Conference How to make dance relevant? Examples and practices: program

EDN Conference: How to make dance relevant? Examples and practices
Olot (Spain)
31 March-3 April 2016

The question “How to make dance relevant?” has been a main topic in EDN activities throughout this year. The meeting in Athens and the Atelier in Amsterdam focused on key concepts such as the commitment of dance with the current social and political reality or the need of participation and education to create connections and increase the access to dance of new and bigger audiences.

Previous to this conference, we have carried out a research to look for best practices that focus -some way or another- on relevance. We want to create a catalogue with 25 examples that we will use as working tools during the conference. The best practices have been selected for their ability to inspire. There are no universal recipes: every given context provides a different outcome. In this conference, the perspective of the analysis will change: we will focus on the questions rather than on the results. The questions these projects arise will be analyzed and welcomed as inspiring instruments to extend our point of view.

The program agenda contains working sessions with participative methodologies developed by artists, lectures, project presentations and panel discussions. Local professionals and international guests are invited to participate.

On the same dates of the conference, Olot -a small Catalan town surrounded by extinguished volcanoes- will host the Sismògraf festival. This festival focuses on welfare and connects dance with health, education and community, opening the traditional field of dance to new professionals and collectives, such as people at risk of social exclusion, hospital patients or sports lovers.

As the conference closing activity, we would like to invite you to an inspiring stroll. We will reach a volcano’s crater. We believe it might be a pleasant way to think, imagine and foresee together new perspectives for dance.


Mercat de les Flors and European Dancehouse Network with the complicity of Sismògraf festival.


31 March and 1 April at Hotel Vall de Bas (Hotel located in a small village near Olot.
2 April at Casino Olotí (Carrer de l’Escultor Miquel Blay, 6bis, Olot).
3 April we will walk to a volcano.

Fee: 30 € (1 day) / 45 € (2 days). Please notice that this fee is to cover the meals. The EDN office will invoice the participants.

Registration form:  

Deadline: 21st March

Please, notice that EDN is not managing the registration to the festival or the tickets for the shows included in the program.


Thursday 31 March

18:30 h. Conference welcome speech.
At Hotel Vall de Bas.

18:35 – 19:30 h. Lecture. The role of culture in sustainable development. What are the main “narratives” that relate these two concepts? Can the narratives be “operational” with specific policies and programmes? What are the main institutional frames on “culture in sustainable development”?. By Jordi Pascual.
At Hotel Vall de Bas.

Friday 1 April

10:00 – 10:15 h. Introduction to the Catalogue 25 examples and practices, a picture of today’s questions about Relevance on Dance designed for the Conference after an open research process. By Steriani Tsintziloni and Mònica Pérez.
At Hotel Vall de Bas.

10:15 – 13:00 h. Working session 1: Overview. By the artist Quim Bigas.
At Hotel Vall de Bas.

13:00 h. Lunch.
At Hotel Vall de Bas.

15:00 – 17:30 h. Working session 2: Questions. By Proyecto Pregunta.
At Hotel Vall de Bas.

17:30 – 18:00 h. Coffee Break.

18:00 – 19:00 h. #MA140 – (M)irar al (A)rte en Twitter (140) – Watching Art through Twitter. Artisic lesson about the performance Siena by La Veronal. By Miquel del Pozo.
At Hotel Vall de Bas.

* You can see the session on a big screen and also follow it on Twitter (#sismo140).

Saturday 2 April

15:00 – 16:30 h. Coffee & Library. An open invitation to discover different documents and materials of the projecs included in the Catalogue.
At Casino Olotí.

Some of them are:

– MOV-S Chile 2015: Importancia de la Sociedad Civil organizada y su incidencia en la Política Pública. Organized by NAVE (Chile) and Mercat de les Flors (Spain).

– Institutions, Politics, Performance. Organized by Gigi Argyropoulou & Hypatia Vourloumis (Green Park, Athens).

16:30 – 18:30 h. Accessibility, Participation, Empowerment. An invitation to discuss about the 3 keywords of current cultural projects.
At Casino Olotí.

Presentations of 4 best practices. Moderators: Steriani Tsintziloni and Mònica Pérez.

