EDN's annual online conference brought together artists, dance practitioners and researchers to discuss environmental sustainability in the context of contemporary dance.

How can we move? This question was common thread running through EDN's 2022 activities. The annual online closing event on 14 November 2022, titled "How Can We Move? Ecological Perspectives on Contemporary Dance," joined participants from within and outside the network and the sector, addressed burning issues for the sector and for society and culture more broadly, and presented the results of all annual project activities. 

More than 400 registered participants from 49 different countries around the world had the opportunity to listen to the invited speakers: the choreographer and researcher Mariela Nestora, the dance dramaturge, choreographer, musician and researcher tyroneisaacstuart, the Head of Creative Europe Barbara Gessler, the BIPoC Colombian choreographer, dancer and decolonial curator Martha Hincapié Charry, the choreographer Constanza Macras, the artist Robbie Synge, the choreographer, dancer and director Sasha Waltz, the dance dramaturg and choreographer Monica Gillette, the independent researcher and curator Katarzyna Słoboda, researcher and cultural policy advisor Jordi Baltá Portolés (Trànsit Projectes), the director of Tanec Praha / PONEC - dance venu Yvona Kreuzmannová, representatives of invited networks and platforms Anna Arthur (Administrative Director, Aerowaves), Ása Richardsdóttir (Secretary General, IETM), Eduardo Bonito (Project Manager, Big Pulse Dance Alliance), Marie Le Sourd (Secretary General, On the Move), as well as EDN co-presidents Kerstin Evert (Artistic Director, K3 Tanzplan Hamburg) and Laurent Meheust (Director, Le Gymnase CDCN) and EDN board members Catja Loepfe (Artistic Director, Tanzhaus Zuerich) and Chiara Organtini (Project Manager, Lavanderia a Vapore).

At this occassion, EDN released the research publication "Environmental Sustainability in Contemporary Dance: Emerging Issues, Practices and Recommendations". Both the research and the EDN Conference were part of the EDN Campaign 2022 (read more about the campaign here)

Below you will find the short report, link to the EDN Research Publication, Conference Programme & Contributors biographies, as well as the conference recording.

For more information regarding the EDN Conference 2022 or any other EDN activity, please contact the EDN office.

The conference was organised with support of EDN member Mercat de les Flors and in collaboration with Big Pulse Dance Alliance.


Conference Programme

14 November 2022
9:45 CET (Pre-Film)
10:00 - 13:00 CET (Conference Programme)

09:45 CET: Pre-Film

Video work by Roberto Fassone (Italy) from Jacopo Jenna’s dance piece Some Choreographies

10:00 CET Opening moves & Opening Words

tyroneisaacstuart (choreographer and researcher (UK))  

Kerstin Evert (EDN Co-President, Artistic Director, K3 Tanzplan Hamburg, Germany) and Laurent Meheust (EDN Co-President, Director, Le Gymnase CDCN, France)

Barbara Gessler (Head of Creative Europe)

10:25 CET Artist statement How Can We Move?

Constanza Macras (choreographer, Argentina/Germany)

10:40 CET Break / Bodycare

10:45 CET Presentation of the publication

Jordi Baltá Portolés (researcher, Trànsit Projectes, Spain)

10:55 CET Good Practice »In C« as an example for sustainable touring

Sasha Waltz (choreographer, dancer and director, Germany)

11:00 CET Good Practice

Yvona Kreuzmannová (Director, Tanec Praha / PONEC - dance venue)

11:05 CET Conversation Session

Mariela Nestora (moderator), Jordi Baltá PortolésYvona KreuzmannováSasha Waltz

11:40 CET Break / Bodycare

11:45 CET Statement

Monica Gillette (dance dramaturg and choreographer, US/Germany)

11:50 CET Dance film "Forest Floor" by Julie Cleves & Robbie Synge

11:55 CET Dance film "La Muerte de la Chamana" by Martha Hincapié Charry

12:00 CET How to Move Artistically; the Power of the Narrative

Mariela Nestora (moderator, Greece), Martha Hincapié Charry (BIPoC Colombian choreographer, dancer and decolonial curator, Colombia/Berlin), Robbie Synge (artist, Scotland)

12:35 CET How to Move; concrete proposals

Voices from networks, platforms, projects on how they move or will move in the future

Anna Arthur (Administrative Director, Aerowaves), Ása Richardsdóttir (Secretary General, IETM), Eduardo Bonito (Project Manager, Big Pulse Dance Alliance), Marie Le Sourd (Secretary General, On the Move)

