From November 28th till December 1st an EDN Encounter took place in Montreal, Canada bringing together EDN members with their peers from the CanDance Network. The Rencontres in Montreal at L’Agora de la Danse focused on how a dance house and/or institution mediates between artists and their audiences/communities.
Exploring the link between the dancehouse, the artists and the communities
The occasion for this Encounter was the recent opening of the Wilder Space for Dance, an impressive seven stories renovation project in the center of Montreal that offers space to four of the major, local dance organizations, Agora de la Danse and Tangente, the Montreal school for contemporary dance and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens.
The four-day meeting was focused on the following topic: how does a dance house/institution mediate between artists and their audiences/communities?
Participants discussed amongst other the differences and similarities between the European and Canadian dance organizations; the opportunities and challenges of the growing networks; the role of the (artistic) curator in the triangle artist, dance house and public and it ended with a first braimstorm how future co-operations between Europe and Canada can be developed.
Mutual responsibilities and wishes from artists and dancehouses
During the 3rd day, the key triangle of artist - house - audience was discussed. Dena Davida, founder and curator of Tangente gave an introductory statement about the importance of artistic curation in dance/live arts. Angels Margarit, director of Mercat del Flors and Andrew Tay, curator of Choreographic Centre O Vertigo gave examples of how their own visions as artists inspired their curatorial practices.
But the most thought provoking statement came from Mélanie Demers, who as associate artist of L’Agora de la Danse addressed the central question of the day: What are the artists’ and houses’ mutual responsibilities and wishes? In her contribution, she ends with a plea for a love triangle:
“You have an enthusiastic audience, that through the care of the presenter, would show support and interests in the potential failure of the artist.” - Mélanie Demers
You can access the full contribution of Mélanie Demers here.
Highlights by Guy Cools
Exchanging knowledge, keeping creation at the heart of all our actions.
I was asked to moderate the meeting and over the four days, I took note of some of the following statements or questions:
At the end of the meeting, invitations were exchanged to continue the intercontinental dialogue and to make it available not only to the directors, but also to other staff members, independent curators and the artists.
Montréal, December 2017