Aurora Nova was set up by Berlin based dancer and theatre maker, Wolfgang Hoffmann. Wolfgang opened Fabrik in Potsdam in October 1990, less than a year after the Fall of the Berlin Wall which rapidly became one of the most innovative dance venues in the newly reunited Germany. Wolfgang combined his artistic work of creating shows with fabrik company and various international collaborators with the business of managing the company’s international tours and running the theatre’s popular annual dance festival.
Wolfgang first went to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1999 as a performer with Fabrik in ‘Hopeless Games’. Co-produced with Russian company, Do Theatre, the show became a massive success despite an unpromising start. Dismayed by the extremely difficult technical and economic conditions that artists faced at the festival Wolfgang was equally fascinated by the vibrancy of the festival and the fact that every show needs to find its paying audience to survive which was a refreshing change to the sometimes overly subsidized German arts scene.
The idea for a new venue was born when he realized he could offer artists an alternative model: An artist led space, where only dance and physical theatre shows of the highest quality would be presented. He proposed the idea to Tim Hawkins and David Lavender of Brighton based venue, Komedia and together they developed a co-operative presentation model which lowered the financial risk to the participating companies and promoted a spirit of mutual support amongst the artists. St. Stephens church, a landmark building in the Newtown area of Edinburgh became home to the first Aurora Nova.