Introduction to - a key resource in the French contemporary dance landscape

From March 26th to 27th, 2015, took place the Training for Trainers Atelier at Maison de la Danse. The activity, conducted by Olivier Chervin (Head of Educational Resources in the theatre), aimed at sharing with the EDN members the French experience in the field of preservation and dissemination of video dance. And especially, the Maison de la Danse’s video policy and actions in this context, including the creation and coordination of, the first online video dance library with free access.

The Atelier had the participation of communication professionals from Dansmakers Amsterdam, adc Geneva, tanzhaus nrw Düsseldorf, Dance Gate Lefkosia Cyprus, Mercat de les Flors Barcelona, Tanzquartier Wien and Institut del Teatre Barcelona.

Preservation of video archives in France

The first day, Julie Charrier, a French specialist who was in charge of setting up an audio-visual dance memory, introduced the work that has been done in France on the preservation of video archives since the early 2000s, in the framework of a National digitalization launch by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication. Some of the issues discussed were an invitation to reflect on:

  • How to access existing archives?
  • Which work should we preserve and promote first?
  • How to deal with the evolution of digital technologies?
  • What digitalisation standards and techniques should be used?
  • How should rights issues be managed in order to provide access to these archives? and so on.

After the lunch, the participants were invited to visit the Maison de la Danse, meet the video department’s staff and learn more on Maison’s work on the preservation and dissemination of video archives and the different actions with video conducted with different kinds of audience. The channel was presented as well as its tools such as the catalogue, the collections, the Learn & Understand section.

[…] most important thing is that we can really build a strong community of European people around dance, more than any other art. Because dance uses universal languages that can make people get really close. - an EDN participant

Using video for audience development and engagement

Videos as tool for mediation to other audiences

The second day, in the morning, the participants went to the Bachut Media Library and were invited to work in teams to create a mediation and playlist on around two different thematics focused different audiences: How to introduce performing arts to children? What is performance art? The exercise was followed by a commong sharing of the procedure, the choices…

Lastly, Alice Poncet (coordinator of and Pauline Moulin (in charge of archives management and indexations) focused on technical questions.

I learned what is and why it was called to live. It is really nice to see how in France the forces are joint to create this platform. Learned how to use the platform as a visitor or professional. And also see how important it is to save and publish our dance heritage in this way. Hope we in Holland can also join forces to collaborate in this platform. - Dansmakers Amsterdam