Is there a project week about to happen at your school?

Are you planning on having a very special class trip?

Do you want to have a special lesson in religion, ethic, literature or art?

The project „Something Else” is considered to be a puzzle, many components form a whole. It enables a wide-ranging approach towards the topic of ‘being different’.
Feel – think – act. We trust in a way of learning based on shared enthusiasm, being eager to explore and create together. Learning from experience – being able to freely connect these experiences, establishing a network which continues developing due to its interdisciplinary approach, thus providing a basis for creatively dealing with our every-day life challenges.

People are different – and aren’t we all a bit special? We face the challenge of dealing with and living in our multicultural world with its diverse cultural backgrounds and characteristics as well as progressing globalization.

Since the developing phase of „Something Else” in 2011/12, during project weeks, 20 sold out performances (2012/13) and our first workshop travels, we were able to encounter children differently.

The novel

„Something Else” by Kathryn Cave and Chris Riddell, awarded with the UNESCO prize for Children’s and Young People’s Literature in the Service of Tolerance, published at Oetinger ISBN 978-3-7891-6352-4

The Book
The Bookphotodirectorfrom the left to the rightyear©disdance projectcomment

Something Else tries to be like the others, but everything he does shows how different he is. Then Something turns up and wants to be friends, but Something Else isn’t sure that he’s at all like him…

The story contains topics like inner and outer perception, construction of identity, defining limits and limiting others, diversity and appreciation, acceptance and tolerance. The story owns characteristics of a fable.
The novel might inherit a central role during a workshop or can rather be dealt with marginally. We use different motifs of the storyline.

The workshop

The workshop is an experimental field of research dealing with the topic of being „something else”. Its research tools are borrowed from dance, theatre and the fine arts. We literally experience "on our own". The focus is non-verbal communication. Our work is process-orientated and inclusive due to the concept of aesthetic education.
All workshops can be arranged due to a group’s individual needs. Relating the concrete story to a partly associative content, or rather to an according workshop approach, will be intensified when watching the production’s staging. The workshop emphasizes empathy, body language, haptic sensation, construction of personality, dance and theatre as a means of expression and communication, relaxation.

Staging the production

About 120 children from 3 elementary schools in Cologne developed – in cooperation with us- during project weeks with their creativity and their culturally diverse experiences the artistic means for staging a production. Thus, the figures of the "Others"used for video projections were created by the children.

The production provides a strong language of imagery due to a non-verbal composition of dance, acting, music and video.
**A piece full of full of high spirits and sensuality, sense and nonsense, funny, moving, just something else… **

Throughout the staging, the artists as well as the workshop participants deal with their translation into an aesthetic arrangement, a theatric language. further information…

Integration in schools

The story of the play
The story of the playphotodirectorfrom the left to the rightyear2012©disdance projectcommentWhat was the story of the non-verbal play?

We developed a collection of games specific for this topic, and in order to maintain a productive cooperation we would provide you with it. It contains games for smaller and bigger groups which can be played at a table, in a gym or on a schoolyard. For different fields of work: We gladly develop in cooperation with you a concept especially for your field of work.

Thematic cooperation

The experimental field of research also contains an interdisciplinary cooperation between you and us.
For example, how can school, art, teacher and artist be mutually inspiring? What kind of synergies emerge?
A thematic cooperation could imply an exchange of work ideas, similar to a platform that encourages to deal with and question own methods. It could also emerge within a „program”, e.g. a project week during which amongst participating in workshops and watching the performance it is also possible to work on and present issues of different thematic areas.
Even if you have way too little time and options to deal with the according aspects in every-day life and wish to do so in a workshop, we consider it a cooperation. Just contact us.


A thematic cooperation between you and us or rather an integration into your class will be developed individually. It depends on the length of a workshop, thematic key aspects or rather the group’s composition and structural options.

Watching the performance will take place after the workshop is finished. The day between the last workshop day and the performance is needed for stage construction and rehearsal.
In the following you’ll find concrete organization models for orientation:

Example 1: Creglingen / Baden Würtemberg February 2013 | shows the organization for a School centre, elementary school and high school level, enabled by the School centre itself.

