The DanceHouses

EDN recognises the key role that dancehouses play in the local, national and international context for contemporary dance.

At the core of the network

What is a Dance House?

The model of the dancehouse is the cornerstone of EDN. Key component of the contemporary dance infrastructure, a dancehouse has a variety of functions:

  • It presents, promotes and supports international contemporary dance through an annual ongoing programme as its primary purpose.
  • It has a public mandate or mission under an independent artistic direction and professional management promoting diverse artists and aesthetical diversity.
  • It has an ongoing audience and artistic development programme with learning, engagement and participation contributing to access to dance for professionals and the general public.
  • It is regularly engaged with dance and related issues at local and international level.
  • It has facilities for dance research, residency, production and presentation.


The uniqueness of the dancehouse model

EDN recognises the key role that dancehouses play in the local, national and international context for contemporary dance. Dancehouses have four main characteristics:


An eclectic diversity of choreographic voices and languages is the present day reality of the international dance landscape and this diversity is also the best guarantee for audience development.


It tries to incorporate and link together all the parts of the creative chain: education and artist development, production, presentation, audience development.


The development of individual talents, who do not necessarily stay in the same place, is embedded in the development of a lasting landscape.


Resources are used to serve a variety of artists who do not necessarily need to develop a comprehensive infrastructure for themselves.


The development of Dancehouses in Europe

in 2014-2016, EDN reflected on the process that led to the development of the first dancehouses in Europe (in the 1970's). Furthermore, EDN and its members gathered to discuss the need for more dancehouses and the role they play in the European dance ecosystem.

The following pages provide documentation on these reflections, and give space to more insights, video visits and interviews with dancehouses and their founders.

Are dance houses the home of dance? Or do they fullfil another mission? A perspective from East and West Europe in 2019.

Dance House or Dance Home?

In the times of unstable and precarious working conditions, EDN, Kino Šiška and NDA Slovenia organised a panel discussion during CoFestival 2019 to investigate the place of the dancehouses in the dance ecosystem. We took a closer look at different perspectives of existing structures and programs for contemporary dance, while at the same time attempting to think of the dance house as home for everyone inhabiting it. Together we observed different examples and experiences of the invited speakers and also audience, through the lenses of working conditions, artistic perspectives, function of education, international collaboration and the local position of a dance house.

The discussion was moderated by Dragana Alfirević, Nomad Dance Academy. Biljana Tanurovska Kjulavkovski, director of the Lokomotiva Center for New Initiatives in Arts and Culture, Skopje, Macedonia and Eddie Nixon, director of The Place, London shared their views on this question.

You can find the panel in video here below.