The Relevance of Dance

A series of meetings to identify practices highlighting the relevance of dance for society

Exploration of the relevance of dance

DDRC Athens, Dansmakers Amsterdam and Mercat de les Flors worked together in 2015 and 2016 to organize a series of activities focused on the topic from different but linked perspectives.


At the end of 2015, the EDN members met at The Isadora and Raymond Duncan Research Center in Athens (DDRC Athens). They participated in the General Assembly of the association and in a two-day workshop. Coinciding with the meeting, the dancehouse proposed a plan of cross events.


The Atelier The Relevance of Dance took place in March 2016 organized by Dansmakers Amsterdam. It explored how we can make dance more relevant in our society and what dance can do for our society in return, focusing in particular on new audiences, participation and education. The participants were invited to share their thoughts on dance and discuss its accessibility and openness in the light of participation, commitment, interaction and education.


The conference How to make dance relevant? Examples and practices took place in April 2016 in the Catalan town of Olot. Organized by Mercat de les Flors in Barcelona, the conference proposed a community-based working space to generate questions and encourage collective thinking around the topic of relevance.

We present here two elements of the conference:

  • Culture in Sustainable Development: Opening lecture by Jordi Pascual, coordinator of the Agenda 21 cultural process and the Barcelona‚Äôs UCLG Committee on Culture.
  • A Collective Answer: Proyecto Pregunta action in Barcelona to bring the question of relevance to the community

Catalogue of best practices

One of the key outcomes of this conference was the production of the publication of 25 best practices related to the relevance of dance.

Find out more about the methodology and the catalogue here.

The relevance of dance - a topic at the core of EDN activities and reflections for many years

Contemporary choreography is a source of mindful collaboration, of acknowledging and implementing diversity, of horizontal working methodologies and of effective strategies for reflection and research. Over the last 5 years, EDN has looked into the question of the relevance of dance for our current and future society.

Relevance was the focus of three events in 2015-2016 in Athens, Amsterdam and Olot, which you can dive further into below.

Additionally, the relevance of dance is expressed through many of the themes EDN works on:

  • Dance & Audience: from inclusion to communicating dance to different audiences, we take you on a tour of the relevance of dance for society.
  • Dance & Professionals: artistic practices, working conditions - how (and why) are professionals taking part in the dance ecosystem and how do they percieve their involvement?
  • The Ecosystem: all the actors of the contemporary dance ecosystem taken under the loop. What are their practices? How do they conceive their relevance?
  • Politics of Alternatives: dance professionals acknowledge and implement diversity, develop horizontal working methodologies and engage in defining what could be. New models of societal engagement are being proposed in this section.