– BeSpectACTive! By Lluís Bonet (University of Barcelona) and Yvonna Kreuzmannová (Tanec Praha).

– Moving Futures. By Suzy Blok (Dansmakers Amsterdam).

– Deltebre Dansa. By Roberto Olivan (artistic director).

– Eines del Dan Dan Dansa/CaixaEscena. By Xavier Erra (CaixaEscena) and Montserrat Ismael (Mercat de les Flors).

Sunday 3 April

10:30 – 11:30 h. Walking to the top of the volcano. By Fundación Collado-Van Hoerstenberghe (comfortable shoes are recommended).


The role of culture in sustainable development • Jordi Pasqual

Jordi Pascual coordinates the process Agenda 21 for culture and the Committee on Culture of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) on behalf of the City of Barcelona. He teaches urban cultural policies and management at the Open University of Catalonia (UOC) and has previously worked for the Interarts Foundation and the Autonomous University of Barcelona. He often writes articles on cultural policies and local development and gives conferences on the role of culture in sustainable development. He has been a member of the jury of the European Capital of Culture for 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2016. His recent publications include Culture and Sustainable Development: Examples of institutional innovation and proposals for a new cultural policy profile (UCLG-UNESCO) and On Citizen Participation in Local Cultural Policy Development for European Cities (European Cultural Foundation).

Catalogue and methodology • Mònica Pérez and Steriani Tsintziloni

Mònica Pérez works as a free-lance designer and producer for contemporary performing arts projects that are usually related with pedagogy, critical analysis, contemporary thinking or social issues. Her main concerns are the developing of new approaches to the performance practice and the international context for cultural management. Her profile combines Arts and Business education: Graduated in Business Administration and Management from the University of Valencia, with Marketing specialization and Bachelor of Dramatic Art from the ESAD (Valencia).  Master in Cultural Management, specialized in performing arts production, by Fundacion Universitat-Empresa from Valencia University (UV).

Steriani Tsintziloni is a dance researcher and historian based in Athens. A former dancer and ballet teacher, she completed her PhD at Roehampton University. She works as a Dance History Teacher in professional dance institutions in Greece and as a research collaborator in several artistic, educational and interdisciplinary projects.  She presents her research, in different formats (academic presentations, papers, lecture-performances) in different contexts in Europe.

Working session 1: Overview • Quim Bigas

Based on linguistic analysis and labeling methodologies, Quim proposes a selection of key words and conceptual links among the different practices to co-create, with all participants, a global picture of the Catalogue. This working session wants to be a presentation of the cases chosen for the Catalogue as well as a trigger for the rest of the Conference. We will start with the classification and indexation of each and every case. The material of these cases will be our departure point. Together, we will generate a possible overview of all those cases which might represent and give visibility to the current moment of the dance field in relation to its will for action and affecting other spheres than its own. The overview, as well as some of the thoughts we will share during the session, will hopefully be useful for the rest of the journey and might bring a broader idea of the kind of European context we are engendering.

Quim Bigas co-works with choreography, dramaturgy and information science. Graduated as Major in Dance and Post-Graduate Artists in Residency at SEAD (Salzburg) and Guest Student at School for New Dance Development- SNDO (Amsterdam). Currently he is studying a BA on Information and Documentation at Open University of Catalunya and is engaged as a MA student on New Performative Practices at UNIARTS- DOCH (Stockholm). He lives between Copenhagen, Barcelona and Stockholm where he develops his own work, as well as collaborating with other artists.

Working session 2: Questions • Proyecto Pregunta

What would you ask to dance? What would you ask to your body? What would you ask to the cultural institutions? These are the 3 trigger queries to collect questions on the streets of Barcelona and Olot during the previous days to the Conference. In this session the collected questions will be analyzed and compared to the ones from the Catalogue and the previous research. 20 questions will be selected and exposed in Olot main street during Sismògraf.

Proyecto Pregunta is a civic participation device centered on the collective generation, visualization and viralization of debates on the public space. Its ultimate goal is to activate territories and communities through the collective generation of knowledge, designed by Mil M2 Team.

