360° - Building Strategies for Communication in Contemporary Dance


What are we talking about?

In discussing the slippery concept of an authentic narrative and the even more elusive concept of something as unique as an individual’s artistic fingerprint, many questions were raised. Some of these included:
How do choreographers articulate their practice and what do they want to be co-responsible for?  How do artists make themselves available?  
What is at the heart of their practice, and how can this be expressed beyond their artistic medium? 
How can they define their values and interests? 
How do they deal with and manage expectations? 
How does dialogue sharpen their thinking? 
What is the role of invitation and seduction?
These questions were also asked other dance professionals, such as programmers, creative producers, dramaturges and artistic directors to reflect upon. There was a lot of discussion about how the dialogue between programmer/artist/director and the communication person/department is of vital importance to feed in on an authentic narrative. In addition, we discovered that being clear in what you can offer and what you cannot offer, as well as trust, are traits we all value very much.

What did we learn?

  1. Good communication often starts off from a personal and direct connection.
  2. Common ground is of crucial importance for a communication process to become successful.
  3. Agreeing on and sharing values and principals as well.
  4. Stating the obvious is helpful to not create elephants in the room and to prevent creating false expectations.
  5. Communication is not only verbal, a physical approach can also be as valuable and effective.

This has led us to think that not only does the art form need a vision for the future, but also the individual artist needs a vision and a mission statement, which connects directly to fingerprint and essence and the core of an artistic practice.

What will we do?

Following this work session, we will expand our framing of the project to include questions that are applicable not only for dance artists, but also for programmers, communication people, dramaturges and directors. We will continue to unpack the nuances of the understanding of various terms, and acknowledge that meanings and definitions are not common across all contexts or for all artists.
The information gathered over these days will be implemented in the road maps that we began in Dublin. Who needs to know what, and when and how and which communication tools/means then do we apply. 

What else?

Do we use the words dance and choreography often enough? Are we explicit enough about the value and strength of our art form? Or do we want to explain ourselves maybe just a little too much and by doing so unconsciously undermine the meaning of dance and choreography? Considering politics and the position of dance across Europe, we may have to use these words more often and with more conviction. More about this later!


Alessia Zanchetta (Centro per la Scena Contemporane, Bassano del Grappa)
Elisabetta Bisaro (La Briqueterie - CDC du Val de Marne)
Hazel Hodgins (Dance Ireland)
Janice McAdam (Dance Ireland)
Jeanette Keane (Dance Ireland)
Kerstin Evert (K3 – Zentrum für Choreopraphie | Tanzplan Hamburg)
Kristin de Groot (Dansateliers Rotterdam)
Lody Meijer (Dansateliers Rotterdam)
Merel Heering (Dansateliers Rotterdam)
Peggy Olislaegers (moderator)
Roberto Cassarotto (Centro per la Scena Contemporane, Bassano del Grappa)
Roberto Cinconze (Centro per la Scena Contemporane, Bassano del Grappa)
Mirna Žagar (Croatian Institute for Movement and Dance, Zagreb)

Agnese Rosati (creative producer)
Alexis Vassiliou (Dancehouse  Lemesos)
Cecilia Moisio (choreographer)
Dario Tortorelli (choreographer)
Dave Schwab (programmer City Theatre Rotterdam)
Giulio d’Anna (choreographer)
Hiskia Linnenkamp (marketer)
Joriene Blom (creative producer)
Lana Coporda (choreographer)
Leonie Clement (programmer Festival Cement)
Lisa Wiegel (programmer Brakke Grond)
Rainer Hofmann (programmer Spring performing arts festival )


Dance Ireland is delighted to be part of the six organisations in Europe working on this new project. of 360° - Building Strategies for Communication in Contemporary Dance (BSCD), aims to bridge a gap identified transnationally in the ability of dance artists and makers at all stages of their careers to communicate their work effectively beyond the medium of movement to a wide range of stakeholders.  In order to address this, the partner organisations will share best practices on the topic of communication with international experts through a series of transnational meetings.  The knowledge generated will be captured and shared through an online publication which will be available for free to all.

This initiative involves six partners from across Europe: Centro per la Scena Contemporanea, Bassano Del Grappa;  Dance Ireland, Dublin; La Briqueterie - CDC du Val-de-Marne, Vitry-sur-Seine; K3 – Zentrum für Choreographie, Hamburg; Dansateliers, Rotterdam; Hrvatski institut za pokret i ples, Zagreb and will run from 01 September 2016 – 31 December 2017. 

 Keep up to date with the latest on the project on communicatingdance.eu

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