One week in Dresden

Are we alone with our oddities and weak spots?

What to expect of the Carte Blanche program that EDN network offers at the dancehouses members’ staff? The chance to know directly the reality of other dancehouses. But what can we find outside that we cannot find in our own organisations, in which we develop our professional activity, some since many years and with quite a solid experience?

Actually we find nothing abroad that you do not have in your own house: the same issues on the table, similar organization structures… Well, we all are working at the end with the same raw material, the artistic event, so it is accomplished to find the same elements everywhere: problems, difficulties, objectives, concerns, obsessions… Even the same “tics” and oddities you thought special and unique in your organization. Somewhere I read once related to the fact of travel, that we people go to different places to observe fascinated the same kind of people we ignore at home…

Thus, if we are not going to find the miraculous remedy to our own weak spots, what can we expect of the Carte Blanche? Two things I got from this experience: perspective and creativity to experience a different organization culture. In a word, open-mindedness!

Concerning the issue of the perspective, it is clear that it is easier to take some distance from our own reality when we are abroad. And on taking this distance we discover some kind of familiarity in the issues on the table of each place. Great, we are not alone in our particular shell! We share more values and objectives than expected, giving an important sense of community among us. It is clear that each dancehouse has its own project and a specific local reality, but at the end these are not so different or unconnected not to be able to meet us and share experiences. At all levels.

And above all this experience has been a privilege being able not just to observe, but to feel in the own skin the particular atmosphere of each house. The relations between departments and people, the communication among them, the way they organize the work and the implicit values on it. The particular character of each dancehouse results from all these issues. At this point we must wonder whether what it is useful and successful in one place can also be in another.

This exercise of open-mindedness to which the EDN Carte Blanche invites you is at the end an exercise of analyses and revision of our way of managing our reality. And it appears to us aspects to improve and even change, but also the inspiration, motivation and above all the creativity to do it.

Finally, but not less important, I would really want to express my gratitude and to recognize the effort and generosity to open the house to a foreigner to know your professional reality. Thanks to all the Hellerau team to allow me to wander, observe and above all ask freely about their work during the wonderful week I spent there. And thanks to the EDN team to give me the chance to live this experience. Girls, you are really fantastic!

Míriam Martín
Producer at Mercat de les Flors Barcelona
4 July 2014

Mercat de les Flors

Casa de la Dansa

Barcelona I Spain


European Centre for the Arts

Dresden I Germany