School centre Creglingen, elementary school and high school level
Workshops for 1st grade, one 1st grade (inclusive) and one 5th grade, each of them during two subsequent days, 2 hours per day + subsequent performance
The school’s social worker
Funds of the school’s social work, school’s association, local sponsors, entrance fee for the performance

The workshops took place at the school centre’s small gym. The performance took place at the school centre’s big gym. Technical equipment was partly provided by the school centre and by the local theatre association. Special technical equipment was provided by us.
All of the school centre’s children and teachers came to see the performance (grade 1 – 5) as well as local kindergartens (about 250 spectators). Thus, money was generated which helped funding the project.

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4
08.00-10.00 WS1
10.30-12.30 WS2
13.30-15.30 WS3
08.00-10.00 WS1
10.30-12.30 WS2
13.30-15.30 WS3
08.00–22.00 set up/ rehearsal 09.00-10.00 performance
plus subsequent clean up

Example 2: Feuchtwangen / Bavaria March 2013 | shows a superior organizational structure, enabled by the city’s cultural office.

5 local kindergartens, 2 elementary schools
Workshops for 7 groups, each on 2 days for 2 hours with 2 subsequent performances
Cultural office of the city of Feuchtwangen & Office Social City („Büro Soziale Stadt”)
City of Feuchtwangen, Bavarian cultural ministry, foundation of Sparkasse Ansbach, cultural foundation of IHK Mittelfranken, local sponsors, entrance fee

The workshops took place in agility rooms of different kindergartens and schools. We commuted between all locations.
For the performances the city rented the city hall including technical equipment. The performances were attended by the entire staff of all participating institutions; they were also publicly available and thus generated money which helped funding.

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4
08.00-10.00 WS1
10.30-12.30 WS2
13.30-15.30 WS3
08.00-10.00 WS1
10.30-12.30 WS5
13.30-15.30 WS7
08.00-10.00 WS4
10.30-12.30 WS5
13.30-15.30 WS3
08.00-10.00 WS4
10.30-12.30 WS2
13.30-15.30 WS6
Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Day 8
08.00-10.00 WS6
10.30-12.30 WS7
PR 08.00–22.00
Set Up/ Rehearsal
09.00-10.00 Performance 1
11.00-12.00 Performance 2
plus subsequent clean up

Funding | Realisation

We gladly generate a non-binding cost overview for you.
Here we prepared a contact form for you to fill in.

There are several possibilities to fund the project:
So far every school’s / kindergarten’s funding association actively supported the execution of the project. There was also concrete help from the Bavarian cultural minister. Also the Ministry of Education in Brandenburg announced potential support.

We’d be glad to help you with applications for your responsible ministries.

By smartly distributing the workshops onto several institutions and involving local theatres and cultural offices, financial means can be concentrated, expenses can be saved and the project can be broadly realized for many children.

Moreover one should also take local characteristics, a school’s social line-up or a special need for the positive effects of dance and theatre into consideration when searching for potential sponsors.
Regional companies, associations and umbrella organizations should also be taken into consideration.
When you are searching for sponsors, be as creative as possible!

We compiled some links for you about foundations and other sponsors of cultural education.

The list is not intended to be exhaustive.
It rather shall point out ways and ideas about funding your „Something Else” – project for your school. [Status:May 2013]

Stiftung Mercator | Germany
PwC Deutschland | Germany, worldwide
Siemens Stiftung | Germany/ Europe, Afrika, Latin- America
Altana Stiftung | Hessen, Germany
Vodafone Stiftung | Germany
Bertelsmann Stiftung
Körber Siftung | Hamburg
Deutsche Bank Stiftung | Deutschland

Liz Mohn Stiftung | NRW, Germany
Sparda Bank West Stiftung | NRW
Heinrich Böll Stiftung - Freundeskreis | Germany, international
Allianz Kulturstiftung | Germany, regional
art131 | Bavaria, Berlin
Fricke Stiftung | NRW
Sparkassen Stiftungen | regional | Förderte die Durchführung unseres Groß-Projektes in Feuchtwangen
Sparkassenstiftung | Hessen/ Thüringen
IHK Mittelfranken | Förderte die Durchführung unseres Groß-Projektes in Feuchtwangen
Landesbank Baden- Württemberg | Baden- Württemberg
Robert-Bosch-Stiftung | Baden- Württemberg
Stiftung Deutsche Klassenlotterie Berlin | Berlin
Stiftungsverzeichnis Mecklenburg Vorpommern
Landesvereinigung Kinder- und Jugendbildung Sachsen- Anhalt
Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung Sachsen Anhalt| Sachsen Anhalt
Ruth Ratter | Rheinland- Pfalz
Bremische Volksbank Stiftung| Bremen
Stiftungsverzeichnis Kinder- und Jugendkultur | Hamburg
Stiftung des Landes Niedersachsen | Niedersachsen
Stiftung Mesaar| Saarland


How does a „Something Else” - workshop differ from any other dance or theatre workshop?

