (Dresden, Leipzig and Prague) and TANZTAUSCH (Cologne, Tilburg, Amsterdam and Leipzig). Both work according to a pool model: participating partners propose interesting productions from their own region to each other, and from these the others select suitable choreographies according to their capacity and their programme’s orientation.
We regularly present contemporary dance productions at our own festivals such as Tanzoffensive, Luxival, Festival OPEN! NOW! or ZIRKUS TRIFFT TANZ. We also develop a comprehensive education programme around the performances themselves.
In recent years, we have been able to present performances by Xavier Le Roy (FR), Teresa Rotemberg / Company Mafalda (CH), Claire Cunningham & Jess Curtis (GB/US), Din A 13 Company (DE), GN|MC Guy Nader & Maria Campos (ES), Jérôme Bel (FR), Joshua Monten (CH), Laurent Chétouane (DE), Liquid Loft (AT), Gintersdorfer/Klaßen (DE), Mouvoir/Stephanie Thiersch (DE), Ligna (DE), Club Guy & Roni (NL), t.r.a.s.h. (NL), Cecilia Moisio (NL), Panama Pictures (NL), Peng! Palast (CH), Silke Z. (DE), Christoph Winkler (DE), VerteDance (CZ), Loser′s Cirque Company (CZ), bodytalk (DE), Lenka Vagnerová (CZ), Nir de Volff (DE/IL, Overhead Project (DE), Miet Warlop (BE) and many others.
Close partnerships between LOFFT - DAS THEATER and other organisers and festivals have existed for many years. From the very beginning we supported the OFF EUROPA festival, which every year presents performing arts from a European country. We are also a long-standing partner and venue of a renowned festival, euro-scene Leipzig.
We work closely with a number of performance organisers and artists on an organisational, technical and artistic level, such as the mixed-abled dance company Tanzlabor Leipzig, the LTT (Leipzig Dance Theatre) and 4fürTanz.