Asian-European exchange at the Tanzplattform Deutschland

At the beginning of March 2020 EDN and AND + worked together to implement the path started in Yokohama and to prepare a public talk, as part of the in-depth events open to the public, organized by the Tanzplattform Deutchland in Munich.

Hosted by Joint Adventures, members of the two networks met on March 4th to prepare some discussion topics, to share thoughts on the relevance of internationalization and on the ethics of co-operations. The relentless development of security measures taken, on those days to combat Covid-19 forced some members of the networks to stay at home and in some cases delayed their arrival in Germany.

International cultural cooperation in the dance sector

On March 6th at the Black Box theatre in Gasteig, Laurent Meheust (KLAP Maison pour la danse), Suzy Block (Dansmakers Amsterdam), Kerstin Evert (K3 Tanzplan Hamburg), Marketa Perroud (Tanec Praha), Bettina Masuch (tanzhaus nrw)  with AND+ representatives Jala Adolphus (Independent consultant, Indonesia) and Faith Tan (Singapore) joined forces in presenting the networks and engaged in a conversation facilitated by Roberto Casarotto (CSC Bassano del Grappa) about practices of international cultural cooperation in the dance field. Mitja Bravhar (Kino Siska) supported the documentation of the event.

The aim of this discussion was for EDN and AND+ to exchange perspectives from Europe and Asia on the development of contemporary dance, sharing themes and approaches as well as common challenges. The European Commission was also invited to participate and to discuss the international cultural policies and practices between Europe and Asia.

Jala and Faith presented the AND+ network (a network of people not organizations), its mission and vision, underlining how Asia is very diverse in its cultural landscapes, traditions and approaches to contemporary dance, in the development of venues and centres for live arts. They shared the topics that AND+ is working on:

  • developing artistic practice in dance,
  • defining expectations in residency context,
  • encouraging ethical guidelines for professional practices.

The word “contemporary” in Asia has multiple meanings and interpretation – Faith Tan

EDN was immediately after presented with its activities and project supported by the Creative Europe programme of the EU.

Monica Urian, Creative Europe policy officer at the European Commission, introduced the cultural policies approach explaining the difference between culture relations and culture diplomacy, the approach to decoloniality and the mission to connect with local civil societies, the value in opening dialogues with the EU offices active in other continents. With more than 100 EU delegates are active outside EU, they are the point to cooperate with and to contact when developing transcontinental collaborations. Urian mentioned that dance, as an art form, is still not well known by members of the European Commission. She addressed the importance of bringing its voice to the policy makers, since dance has the most international worldwide value and potentials in activating dialogues.

Internationalization is much more than cultural diplomacy – Faith Tan

The conversation among panelists raised the topic of freedom of movement for artists, its essential value and the need to fight against the closure of borders, and, at the same time, the relevance to work for the local recognition of dance, of dance artists and their works. 

Freedom of movement for artists is key and that we have to fight against closing borders, and that local recognition is not less important as international – Bettina Masuch

When focusing on how to introduce and present artists from Europe to Asia and vice versa, it became clear that we are approaching new ways of programming and designing curatorial initiatives. The in-depth activities which enable deeper dialogues and the exchange of intercultural information are essential to facilitate the contextualization of artists and the presentation of their work, to avoid exoticisms, assumptions and misunderstanding.  Developing long-term dialogues and trust between dance artists, organisations, networks and audiences is also foreseen as a way to activate the processes of intercultural relations.

(It is crucial to) build local processes and not products. Socialization and building a dialogue with foreign artists in local environment are crucial. – Roberto Casarotto

The conversation was followed by questions and answers open to the public, which raised the importance of building more local processes next to the traditional product-based approach, the relevance to acquire and share information about the different contexts that dance may bridge and to practice the shift of perspectives to better understand each other.

About our partners

Tanzplattform Deutschland

From March 4 to 8, 2020 TANZPLATTFORM DEUTSCHLAND took place in Munich.  15 productions were selected by the jury - which consisted of Honne Dohrmann, Gurur Ertem, Ingrida Gerbutavičiūtė, Walter Heun and Anna Mülter - to be presented to a large (inter-)national audience within 5 days. The Platform was attended by 500 registered professional visitors from 45 different countries. More than 150 artists were also present in Munich at this occasion.

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In 2017, representatives of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority initiated a discussion with a group of dance colleagues in Asia about the establishment of a new Asian dance network. Since the initial discussion, successful meetings have held in Hong Kong Jakarta, Indonesia  and Yokohama,  with participating dance professionals agreeing and finalizing the vision, mission and direction for a new network – the Asia Network for Dance (AND+) – to be launched in Hong Kong in May 2018.

The network is steered by a core group: a collective of passionate dance professionals who are committed to connect, to collaborate, to share and to lead the network’s vision and mission. AND+ is not a membership organisation and this network functions without hierarchical structure.

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Creative Europe

Creative Europe is the European Commission's framework programme for support to the culture and audiovisual sectors. Creative Europe's stated aims are to:

  • Help the cultural and creative sectors seize the opportunities of the digital age and globalisation;
  • Enable the sectors to reach their economic potential, contributing to sustainable growth, jobs, and social cohesion;
  • Give Europe's culture and media sectors access to new international opportunities, markets, and audiences.

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Kino Šiška

Centre for Urban Culture

Ljubljana I Slovenia

Tanec Praha

PONEC - dance venue

Prague I Czech Republic
Düsseldorf I Germany


Maison pour la Danse

Marseille I France

K3 Zentrum für Choreographie

Tanzplan Hamburg Kampnagel

Hamburg I Germany

Centro per la Scena Contemporanea

CSC Bassano del Grappa

Bassano del Grappa I Italy