Finding their own identity through music and dance - film collective from Ilmenau produces musical series

A team of students, graduates of the TU Ilmenau as well as external musicians, dancers and filmmakers has realized the musical series "Dancing in the Shadow" at the TU Ilmenau. The five episodes of the series will be broadcast on the streaming platform "Amazon Prime Video", among others. The film team presented its production in Berlin on the occasion of the Berlinale.

Dancing in the Shadow
The students at the center of the plot find themselves through dancing in "Dancing in the Shadow."

"It's already a surreal feeling to present our project in Berlin," reveals Tamara Kollmeder, film producer and graduate of the Applied Media and Communication Studies program. The idea for the story came from director Mikael Kuetche, a computer science student at Ilmenau Technical University. Together with Tamara, he wrote the script for "Dancing in the Shadow" three years ago. The idea of the young filmmakers has resulted in a series with an exemplary character for equal opportunities, inclusion and tolerance as well as against entrenched gender identities and role models prescribed by society, which has now been presented on the occasion of the Berlinale in the State Representation of Thuringia.

The plot centers on six students. Sara is blind, but that doesn't stop her from dancing. Chris plays the strong man, the alpha dog and the heartthrob. He would never admit that he likes to express his innermost feelings while dancing. Alice dances in the hip-hop crew, Alex plays on the basketball team. Alice-Alex finds no place in society as a non-binary person. United by their passion for dancing, the students join together to form a special dance crew, "Dancers of the Shadow," and prove that there are no limits to making your dreams come true. Producer Tamara Kollmeder wants to encourage viewers to fight for their dreams:

No one has to be in the shadows of society! Everyone should live out their own identity. Through our production, we want to specifically break down prejudices and encourage people to rethink.

Optimal turning conditions at the TU Ilmenau

At the TU Ilmenau, the film team had very good conditions to produce the series, as Tamara reports. She and Mikael quickly found friends and comrades-in-arms who supported them in composing the songs, as performers or in casting. Professional cameramen, dancers, choreographers and actors traveled from all over Germany and beyond for the musical project. The TU Ilmenau provided camera and sound equipment as well as filming locations for the ambitious project. Tamara and Mikael are proud of their 120-member international team, in which every student contributed with their individual talents:

It was particularly important to us that we live the values we convey in the series ourselves. Our team is made up of very different people, and we gave everyone who had talent and showed initiative the chance to participate - regardless of previous experience. In our crew we have created free space and a safe space for everyone to try out.

Currently, "Dancing in the Shadow" is still in the final stages of post-production, and the series premiered in the fall. If the first five episodes are successfully marketed, the proceeds generated will finance the production of the next five episodes, among others - that is Tamara's wish. The script for them has already been written. The existing episodes were realized with the help of the Thuringian State Chancellery, crowdfunding campaigns, equity capital and, above all, a lot of volunteer work, as Mikael and Tamara tell us:

"The fact that we were able to produce 'Dancing in the Shadow' is mainly thanks to the support of many volunteers. I was very impressed by the great cohesion on campus and the support from the university and the city, and it showed us: If you have a dream, you shouldn't let supposed hurdles stop you, but fight for it.

Impressions of the shooting


Dancing in the Shadow