We offer you a wide-ranging concept in order to approach the topic of ‘being different’, including all its aspects like reception, tolerance, acceptance, construction of identity, etc. Content and form (artistic means) are closely intertwined. Due to a wide choice of approaches (picture book, teaching material, dance-theatre workshop, performance) it is possible to gain many different experiences.

Is the project only intended for children or is it possible for adults to participate too?

The ‘complete edition’ is made for children of age 4 to 10. Novel, teaching material and the production’s staging mainly addresses to children. But the topic of ‘being different’ is also relefvant for adults and can thus be explored during a workshop. Maybe at your next company outing?

What kind of room is needed for a workshop?

An empty room of at least 90 qm with a floor that enables moving barefooted or in socks. A classroom with tables and chairs pushed aside is not suitable since it bears of risk of accidents and also detracts from what is really important.

How many persons can participate in a workshop?

It makes sense to have a group which has at least 8 and not more than 20 participants. If there are too many people in one group it is wise to think about splitting the group.

What is the teacher’s role during a workshop?

The teachers / group leaders participate in the workshop. That means they complete the same ‘program’ as the kids / other participants do. On the one hand we want to avoid creating a spectator-situation, which would make it difficult for one or the other to actively participate. On the other hand it showed that it also enables an extraordinary way of getting to know each other for both, the group leaders and the children.
Furthermore the group leaders help out with smaller problems, e.g. going to the toilet with the kids and similar things.

What do participants have to bring with them?

Comfortable clothes, anti-slip socks / gym shoes, a water bottle.

Do I as a teacher have to prepare something for the workshop?

Our concept intends to deal on a wide range with the topic. This also implies dealing with the novel which can be greatly integrated into school or kindergarten every-day life. In advance it will be talked about how to thematically cooperate. For further information see ‘Thematic Cooperation’ and ‘Integration in schools’. Should it not be possible to do so for whatever reasons, it is still not an obstacle for having a workshop.

How long does the workshop take?

We recommend 3 to 5 days and 2 hours per day in order to process and intensify new impressions. A workshop has to take at least 2 hours.

If I want to obtain a workshop, do I have to have a performance?

No, we are also glad to provide a workshop without a performance.

If I want to obtain a performance, do I have to have a workshop?

No, it is possible to invite our production as guest performance without doing a workshop. A subsequent talk with us could complete the event.

I’m interested in the topic as well as in the workshop offer and production, but I think my class is too old for a children’s book. Is it still possible to have a workshop or a performance?

Yes, we design workshops for different age groups. For example, when we worked with children of a 4th and 5th grade, the picture book was only dealt with marginally; instead, after seeing the performance, they summarized their personal impressions and experiences in own stories – or worked as ‘theatre detectives’ in order to define elements from the workshop within the actual performance. On the strength of past experiences it showed that also older children and adults were inspired by the production’s staging.

At my school / kindergarten 2 classes / groups are interested in the workshop.
Should only these groups be able to see the performance?

No, the performance does not depend on our workshop offer and is an extraordinary theatre experience. Moreover it is possible to generate more money by having a larger audience.

Which requirements should a performance space meet?

Stage: at least 7 x 7 m, not more than 11 x 11 m, has to be possible to darken the room
Attachment device for projector (central, 7 – 11 m distance to the back of the stage)
Basically it is possible to use a gymnasium, a multifunctional room, the auditorium and similar rooms for a performance. Still it is important to note that often stage equipment and dance floor have to be organized.
If there was the possibility of using a local, fully equipped theatre or another event room including professional event technology, it would make a guest performance much easier and maybe even cheaper. Naturally, we will assist the coordination and acquisition of stage technique.


Radio8 | by Arno Boas | 19.Februar 2013

featureon the occasion of the major project’s opening at Feuchtwangen
In preparation of our project days in Feuchtwangen there was an interview with area manager Erika Weimer, who organized and coached the project for the city of Feuchtwangen.

