Chile outreach was a great opportunity to meet Danzalborde festival, to get to know a little more about the contemporary dance scene in Latin-American countries. It was a great pleasure to get in touch with Chile, Santiago and Valparaíso communities, should I underline this very beautiful, colourful and unique city. Beyond the festival official programme, there was also time to visit a few structures devoted to dance around Santiago.

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picture: Denis Adonis

Danzalborde, a festival presenting contemporary dance from different Latin-American nations.

I found Danzalborde to be a very well organized festival. It follows its main objective, to present contemporary dance from different Latin-American nations. The festival suits its presentations to whatever stages are available – either ordinary theatres, streets or neighbourhoods are set to host performances.

The festival face is the city itself. Take a look at the rainbow layered alike houses, built to withstand any quake the Earth can throw them. Unstable, but sustainable. Danzalborde is multi-cultural, but its roots are deep grounded in the Latin-American traditions. The festival sparkles creative breakthroughs. To foreign eyes, as my own, it may look sometimes naive, but always very honest. Most definitely. An outsider, such as me, can only take a limited, quick glimpse. Anyway, Danzalborde organizers were bright and careful enough to choose a diverse and solid sample of what’s going on around that continent. From all I’ve seen on stage, a structural guideline seems to be present. The political, social and economic zeitgeist is often a much underlined background to most creations, as well as a strong sense of community.

Learning from the Latin-American context

I found it to be a privilege to see such a well-organized and outspoken dance festival with an enthusiastic and very involved young audience. There may be, or not (?), an organized network of dance creators. But it really doesn’t seem to matter. They all seem to share the same values, unlike what’s happening today in Europe.

Across the Atlantic, European creativity is on dire straits, longing for ideas, lacking the ability to share them, and loosing itself in the constant yearn for funding and financial support. Ironically, such everyday status only blinds it to what’s happening in the social and political scenery.

If you take some distance in consideration between the two realities, I think the Latin-Amercian scene can teach us how to approach dance in today’s liberal obsessed, production-prone, all about profit Europe that we are living today.

Bilateral meetings and visit of the School of Architecture

Parallel meetings and talks were also a great experience. Both local directors and programmers had the chance to know about the EDN network. I would also like to highlight the seminar with the students of the Valparaíso University Architecture course. They were interested to develop what a dance house should be properly designed. Bringing the festival into the campus was a very smart move I should credit the organizers. A very good example of how separated worlds can easily come together.

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Nave in Santiago de Chile

Additional notes about Santiago de Chile and its dance community

In Santiago de Chile we had the opportunity to feel the pulse of the local contemporary dance community. Nave was a big surprise. It focus on supporting and hosting creators. Seen from an architectural and conceptual point of view, it’s truly outstanding. But most impressive, it is a place artists can really call home. Designed and thought by artists. No detail was left behind.

I’m very interested in a future work with Nave, through partnerships in order to support some of the creators they will receive at there residency center. Being two centers who were born of individual wills, with the same matrix – being alternative and support contemporary dance particularly the one “outside the system” – I think that would be very profitable that we approach and share work and experiences.

Visit to the Architecture School

During the EDN Outreach trip to Chile by invitation of the festival Danzalborde, the network members visited the School of Architecture of the Universidad Técnica Federico Santa Maria. Directors of dancehouses and students shared conversations about the buildings for dance. Also, the piece in process Limites Difusos… was presented.

Take a look at the video of this event.

DeVIR | CAPa

Algarve Centre for Performing arts

Artistic director I José Laginha
Faro I Portugal

Founding member of the association in May 2009

Tanec Praha

PONEC - dance venue

Artistic director I Yvona Kreuzmannová
Prague I Czech Republic

Member since April 2015

STUK

House for Dance, Image and Sound

Artistic director I Steven Vandervelden
Leuven I Belgium

Member since April 2015

Tanzquartier Wien

TQW | Centre for Contemporary Choreography and Performance

Artistic director I Bettina Kogler
Vienna I Austria

Founding member of the association in May 2009

Tanzhaus nrw

Artistic director I Bettina Masuch
Düsseldorf I Germany

Founding member of the association in May 2009

O Espaço do Tempo

Artistic director I Rui Horta
Montemor-o-Novo I Portugal

EDN member since
September 2013

Mercat de les Flors

Casa de la Dansa

Artistic director I Àngels Margarit
Barcelona I Spain

Founding member of the association in May 2009

HELLERAU

European Centre for the Arts

Artistic director I Carena Schlewitt
Dresden I Germany

Founding member of the association in May 2009

Dansens Hus

International Scene of Contemporary Dance / Sweden

Artistic director I Annelie Gardell
Stockholm I Sweden

Founding member of the association in May 2009