12:45 CET Reflections

Katarzyna Słoboda (independent researcher and curator, Poland)

12:50 CET Ending words

Catja Loepfe (Artistic and Managing Director, Tanzhaus Zürich, Switzerland) and Chiara Organtini (Project Manager, Lavanderia a Vapore, Italy)

12:55 CET Ending moves

tyroneisaacstuart (choreographer and researcher, UK)

13:00 CET End

Biographies (in order of appearance)

© Riccardo Banfi

Roberto Fassone (artist)

Roberto Fassone lives and works between Florence and Pol Sesanne. His research revolves around small adventures, travelogues, lucid dreaming and Prince. In recent years Fassone has exhibited and performed his work on national and international stages. Among others: Visions du Réel, Nyon (2022), 25th Gabrovo Biennial of Humor & Satire in Art, Gabrovo (2022); Mattatoio, Rome (2022); Lo schermo dell'arte, (2021); IIC, Paris (2020); Fanta-MLN, Milan (2019); MAMbo, Bologna (2018); OGR, Turin (2018); Castello di Rivoli, Turin (2017); MOCAK, Krakow (2017); Quadriennale di Roma (2016); AOYS (online), Zkm, Karlsruhe (2015). He's collaborated with Jacopo Jenna, Kasia Fudakowski, Riccardo Banfi, Francesco Fonassi and Mattia Pajè. He's the founder of the publishing house Roi de Coupe.

© Personal Archive

Kerstin Evert (EDN Co-President, K3 – Zentrum für Choreographie)

Kerstin Evert studied Applied Theatre Studies in Gieβen, where she did her doctorate on the theme of “DanceLab-Contemporary Dance and New Technologies”. From 1997 to 2000, she was a doctoral candidate in the post-graduate program “Körper-Inszenierungen” at the Freie Universität Berlin and with Oliver Behnecke founded the production label “Stadt Raum Inszenierung” (Festival ZeitenWende, Gieβen 2000). From 2002 to 2006, she worked as dramaturge at Kampnagel.

Evert founded the choreographic center K3 in Hamburg in August 2006, and has been the director of K3 – Zentrum für Choreographie | Tanzplan Hamburg since then. She works as a lecturer at universities in Berlin, Bern, Gieβen, Hamburg, Frankfurt/Main and Salzburg, among other places, and she is member of several juries and advisory boards.

© Agnès Mellon

Laurent Meheust (EDN Co-President, Le Gymnase / CDCN)

A philosopher by training, Laurent Meheust got involved very early in the world of culture and specialised in supporting artists for the theatre and contemporary music at first, before devoting himself fully to dance. In 2008, he joined the choreographer Michel Kelemenis and took part in the construction of KLAP Maison pour la danse (Marseille / France), working to establish its status in local, national and international professional networks. He develops the artistic residencies and the programmes of the annual festivals. He has been guest lecturer between 2006 and 2019 at the Université de Provence for the License and Masters in Cultural Mediation and in the Art and Cultural Heritage programmes. He joined the Board of directors of EDN / European Dancehouse Network in 2018, was the President in charge between 2019 and 2022, and became Co-President in 2022. In 2022, Laurent Meheust was appointed director of Le Gymnase / CDCN (Roubaix / France), and develops an international project connecting to the residencies program and the two annual festivals.

© European Festival Association Website

Barbara Gessler (Head of Creative Europe)

Born in Belgium in 1964 with German nationality, she lived and studied in Konstanz, Paris, Buenos Aires and later Bruges. Worked in the European Parliament for an MEP before joining the European Commission in 1994. Started in the Directorate General's Unit for Audio-visual Policy, then changed to Environment in 1996. From 1998 until 2003 she worked at the representation of the European Commission in Berlin. During her year of personal leave 2003-2004, she advised the umbrella organisation of German cultural organisations Deutscher Kulturrat on European affairs. She then became Head of the Regional Representation of the Commission in Bonn. In 2009, she returned to Brussels as Head of the Press Unit of the European Economic and Social Committee. From mid-2011 until 2016, she ran the Culture Unit at the Education, Audio-visual and Culture Executive Agency which implements the EU's funding programmes in these areas. Since 2017 she is responsible for the culture sub-programme at Directorate General Education, Youth, Sport and Culture. 