W.I.B | by PM | 21.Februar 2013 full review

Fränkische Landeszeitung | by Jasmin Kiendl | 21.Februar 2013 full review

„One cannot begin early enough to playfully confront children with the topic of ‘being different’, completely without finger wagging, emphasized Stefan Fink, board member of the financial institute.”
The project is seen as enabling pioneer work, and also represents a huge enrichment of educational work at local schools and kindergartens, emphasized the mayor.

W.I.B | by Peter Tippl | 28.Februar 2013 full review

„Accepting the other they way he or she is, acceptance regardless of skin colour or characteristics and specialties, this is the educational approach. This is so exiting since people from about 60 nations live in Feuchtwangen, a city where many have a special relationship with the people of Lebenshilfe, says Patrick Ruh. The initiative is based on André Lehnert being hired as an actor at the Kreuzgangspiele. Lehnert already embodied bold Siegfried in the Saga of the Nibelungs, and his charisma as well as his partner Paula Scherf’s choreographic skills simply amazed.”
„The mayor immediately seized a chance and in collaboration with the Sparkasse foundation, the Bavarian cultural ministry and the IHK’s cultural foundation (Industrie- und Handelskammer Mittelfranken) established a financial framework.”
„A brilliant approach for children and teenagers towards dealing with tolerance, inclusion and integration, and acceptance of fellow human beings, explained Stefan Fink the reasons for his financial institute to support the project. And mayor Patrick Ruh stated that it was a stroke of luck having a „classical big city project” being realized in the city center of Feuchtwangen.”

Radio8 | von Arno Boas | 28.Februar 2013

Interview with a 5th gradeshortly after the workshop | in german language
Children of a 5th grade in Feuchtwangen answer questions of a radio journalist about their experiences in our workshop.

Radio8 | by Arno Boas | 28.Februar 2013

Featureon the occasion of ending the workshop phase
Immediately after the workshop has ended the interviews with Paula Scherf and André Lehnert were made.

Radio8 | by Arno Boas | 04.März 2013

Featureon the occasion of the project’s end in Feuchtwangen
Right after the 2 performances at the end of our project days there was a press conference, during which this review and the interviews with Paula Scherf and André Lehnert were made.

Fränkische Landeszeitung | by Jasmin Kiendl |05.März 2013 full review

„A one-week workshop phase with Lehnert and Scherf including five kindergartens at the city area and the city – and land school, where about 140 children participated, was followed up by the performance of the children’s book multimedia dance-theatre version last morning. A worthy end, as mayor Patrick Ruh noted.”
„A continuation would be welcome. The reaction of all participating institutions was positive, added area manager Erika Weimer. Even behavioral changes amongst children are noticeable.”


Aesthetic education

scene:  "Something Else"
scene: „Something Else”photoThomas Josekdirectorfrom the left to the rightyear2012©disdance projectcomment

„Aesthetic education does not primarily consider education as a collection of knowledge, which favors reason instead of reception, but as a result of sensual experiences which can themselves be the origin of knowledge and awareness.”
[source: Wikipedia]

on our own

Interview with a 5th grade
shortly after the workshop in german language
[Interview: Arno Boas, Radio8]

The Others

„The Others”filmdisdance projectdirectorfrom the left to the rightyear2012©disdance projectcommentdeveloped by kids with our folding-figures-technique


Mirror dance
Mirror dancephotod.p.directorfrom the left to the rightyear2013©disdance projectcomment

All games / exercises / experiments put participants in situations where they encounter their rather unknown other, feel for them, communicate with them.

Example: „Mirror dance”

One is the other’s reflection in the mirror. Knowing that all movements (no matter what) have to be executed synchronically, like a human and his reflection in the mirror, leads to an increased awareness for one’s own acting as well as to a concentration for the other.

lead - follow
lead - followphotod.p.directorfrom the left to the right5th Grade Creglingenyear2013©disdance projectcomment

Example: „To lead / to follow”

All participants are like magnets connected to each other and thus lead their own or follow their partner’s movement. This can be done in pairs or in smaller or bigger groups. This magnetic connection can affect different body parts.


