Highlight of every REHACARE: The closing event in the Sports Center


Music moves people. That’s why Udo Dumbeck loves it to treat the visitors to a great dancing show at every REHACARE which always excite enthusiasm. Before the big performance we asked the head of the Department of Dance of the Rehabilitation and Sports Association of People with Handicaps in North-Rhine Westphalia (BRSNW) to share some details.

Photo: Udo Dumbeck; © beta-web/Lormis

Udo Dumbeck; © beta-web/Lormis

Those who already know the sports center stage in hall 7a may also have already seen Udo Dumbeck. Now and again during the trade fair, he leads the audience through the lively stage program and also hosts the big closing event on the last day of the trade fair.

Who speaks to him and sees him in his element quickly realizes: The stage and the Sports Center are almost his home. He enjoys being there and he lives the enthusiasm for dancing. That's why it is always fun for him to develop the new program almost throughout the whole year. "We are already thinking about a possible theme for the show in 2016," reveals Dumbeck. "The concrete preparations start at the beginning of January." As a rule, the Department of Dance of BRSNW suggests the umbrella theme and possible matching pieces of music beforehand. But all participating dance groups within the BRSNW can make their own suggestions. They then train their songs throughout the year. "The closer the show, the more intense the workout," says Dumbeck.

Approximately two to three months before the exhibition Dumbeck drives to the individual groups and works with them on the details of their performance. "That may be, for example, the expression of the individual dancers," explains Dumbeck. "But it is also a fact that the feedback for the professional dancers can be quite different than that for the groups with dancers with learning difficulties." Depending on what each dancer can still improve.

All those involved in the show get the entire program beforehand, so that everyone knows when it's his turn. Most groups arrive at the fairground about one to two hours before the show starts. Each year a couple of professional wheelchair dancers opens the big show on Saturday afternoon. They and all the other participants each enter on a song that fits the theme of the year.

Photo: Wheelchair dance in the Sports Center

For 22 years now, since 1993, the show is organized by the Department of Dance. Since 2000, the shows take place in today's format. "And even today it is still something special," says Dumbeck; © Messe Düsseldorf/ctillmann

In previous years, the dances were placed under topics like world travel, detective story or musical. This year’s is "Song Contest". "Last year there already was a show with several songs from the Eurovision Song Contest," Dumbeck admits. "But for this year we have made some changes to the program. With songs from Genghis Khan to Stefan Raab the theme provides a very wide variety."

When selecting the topic it is especially important to choose one that is as free as possible because it needs to be versatile enough to leave enough freedom for really all the dancers.

Although many do not suspect it: "Each show at the REHACARE is a world premiere! All those involved have previously never rehearsed together," Dumbeck emphasizes what is so special about the show. When all the dancers are on stage at the end of the final show at the sports center it simply is clear that we all belong together – whether blind, with learning disabilities, senior citizens or wheelchair drivers. "This is when inclusion is most visible – dancers with and without disabilities together on one stage," says Dumbeck.

When even the audience cried sometimes during the twentieth anniversary of the show two years, it also touched the "old dance hand" Dumbeck: "I really had a lump in my throat. And if all simply have fun together, it is highly emotional for me. I love this diversity and the possibilities of equal cooperation."

Those who would like to enjoy the end of REHACARE 2015 in a musical way should not make other plans for 3 pm on Saturday afternoon. Approximately 200 dancers from all over North Rhine-Westphalia are going to rock the Sports Center stage in Hall 7a. "And maybe we will even already reveal the theme for 2016," Dumbeck says with a wink. "But you will have to listen quite carefully then."

Foto: Nadine Lormis

© B. Frommann

Nadine Lormis