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"Powerful, international, urban: hip-hop art is a perfect fit for the Ruhr region. With a permanent ensemble, we are doing pioneering work in Germany. We are creating professional development prospects for dancers that have never existed before in this young art form." These are the words of Culture Minister Ina Brandes on the official launch of the Urban Arts Ensemble Ruhr, founded in April 2023, which will represent, develop and stabilise the aesthetics and artistic quality of hip hop in the Ruhr metropolitan region, the NRW dance landscape, throughout Germany and internationally for the next two years.

This development was preceded by 20 years of award-winning work by the dance collective Renegade, the association Pottporus and its artistic director Zekai Fenerci. Their commitment has raised awareness of the opportunities and potential of the Ruhr region both within the region itself and beyond, which has led to numerous artists settling here over time and contributing to the success of the metropolitan region to this day.

With the support of the state, the discipline has gained state-funded representation in the form of the Urban Arts Ensemble Ruhr. This is an overdue step, considering that hip hop has long since ceased to exist in the shadows as a subculture. The means of its aesthetic language are now so rich that they can easily be performed on all stages of the world - whether on the street or in the theatre. A new generation of artists and spectators belong to the movement, who have found a home, a means of expression and the development of their own voice and self-efficacy in it.

The Urban Arts Ensemble Ruhr (UAER) is part of this movement. It represents the further development, visibility and establishment of hip-hop as a culture in the Ruhr metropolitan region and throughout Germany. The ensemble consists of seven dancers with different dance styles and artistic personae. The choreographers change from piece to piece. Following the first production CRACKS, choreographed by Rauf Yasit, the new production MC Messer will premiere on the 19th of April 2024 at Theater Oberhausen. 

Supported by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-​Westphalia in the framework of "Neue Künste Ruhr" and supported by the city of Herne.

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Zekai Fenerci
Künstlerische Leitung


Uta Graßhoff

Assistenz der Künstlerischen Leitung
02325 / 467 01 83


Jasmina Musić
Dramaturgie & Projektentwicklung
02325 / 467 01 85


Maryline Ogboko
Produktionsleitung & Booking
02325 / 467 01 81

Steffen Korthals

Leitung Presse- & Öffentlichkeitsarbeit
02325 / 467 01 82

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