Mil M2 is a production and cultural management platform for temporary use projects. It has managed more than 100 events, among them, it’s worth mentioning the 2nd National Summit on New Media, and the co-curating of more than 20 visual art exhibitions and 18 performance arts projects including performance, dance and theater. In 2015 Mil M2 won the national award for cultural innovation.

Pedro Sepúlveda works as Program and Creative director for Mil M2 since January 2013. He has approached cultural production from different vantage points, working in the public sector, the private sector and as part of social organizations. His work as a cultural manager started with the MONOLOGS Project, a Global Lab for Video and Monologs, an urban intervention performed in Santiago de Chile and Galatina in Italy. The project, commissioned by Chile’s Foreign Office Cultural Department (DIRAC), received an award by the Instituto Ítalo Latinoamericano (IILA). He also worked as a manager and producer for the National Congress Bicentennial Celebrations, developing multiple projects, including the Future Summit (Valparaíso), and as Director of Open Congress Program. Over the last years, he has designed and produced different installations and urban interventions, both in public spaces and in cultural institutions.

#MA 140 – (M)irar al (A)rte en Twitter (140) – Watching Art through Twitter • Miquel del Pozo

Miquel del Pozo Puig is an architect. The first Sunday of every month at 22:00, he offers an art class-conference on Twitter to more than 9.000 followers through #MA140.

Best practice: BeSpectACTive! • Lluís Bonet and Yvonna Kreuzmannova

Be SpectACTive! is a European project based on audience development, involving some of the most innovative European organizations working on active spectatorship in contemporary performing arts. Its members are European festivals, theatres, universities and a research center.

Lluís Bonet is a professor specialized in cultural economics, cultural policies and arts management. Coordinator of the Master of Cultural Management at Universitat de Barcelona.

Yvona Kreuzmannová is the President of Tanec Praha, a non-governmental, non-profit organization founded in 1991.

Best practice: Moving Futures • Suzy Blok

Moving Futures is a traveling festival with works of emerging choreographers. Dancemakers who dare to touch upon societal issues and look for a common ground between dance, human behavior, philosophy and science. In 2016 Moving Futures festival will travel to 10 cities in the Netherlands.

Suzy Blok is the artistic and general director of Dansmakers Amsterdam.

Best practice: Deltebre Dansa • Roberto Olivan

Festival Deltebre Dansa is a pioneering event that aims to bring contemporary art -in all its various disciplines/forms- into the local community of Deltebre. Directed by Roberto Olivan, the festival offers performances as well as a program of workshops, social integration examples to dance and circus artists. Each year the programme shifts, expands and becomes stronger as we develop and innovate the form of the festival, searching for new ways of involving the local area and its citizens.

Roberto Olivan is a performer, choreographer and artistic director of Enclave arts del moviment and the artistic director of Deltebre Dansa.

Best practice: Digital Suitcase • Xavier Erra and Montserrat Ismael

Didactic resource developed by Mercat de les Flors and Obra Social La Caixa. Its aim is to promote a bigger presence of dance in the schools. It would be available online for all the educative community. It will be presented in September 2016.

Xavier Erra is the artistic and pedagogic coordinator of CaixaEscena.

Montserrat Ismael is the coordinator of the Educational Programmes at Mercat de les Flors and Graner. ·

Walking to the top of the volcano • Fundación Collado-Van Hoestenberghe

We invite you travel with us. A travel without program or project, but with a load. The load of a shared existence. We propose a common exercise: walking. Walking to think about the questions that are moving our bodies, but also, to put our bodies in the common experience magma. Where will our movement arrive? With this experience Collado- Van Hoestenberghe Foundation in collaboration with David Perez, want to share some of their practices and questions that feed their latest pieces.

In 2007 Barbara Van Hoestenberghe and Ernesto Collado create the Fundación Collado-Van Hoestenberghe, an independent laboratory and self-managed scenic creation collective based in Pontós, a small village in the Alt Empordà. In Fundación Collado-Van Hoestenberghe we believe in a critical optimism based on creativity with the aim to create spaces of resistance. It is optimistic because invents questions and suggests new paths but without ignoring reality which never fails to fascinate us. Our shows celebrate contradiction and human complexity. Our goal is to create spaces for thinking together with the audience.