Hellerau Festival Theatre, built in 1911 as a school of Rhythmics, is today the location of HELLERAU – European Centre for the Arts in Dresden. Following an eventful history – in the 1930s it served as a military camp; later the Soviet army used it as their barracks – in the 1990s the site was brought back to life through art. HELLERAU has since become one of the most important interdisciplinary centres for contemporary arts in Germany. It is home to contemporary dance, musical theatre, contemporary classical music, theatre, performance art, the fine arts and new media, as well as a place for reflection on art and culture. The internationally renowned Forsythe Company has been the company in residence here since 2005. Since April 2009 performances have again been held at the Festival Theatre all year round. In October 2015 the Dresden Frankfurt Dance Company has performed at HELLERAU for the first time.
Along with its partner organisations on the grounds the European Centre for the Arts has been working on creating an 'arts workspace' in HELLERAU. This is a place where people experiment with art, test out art, present art. In all these enterprises, contemporary dance has top priority.