Just in Time 5 years of workshops, ballrooms, community work collecting favorite dances in Berlin, Tel Aviv, New York, Düsseldorf, Los Angeles, Brussels, Essen, Dresden, Singapore, Reykjavík, Potsdam Dubai ...and no end in sight!

The Just in Time Project started 2016 and since then it continues to happen in many cities all over the world. Just in Time is not a performance, but emerges out of a combination of Workshops, Ballroom and Community Work. Just in Time is more of a situation with people where we collect, write, read and dance all those personal relations, memories and experiences people have with dance. We work in dance studios, retirement homes, ballrooms, book clubs, schools, theaters, on the street … we dance with people, draw and distribute peoples favorite movements and write personal letters to dance. With the favorite movements of a city we organize a local ballroom, where we also hand out and read the letters people wrote.

All the letters we collect, scan and archive. And then again we distribute them and ask people to read them, to give them a voice, which we record.

Over the years the project became very complex, with some thousands of letters and favorite movements, with many artists contributing … the project grew as an archive and in the same time the material resisted to be stored - there is a sense of anarchy within the material. This is why -from now on we call the project anarchivTanz.

In the Just in Time project we exercise being a community, a diverse community. And we practice this with dancing, writing, drawing and listening. Dancing we address questions about how we want to be together as a community, and how we want to make decisions together. Writing we practice a disappearing practice, writing letters, and we also practice listening to each other, to share experiences, dreams, hopes and also disappointments.

For each edition of Just in Time / anarchivTANZ we organize workshops with local communities. We visit schools, nursing homes, dance schools, theatre groups, book clubs … here we are working at Klein Kasteeltje in Brussels a refugee center for asylum seekers.

We ask the participants of the workshops to write down their favorite movements and to also write a personal letter to dance. So far we have collected about 2500 letters and published a selection of them in a wonderful book made in collaboration with Kareth Schaffer and Serge Rompza (NODE Berlin_Oslo).

All the letters to dance are hand written. And the writing hand is a moving hand, is a dance on paper. All the letters are very personal. They tell intimate stories about people’s relations to dance. Some contain secrets, some surprises, others anecdotes, some are true love letters. Many of the stories circle around universal topics like love, fear, joy, pain, disappointment, exile and migration, childhood, age.

The favorite movements we collect, are a mirror of the diversity of the participants. Among the many we have collected so far, none are identical, and only a few are similar. They show what people love to do, how they wish to be in movement. They show the excitement of physical expression. To draw is a fun practice, and to exchange the drawings is a communication through movement.

Kids at a workshop at the Gemeenschapscentrum Nekkersdal in Brussels.

Some actually sent us their letters and movements! So far we have collected more than 1000 letters. And 2021 we handed them over to the German Dance Archive Cologne / Deutsches Tanzarchiv Köln. Now they are in professional hands and are scared and prepared for online and offline access in 2022.

Thomas Thorausch, Deputy Director of the German Dance Archive receiving hundreds of letter-to-dance on November 24th 2021.

For the ballrooms we always also take some movements from the previous cities and mix them with the local ones. This movement from Berlin became one of the favorites in all of the ballrooms!

Ballroom Brussels 2019
Ballroom Los Angeles 2018

The Berlin Ballroom was the first. People met in the wonderful Ballroom at the Bibliothek am Luisenbad. In Berlin "Turkish Wedding Dances" were amongst the favorite movements as you can see...

In Tel Aviv Kareth Schaffer and Roni Katz were doing the workshops and collected wonderful letters from different communities.

The Ballroom in Tel Aviv at the Tmuna Theater was simply magic and a wonderful celebration of dance!

Favorite movements from kids at a workshop at the Gemeenschapscentrum Nekkersdal in Brussels!

For the New York Ballroom the set designer of the project Valentina Primavera did an amazing set design again!

