Laureate 2023

Karl Regensburger , co-founder of the Impluz Tanz Festival, deserves exceptional recognition for his invaluable contribution to the international artistic scene. His unwavering dedication to contemporary dance has shaped the soul of this great Viennese festival, making it a space where creativity, innovation and artistic expression can flourish. His passion for the art of dance has inspired generations of artists and audiences, creating a lasting legacy in the world of dance. This Outstanding Contribution Award is a fitting tribute to his hard work and vision, which have enriched our lives and artistic culture immeasurably, always giving pride of place to Quebec dance at this festival.

Karl Regensberger embodies the spirit of the Impluz Tanz Festival, a must-see for young artists and international presenters alike, where the boundaries of dance are constantly being pushed back. His enlightened leadership has enabled the festival to become a beacon of artistic innovation and a place where artists have the freedom to express themselves without hindrance. Over the years, Karl has forged links between dancers, choreographers and audiences, creating a vibrant and inspiring community. His legacy will be felt far beyond this award, as he will continue to inspire future generations to explore new artistic horizons and push the boundaries of creativity. 

Artistic director, co-founder of ImPulsTanz festival

Born in Vienna in 1954, Karl Regensburger holds a degree in business management. In 1984, he founded the Internationale Tanzwochen Wien (International Dance Weeks) with Brazilian dancer Ismael Ivo, which offers workshops from renowned dancers such as Joe Alegado, Germaine Acogny, and Cristina Caprioli. In 1988, now under the name ImPulsTanz – Vienna International Dance Festival, the event hosts great names in international dance such as Ko Murobushi, Margie Gillis, Eva Karczag, and Marie Chouinard (with Space, Time and Beyond), who showcase their works. In 1990, with Mary Overlie and Susanne Linke, Regensburger founded “ImPulsTanz – Research”, which he developed into one of the most renowned, comprehensive, and diversified workshop and research programs, catering to both professionals and enthusiasts. In 1996, the international danceWEB scholarship program was launched and, in 2001, the [8:tension] Young Choreographers series, accompanied by the prestigious Jardin d’Europe Award – European Emerging Choreography Award, known since 2018 as the ImPulsTanz – Young Choreographers’ Award.

In 1998, Regensburger was knighted in the Order of Arts and Letters by France and elevated to Officer in 2008. In 2006, he received the Gold Decoration of Merit from the city of Vienna. In 2008, he was named an honorary professor by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Arts, and Culture. In 2015, King Philippe of Belgium appointed him Officer of the Order of Leopold II.

Since 1984, under the direction of Karl Regensburger, ImPulsTanz showcases over 60 productions annually in major theaters, museums, and venues in Vienna, offering more than 200 workshops and about thirty evenings and concerts. Today, it is one of the most significant and dynamic contemporary dance and performance festivals in the world. In 2023, the festival welcomed over 150,000 attendees.