HAU Hebbel am Ufer presents the annual Tanz im August festival, one of the central festivals for contemporary dance in Europe. Founded in 1989 by Nele Hertling, the festival offers an international range of contemporary dance performances, prestigious companies, innovative choreographers as well as a sense for emerging aesthetics and formats from all over the world. Berlin-based artists present their newest works and numerous German and international premieres are celebrated here. The events at Tanz im August are shown at HAU1, HAU2, and HAU3 as well as at various other locations across Berlin, including Haus der Berliner Festspiele, Sophiensæle, Radialsystem, Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz, and Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz.
Since 2014, Finnish curator Virve Sutinen has been in charge of the festival's program. Having earned a degree in Performance Studies in New York, she became the artistic director of leading dance institutions in Helsinki and Stockholm. Virve Sutinen brings together different generations of artists and various aesthetic approaches. Her name stands for humor and delight in experimentation. In a series of encounter and discussion formats, Tanz im August invites its audience to become an active part of the festival and meet the participating artists. It is for this reason that a library (Bibliothek im August) was installed in the festival centre at HAU2. It serves as a temporary reading room and an event location that introduces visitors to the world of the artists to be seen at Tanz im August.
From 21–30 August 2020 a special edition of Tanz im August is showing events that bring together a wide range of voices from the international contemporary dance world online and in public spaces. Instead of the international stage programme cancelled in May, on the 10 days of the festival the Tanz im August website will stream artistic productions, films, digital discussions and an international conference jointly presented with Zürcher Theater Spektakel, and two productions will be shown in public spaces.