From dancehouses to dance development organisations.
Inspired by the shifting landscapes in dance, the enriching exchanges, consultations, and the decisive voting at the last General Assembly, EDN is delighted to announce that the network has expanded its focus. We are zooming out from dancehouses and embracing dance development organisations.
With this action, we recognise that we represent different kinds of organisations that contribute to the development of contemporary dance in Europe. Not all of them are building-based, but together we all share the same values and intentions for our sector.
The dancehouse continues to assume its rightful place in the ecology of contemporary dance structures. All structures are important. They provide a ground to root in.
Contemporary dance structures are always under threat. They need to survive on moving ground. Relying heavily on financial subsidies leaves them susceptible to shifts in policy that impact decision-making and makes them vulnerable. In certain European countries and regions, the demand for expanding and constructing dance facilities has not been met with corresponding increases in financial support or policy priorities.
Beyond being mere dance venues, dancehouses are strategically placed to support the dance artform, offering a dedicated space for participation, production, and promotion of dance. They appear to be more empowered and less heavily affected during budget cuts.
The field relies on an equitable collaboration between different types of organisations that are all interdependent: large organisations need smaller ones and all structures need the freelance community.
Contemporary dance structures have to be flexible to stay attuned to the needs of a moving artform. The development of new and diverse spaces for dance is continuously informed by current artistic practices.
EDN continues to advocate for dedicated spaces for dance. Access to dance facilities, social and professional support structures are crucial for providing better working conditions for artists, communities and participants.
A balanced ecosystem thrives when people work together, prioritise collaboration over isolation, ensure that every voice is acknowledged and respected, and when those in positions of authority use their influence to benefit the entire community.
This is EDN in a shared movement towards more sustainable working conditions in the dance field and a more diverse, accessible, and equitable dance ecosystem: a meeting time and place for the interdependent, where centres turn to hubs, houses to spaces, doors are held open and the gatekeepers are making more keys.
Join us for the EDN publication launch: Equity in Working Conditions in Dance and register for our online conference How Can We Move? Creating Equitable Spaces in Contemporary Dance. You can sign up to our monthly newsletter where we open registrations to EDN activities. Or browse through our open access resource page.