The very first step towards EDN, IDEE was proposed by 9 dancehouses working together for the first time as a network. It set out to work with emerging choreographers to help them to make connections across Europe and to contextualise their work for international audiences.
IDEE – Initiatives in Dance through European Exchange was the first cooperation project involving dancehouses, which ran from April 2005 to April 2008 under the leadership of Tanzquartier Wien (Austria). Its aim was to boost the profile of dancehouses and strengthen their position in the cultural-political landscapes, to help dance artists to develop their creative output at pan-European level and to encourage the development of new forms of exchange in dance and performance.
Over the course of three years, 10-15 guest performances were selected and adapted for presentation in a variety of international venues including a working partnership with the local artistic community and parallel activities for contextualisation.
IDEE allowed the dancehouses to create the Carte Blanche model to allow young choreographers and dancers to make new contacts in Europe or enhance existing contacts. Additionally, each year a writer/thinker in residence observed the work in a critical, reflective manner assisting with content and analysing proceedings.
Cork and Oslo hosted conferences -jointly with Vienna- addressing topics of key concern to the dance community in Europe with the cooperation of writers and philosophers.
IDEE demonstrated its ability to act as a Europe-wide lobby for the continued existence, or new establishment, of dancehouses. The cooperation of the dancehouses multiplied their reach: 300 performances by 320 artists were attended by a total of 30.000 people throughout Europe.
Long-term cooperation was initiated with 5 start-up dancehouses located in south eastern Europe and Brazil, with the objective to exchange artistic and organisational experience and best-practice models.
As a result of successful cooperation, it was decided to form EDN, which became a legal association in 2009.
11 EDN partners joined forces in IDEE: adc Geneva (CH), CND Paris (FR), Dansens Hus Oslo (NO), Dansens Hus Stockholm (SE), DDRC Athens (GR), DeVIR/CAPa Faro (PT), Institute for Choreography and Dance - ICD Cork (IE), Mercat de les Flors Barcelona (ES), Tanzhaus NRW Düsseldorf (DE), Tanzquartier Wien (AT), The Place (UK).
Additionally, two non-EDN members were involved: Centrul National al Dansului (Bucharest, RO) and Kanuti Gildi Saal (Tallin, EE).
This project was co-funded by the Culture programme of the European Union.