Politics of Alternatives

Creating space for solidarity

In an ever changing (geo-political) world, the dance sector has the possibility to connect professionals and audiences, to activate and learn from local contexts, and to support the freedom of movement.

It is often said in the EDN ateliers: Dance is a human right. EDN members take action and engage in solidarity with various local contexts and global developments, as the overview of activities below show.

The missing link

During the festival “Projeto Brasil” in May 2016, HELLERAU organised an Atelier focused on new models of artistic work in the frame of community work an today’s shared economy values. Presentations and discussions presented different models of transnational co-productions and networks.

One of the main themes of the project is perspectivism: How to transform yourself in order to see the world from another perspective? Another key question was a discussion about the differenciation between price and value. This Atelier offered the possibility to invite some key figures from the performing arts from Latin America to Dresden to meet and discuss with EDN members and other networks, sharing practices, similarities and differences.

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Authenticity of expression in the local context

This Atelier organised by Tanec Praha in May 2018 aimed to encourage a deeper knowledge of very diverse contemporary dance scenes in Central Europe and closed post-soviet countries. As Annette van Zwoll reports: "The borders of dance are not the political borders. On this Dance Platform and during the Atelier we came together as a community. But at the same time, we come from different countries, facing different problems, carrying different histories and experiences but also having different tools and means in hand to fight for the human right we believe dance is (...). By leaving space for recognition of ones own traces and for acknowledgement of others – without simplifying or identifying it, and without presenting easy solutions for complex problems – this Atelier reinforced the ground for a common future."

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(c) Hellerau
What to talk about?

Dance in changing Europe and Beyond Europe was the topic of the Forum held at Hellerau - European Center for the Arts (Dresden, Germany) in May 2018. It aimed to discuss the development in contemporary dance globally. But what to talk about when talking about ‘Dance in changing Europe and beyond Europe’?

The forum aims to support ‘a culture shift and systemic change, through partnership, collaboration and shared leadership’. A noble, but broad theme and this breadth is reflected not only in the forum itself, but obviously also in the needs of the participants which comprise a healthy number of artists, as well as presenters, producers, programmers and funders - as Annette van Zwoll reports.

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Practices for body and mind

In October 2018, Dansateliers organised an Atelier in which participants explored strategies for dance professionals and dance institutes to remain vital and constructively critical with regards to their own practice through lectures, working sessions, dialogue, movement classes and performances. How can we take in different perspectives on what we do, in order to remain responsive to, or pro-actively act on the ever changing world we live and work in?

A broader aim was to evoke change in the dance field holistically and to empower individual responsibilities. The atelier doesn’t aim for consensus, but allows disagreement to exist. It wants to gather a multitude of voices, to have a stronger voice as a whole.

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Atelier at Trafo (c) Ofner

Expression of freedom and mobility

Freedom of Expression and Mobility

How to develop an art practice in times of uncertainty? After years of neoliberal policies which have damaged the sector and with right-wing governments gaining ground in Europe? How to create solidarity among the actors within the European dance field, when everyone is struggling to survive? How to create alternative ways of working together in order to respond to the economic and ecological crises?

These urgent and relevant questions were addressed in the EDN atelier on Mobility and Freedom of Expression in January 2019, hosted by the three most important contemporary dance organisations in Budapest – Trafo, SIN arts centre and Workshop foundation.

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La Bête (c) CND
Wake Up!

In times when certain democratic processes seem in crisis, the CND and EDN thought it important to take a global look at Europe and the world so as to understand better the realities of each country in danger and conceive more exactly spaces for international solidarities. Giving a podium for artists and groups committed to struggles which are at once societal, political and intimate seems to us to be the best way to bear witness to today’s artistic realities.

With a focus on Brazil and Europe, so as to grasp better these new issues, and the establishment of solidarity networks.

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