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UP2DANCE Project - Launch of the round tables

Round tables Press Release

Launch of the round tables

Following the successful development of a strategy in regards to organizing round tables on the topics of the professional dance profiles, namely Dancer, Dance Teacher, Choreographer, and Rehearsal Director, the realization of the UP2DANCE Project proceeded with their launch.

The first round table organized by Companhia de Dança de Almada, Portugal, was on the professional profile of the Dancer with the name: “Professionalization of the Dancer: The role of Schools of Artistic Training Specialized in Dance”. It was held on 22nd July 2020 on Zoom from 18 h to 20 h. The table was moderated by Ana Macara and counted on the active participation of Susana Rodrigues (Ana Mangericão Dance School); Madalena Xavier (Escola Superior de Dança); Albino Moura (Lugar Presente - Escola de Dança); Cristina Pereira (Dance Art School of the National Conservatory); Carla Albuquerque (Ca.DA Escola). Representatives of professional associations who can contribute to this process were also invited: Iolanda Rodrigues (1st Position Association); Pedro Fidalgo Marques (Pro-association of dance professionals); Administration, teaching staff, and dancers of Ca.DA school, and selected dance professionals. The target group of this round table was the administration, teaching staff, and dancers of Ca.DA school, and selected dance professionals. Everyone saluted the organization of the meeting which brought into contact several institutions that work for the same purpose but which are usually not very much connected, wishing it will start good possibilities of collaboration for the future.

Companhia de Dança de Almada organized their second round table on the profile of the Dance teacher. It was held under the name “Classical and Contemporary Dance: The role of the dance teacher” on October 3rd. The approached topics included: fundamental knowledge, techniques, and skills for practicing the profession of classical or contemporary dance teacher today; the role and existing difficulties in the training of teachers in the dance area; training models for dance teachers; recognition of the profession of dance teacher and regulation on the necessary qualifications for teaching. 

The 3rd round table lead by Companhia de Dança de Almada on the profile of Rehearsal Director / Repetiteur was held on October 7th under the name “The role of the rehearsal director/repetiteur in the dance company: Relationship with choreographers and dancers”. The addressed topic included: basic knowledge, techniques, and skills for the exercise of the profession; role and difficulties in exercising the profession of rehearsal director/repetiteur in dance; recognition of the profession.

The next partner to implement the round tables in their activity was Polish Dance Theatre (Poland). They focused on the professional profile of the choreographer and set the name: "Choreographer vs. Polish Dance Institutional and Educational Environment." The aim was to present different points of view of professionals that have experience and knowledge in the field.

A choreographer profile is not described precisely in the Polish Qualification Framework. Many recognizable choreographers don’t have a title given by universities but they have great experience and portfolio.

Polish Dance Theatre invited to the round tables people from the public institutions as well as freelancers and those who have chosen different paths for their careers. 

"Dancer-Teacher: role, competencies, professional development opportunities" is the second round table that will be held by  Polish Dance Theatre on October 22nd. According to them, Dancer Teacher is a very important profile but underrepresented at the higher education level. Still, there is a limited number of universities that teach dance and hiring dancer-teachers in Poland. What we can do to make this profile to be more appreciated and recognizable is the leading question of discussion.

In these round tables, ICK Dans Amsterdam, on the other hand, aimed to map and identify some of the current needs related to each profile on both artistic and socio-political levels. ICK wishes to activate a field of discourse about the ideal dancer, the ideal dance teacher, the ideal rehearsal director, and the ideal working conditions for the further evolution of contemporary dance in the NL, as it is imagined and practiced by the different players in the field.

In line with the dance research at ICK Academy on vocabulary development through dance (an)notation, documentation, and knowledge transmission, they also aim to cultivate a discourse about the verbal articulation of the tacit, unspoken, and mostly yet unrecognized knowledge of dance. ICK wants to evaluate the potentials of this knowledge in relation to the collectively shared challenge of the Corona crisis, the high mobility of securities triggered by it, and in relation to the future of dance. 

On September 22nd, ICK dans Amsterdam hosted their second roundtable on the profile of the Dance Teacher. Statements about the ideal profiles proposed by the participants of the roundtables were the departure point for the discussion. The vocabularies used in these statements were compared with each other and in relation to the competencies articulated in the Dutch Beroeps- en Opleidingprofiel Dans (2017)[1] (Professional and Educational Profile Dance), as well as in relation to other relevant sources contributed by the participants. 

On September 29th ICK dans Amsterdam conducted their third roundtable on the profile of the Rehearsal Director. They invited dancers, dance teachers, artistic directors, policymakers, choreographers, rehearsal directors, and educational policymakers to participate in the roundtable. For the rehearsal director, they had a choreographer who also has experience as a rehearsal director, Artistic coordinator Academy, researcher, and ICK production manager. Because of the low response in the field, they will try to set up more 1 on 1 conversation in the near future.

The organization and holding of round tables in Bulgaria - Derida Dance Center and Italy - Balletto di Roma is forthcoming.

The UP2DANCE project –a collaboration between Balletto di Roma (Italy), Derida Dance Center (Bulgaria), Magenta Consultoria (Spain), Polish Dance Theatre (Poland), ICK (Netherlands), and Companhia de Dança de Almada (Portugal), with the support of Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, will carry on with implementing the round tables in all partner organizations, as well as with creating a public report on the results of the discussions made.

For more information and updates, please follow the Facebook page of the project - @up2danceproject

Photo: Alwin Poiana

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