Source: European Festival Association Website (available here)

© John Anthony Thadicaran

tyroneisaacstuart (artist)

tyroneisaacstuart is an East London-born & based interdisciplinary artist. He works with dance, music, and theology as materials for digital and live spaces.

© Thomas Aurin

Constanza Macras (artists)

Constanza Macras was born in Buenos Aires, where she studied dance and fashion design at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA). She continued her dance studies in Amsterdam and at the Merce Cunningham Studio in New York and showed her first own works in Amsterdam. In 1995 Constanza moved to Berlin. In 1997, she founded her first own company, TAMAGOTCHI Y2K, and presented performances that united artists from different disciplines.

In 2003, together with Carmen Mehnert, she founded the company DorkyPark, an interdisciplinary ensemble that works with dance, text, live music and film. The troupe tours all over the world with its more than 25 productions. In 2008, Constanza received the "Goethe-Institut Award" for her piece Hell on Earth. In 2010 she received the "Arts at MIT William L. Abramowitz Residency" at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the German theatre award "Der Faust" for the best choreography for her piece Megalopolis. In June 2021, the expert jury of the Performing Arts Fund awarded the prestigious Tabori Prize 2021 to Constanza Macras/Dorky Park.

© Personal Archive

Mariela Nestora (artist, moderator)

Mariela Nestora works in dance and performance as a choreographer, researcher, co-curator and mentor. Her interest in movement goes back to her studies in Biology (B.Sc.), Human molecular genetics (M.Sc.) and Artistic research (M.A.). Her work is driven by experiments, collaborations and the environmental crisis. Dance and choreography are her way of processing, reflecting and engaging with the world. Mariela is also a teacher of the Feldenkrais method and uses the knowledge of this method in her artistic practise.

© Personal Archive

Jordi Baltà Portolés (researcher)

Jordi Baltà Portolés works as a consultant and researcher at Trànsit Projectes, a cultural management company based in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona. He has particular interest in local cultural policies, the relations between culture and sustainable development, cultural diversity, cultural rights, and the governance of culture. He is also an advisor on culture and sustainable cities at the Committee on Culture of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) and a member of the UNESCO Expert Facility for the implementation of the 2005 Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. He teaches at the Degree in International Relations of Blanquerna – Universitat Ramon Llull (URL) as well as several postgraduate courses. He is a PhD candidate at the universities of Girona and Melbourne.

© André Rival

Sasha Waltz (choreographer, dancer and director)

Sasha Waltz is a choreographer, dancer and director. She studied dance and choreography in Amsterdam and New York. Together with Jochen Sandig she founded the company Sasha Waltz & Guests in 1993 and is cofounder of the Sophiensæle (1996) and the Radialsystem (2006). From 2000-2004 she was a member of the artistic direction of the Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz and in the season 2019/20 she was director of the Berlin State Ballet together with Johannes Öhman. In her current choreographic work Waltz focuses on the condensation of collaborative processes, such as the synchronous development of choreography and music (e.g. »Kreatur«, 2017). In 2021 Sasha Waltz was awarded the French cultural order »Commandeur de l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres«.

© Vaclav Ryba

Yvona Kreuzmannová (Director, Tanec Praha / PONEC - dance venue)

Yvona Kreuzmannová has founded Tanec Praha (NGO) in 1991 after completing her studies at the Dance Department of the Academy of Music and a scholarship in Paris. She is the executive and artistic director running TANEC PRAHA International Dance Festival, PONEC – dance venue and Czech Dance Platform besides many projects supported by Creative Europe and active membership in EU networks (Aerowaves, EDN). From 2006 to 2008 she worked as an advisor to the Minister of Culture of the Czech Republic and she continues to advocate for the arts also as the President of the Czech centre of ITI (International Theatre Institute). 

In 2004 she was awarded by the French President Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite National for her outstanding contribution to the development of European cultural cooperation.

© Personal Archive

Monica Gillette (dance dramaturg, choreographer and facilitator)

Monica Gillette (US/DE) is a dance dramaturg, choreographer and facilitator. After dancing professionally she now shapes innovative projects with dance as a vehicle for social engagement and multigenerational cultural exchange. As a dramaturg she accompanies several European funded projects – Migrant Bodies - Moving Borders (2017-2019), Empowering Dance (2018-2023), Dancing Museums - The Democracy of Beings (2020-2021) and Dance Well (2022-2025).