All games / experiments / tasks base their effect on a relaxed atmosphere. We believe that being keen on experiments and creativity can only exist where there is space and time to feel.

scene:  "Something Else"
scene: „Something Else”photoThomas Josekdirectorfrom the left to the rightyear2012©disdance projectcomment

A relaxed atmosphere is supported by

- reception, feeling one's own body, body expression
- concentration on the other
- the game, experiencing with one's own imagination and with that of the others
- individually and collectively undergoing, experiencing, tracing and reflecting of a process
- development of emotions
- boredom which is not suffocated but used to create something new 

trip of imagination
trip of imaginationphotod.p.directorfrom the left to the rightyear2013©disdance projectcomment

Relaxes the body and moves the spirit, extends possibilities within a real life mode. We dream ourselves to different places while also being someone else, only to find back to us.

Haptic sensation

How to approach a strange body? What do I feel when I’m touching it?

shadow shapes
shadow shapesphotod.p.directorfrom the left to the rightyear2014©disdance projectcomment

The partner’s body outline is being explored; from a great distance, with only less distance to the body und finally alongside the body shape. In doing so the hand is used as a thicker, thinner, softer or harder paint brush. But also other body parts which are more difficult to use can become a painting-tool.

dead man
dead manphotod.p.directorfrom the left to the rightyear2013©disdance projectcomment

Relaxing, feeling light, handing over the responsibility. Concentrating, carefully supporting the other body, taking responsibility for it.
This exercise bodily emphasizes the importance of responsible contact.


Focusing on body language and non-verbal communication supports experiencing with all senses. An impartial zone, free of prejudice is being established; a room for experiences beyond „right” and „wrong” or „good” and „bad”.

experienced  inclusion
experienced inclusionphotoKerstin Nawrotdirectorfrom the left to the rightyear2013©disdance projectcomment

Every participant plays a part, creates something. Limits which exist due to language, specific components, cultural understanding could be overcome. The children detect known individual patterns, can change them and thus switch from this to that position.
By realizing one’s own as well as unknown otherness, tolerance is being developed which then leads to appreciation. (= inclusion).

Body language – expressing, interpreting and differentiating emotions

All participants experience their bodies as being bearer of emotions.
What does the other’s body tell me? What can I express with my body? How different is the individual expression of emotions?

Hello sky
Hello skyphotoKerstin Nawrotdirectorfrom the left to the rightyear2013©disdance projectcomment

Our greeting ritual, a catchy movement rhyme, functions as framework for every participant in order to explore the diversity of expressing and understanding emotions.

I like - I don't like
I like - I don’t likephotoKerstin Nawrotdirectorfrom the left to the rightyear2013©disdance projectcomment

Based on own interest we explore bodily signals (facial expressions, gestures, posture, movements and quality of movements) to express if we like, want or allow something or not.

Construction of identity / personality

The workshop is a zone free of prejudice, no-one can do anything ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, it only invites to explore one’s individual range of opportunity. In this zone no-one is better or worse than the other. Just different. photo: Being aware of the other in yourself A construction of identity is being supported since comparative or hierarchical arrangements („I’m the best, the one being better at this than you are” or „I’m the one who cannot do something like that”) give way to experiencing oneself while encountering the others or rather the otherness. Diversity can be experienced as creative potential („I do it like that, how do you do it?”).
The participants are being encouraged to create and thus take part in the process with their individual characteristics, skills and interests. They experience themselves and others as being part of a whole, realize strengths, weaknesses, own and other limits. They come to know their individual effectiveness within a collective process.

Being aware of the other in yourself
Being aware of the other in yourselfphotod.p.directorfrom the left to the rightyear2013©disdance projectcomment

„Now everyone who likes to eat onions has to dance” (the others stop moving).
„Now everyone with brown eyes” (the others stop moving).
Agreement and disagreement concerning preferences and aversions within a group now become apparent. On the one hand this does support perception. On the other hand it challenges to take a stand or admit own affections. Mostly this is very surprising and suddenly one has something in common with a person who would have never thought so before.

process orientated

The process is explicitly focused on. There will not be a „product” like creating a children’s performance. Developing a product requires training of certain processes and learning the basics of acting on stage.

Experiencing and observing the process
Experiencing and observing the processphotod.p.directorfrom the left to the rightyear2013©disdance projectcomment

For us it is more about enabling complex experiences within a safe environment. Topics of constructing an identity, inner and outer reception, defining limits and limiting others, diversity and appreciation, acceptance and tolerance will be dealt with immediately while working with them.