Also for Berlin she did all the magic with balloons. In the end everybody who came for the ballroom took some balloons home. Imagine the long trains of the subway 8 (U8) going to Kreuzberg after the performance, filled with people holding balloons!
Valda Setterfield reading her "Letter To Dance" at the end of the New York Ballroom.

The Ballroom happened at the University Settlement and it was hosted wonderfully by Alison Fleminger (photo) and the Goethe Institute. Scroll down to read more about the wonderful people and institutions who are behind this project .

Alison Fleminger

In New York Brian "HallowDreamz" Henry performed his "Letter To Dance" during the Ballroom. It was wonderful, touching, impressive.

Brian "HallowDreamz" Henry aka Lil Mijo and some of the THE NUU KNYNEZ really enjoyed the set design!

In Los Angeles we visited the Teatro de las Americas in Camarillo. What an amazing group of people! Again we have learned so much about dance!

One of the wonderful aspects of the project is that we meet people. Just in Time is not just a touring performance, but a format that includes workshops where the participants in the workshops help us create the ballroom in the end of the project. With many we stay in touch and continue to work also for other projects. In Los Angeles we have met wonderful people, amongst them Jennifer Jonassen (photo) who runs the Intrepid Dance Project. Check out their website!

The Ballroom at the Odyssey Theater in Los Angeles was incredible. The mix of people and the energy were fantastic.

For each edition of Just in Time we also ask local artists to read or perform their "Letter to Dance"

The Ballroom in Brussels happened at the Kaaitheater and opened with a letter by Anne Teresa de Keersmaker (read it here). During the ballroom letters by Giulia Sugranyes, Benjamin Vandewalle, Cynthia Loemij were performed ...

Nils Bovri heated the dancefloor!

And Alain Franco closed the Brussels Ballroom with his personal letter to dance in form of a concert.

Want to stay updated? How about singing up for our newsletter? Just click Sign Up. And if you want to leave a comment or post a suggestion just visit the Just in Time Facebook site! And if you are curious about the other artistic work of deufert&plischke visit their website here!

This project would be nothing without the amazing local support! On the right you can see wonderful Hilde Peeters who did an unbelievable job in Brussels. Theaters urgently need more people like her, fully committed to the diversity of local communities.

The Just in Time Project has been made possible by funding of the Tanzfonds Erbe – an initiative by the German Federal Cultural Foundation and Coproduction of the Goethe Institute Munich.

Funded by NATIONALES PERFORMANCE NETZ International Guest Performance Fund for Dance, which is funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media and the Departments of Culture and Arts of the German federal state.


anarchivTANZ is made in collaboration with: Institut für Zeitgenössischen Tanz der Folkwang Universität der Künste Essen & Deutsches Tanzarchiv Köln

Just in Time & anarchivTANZ made in collaboration with Goethe Institutes: Curitiba, Brussels, Los Angeles, New York, Singapore, Tel Aviv, Copenhagen, Gulf Region


Bibliothek am Luisenbad Berlin, Brotfabrik Bonn, Casa Hoffmann Curitiba, Centre Français de Berlin, Cocoondance Köln, Dance Nucleus Singapore, Fabrik Heeder Krefeld, Fabrik Potsdam, Hellerau Europäisches Zentrum der Künste, Kaaitheater Brussels, Kulturverwaltung Viersen, Odyssey Theatre Los Angeles, PACT Zollverein, Reykjavik Dance Festival, Schiller, Bibliothek Berlin, Sima Performing Arts Dubai, Spinnerei Schwelm, Tanzfabrik Berlin, Tanz NRW, Tanzhaus NRW, Tanzplattform in Deutschland 2018, thejamjar Dubai, Tmuna Theater Tel Aviv, University Settlement New York

Just in Time Dubai 2020 made in collaboration with Goethe Institute Gulf Region and Embassy of the

Federal Republic of Germany, Abu Dhabi. As part of: Campus Germany / Der Deutsche Pavillon , EXPO 2020 Dubai.


deufert&plischke, David Kaplan, Kareth Schaffer