© Phil Dera

Martha Hincapié Charry (artist)

BIPoC Colombian artist: choreographer, dancer and decolonial curator based in Berlin. Martha studied dance in her home country and completed her dance theatre & solo dance studies at the Folkwang-University Essen under the direction of Pina Bausch and her MA Art in Context at the University of the Arts, UdK Berlin. In 2019 she was a Pina Bausch Fellowship recipient. Her own creations have been invited to festivals and theatres in Europe, Asia and The Americas. She is artistic director of Plataforma/SurReal Festival. In her curatorial practice she reflects on (de)coloniality processes and forms of survival that artists have experienced in their migration to Europe or as part of local utopias. She has been opening up a dialogue space between continents through a transdisciplinary reflection of the human body, where the topics of climate chaos, the relationship between art, humans/non-humans, nature, and the visible with the invisible world find a platform.

© Personal Archive

Robbie Synge (artist)

Robbie Synge lives in Strathspey in the Scottish Highlands where he works slowly with the people, landscape and contexts of this place. He originally studied biology before working in fields of care and education. His work playfully explores connections with materials, objects and human/non-human bodies of our world. Investigating parallels around the wellbeing and restoration of land (rewilding) and the wellbeing of people, his recently completed residency in partnership with Cairngorms Connect and the European Endangered Landscapes Programme was highly commended.

Other current work includes his collaboration with Julie Cleves. Supported by Siobhan Davies Studios CONTINUOUS Network for experimental dance in visual arts spaces, their work To Earth was recently premiered at Nottingham Contemporary (Nottdance, 2022) and will soon be presented at BALTIC in November. Stage works include two presented and touring via the Aerowaves network. Ensemble (2018) is a series of physical interactions between a group of diverse ages 30s – 80s and Douglas (2014) is a solo of interactions with objects. His on-going work prioritises developing encounters between local people and artists in his rural context.

© Jimmy Kowalski (Harmony Art)

Katarzyna Słoboda (curator, researcher)

Katarzyna Słoboda is a curator and researcher. She has a PhD in humanities from the Institute of Art at the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw. Between August 2009 and September 2022 she worked at the Museum of Art in Łódź, where she has curated such exhibitions as You come, we will show you what we do. On dance improvisation (2013, with Sonia Nieśpiałowska-Owczarek), Frames of Reference. Choreography in the Museum (2016, with Mateusz Szymanówka), Moved Bodies. Choreographies of Modernity (2016) or Prototypes 4: Agata Siniarska, Land(slip) (2020) among others. She has (co-)edited and written publications on dance, choreography, contemporary and modern art. A recipient of Grażyna Kulczyk research scholarship in the field of contemporary choreography and Młoda Polska 2018. Guest lecturer at the Institute of Contemporary Culture (University of Łódź). 

© Personal Archive

Catja Loepfe (EDN Board member, Tanzhaus Zürich)

Catja Loepfe was born in Zurich, Switzerland. She studied cultural anthropology, with a focus on theatre anthropology. During her studies she started as a freelance curator for art exhibitions and as organiser of theater and dance workshops for the International Theatre Institute. In 1999 she took over the direction of the Rote Fabrik Fabriktheater in Zurich. From 2007 to 2012 she worked for Gessnerallee Zurich, first as dramaturg responsible for the dance program and in her final year as interim director. In August 2012 she was appointed as director of ZÜRICH TANZT, a three days festival of dance and performances in public space. Besides that she was a member oft he artistic board oft the festival Zürcher Theater Spektakel 2012-2014. Loepfe became the artistic director of Tanzhaus Zürich in August 2014.

© Personal Archive

Chiara Organtini (EDN Board Member, Lavanderia a Vapore)

Chiara Organtini is a curator and project creator with a background in Performing arts studies and Aestethic. Since 2022 she is Project Manager of Lavanderia a Vapore. For 12 years she was part of indisciplinarte an organization that supports arts as an agent for urban change: she contributed to the development of CAOS Centro Arti Opificio Siri, a 6,000 sqm multidisciplinary space based in a former factory in the post industrial city of Terni and to the curation of Terni international performing arts festival. She was involved in European Cooperation project as Miniatures, Dance moves cities, Now and the in INSITU European platform for creation in public space. She collaborated WpZimmer, a residency space for artistic research and development in Antwerp and since 2019 she joined Santarcangelo Festival specifically working on the cooperation project Art Beyond Participation – BE PART.