UP2DANCE Updating professional profiles towards contemporary dance

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UP2DANCE project seeks to investigate the profound changes occurred in the system of contemporary dance in the last 20 years, which can be considered a “revolution” that still affects the entire world of dance.


 Dance companies willing to differentiate their offer face numerous challenges, but the main ones are:
• The needs of a re-definition of curricula and general update of training programs in accordance with the most recent trends;
• The vision of dance in South-Eastern Europe is still strictly connected with the classical ballet, thus preventing both professionals and audience from a real shift to contemporary dance languages;
• Professional working in the field must cope with new languages and methodologies that are often not fitting with their traditional training;
• The situation in Europe is not homogeneous at all: Northern EU countries have almost fully embraced contemporaneity and are now drawing the change, in South-eastern Europe these new languages and approaches still lack a proper diffusion in the vocational training programs and have not led to the definition of new curricula yet. 
• Vocational training courses are still based on obsolete programs and models designed for other sectors. As a result, the recognition of professional figures is still scarce and fragmented, with negative consequences for professionals’ employability.
With all that being said, UP2DANCE aims to support the modernization of education and training systems, in particular through better use of EU transparency and recognition tools and the exchange of good practices concerning the dance industry at European level, in order to boost the process of harmonization and update of curricula of the professional profiles according to the requirements of the contemporary scenario.
The project is supported by the ERASMUS+ Program of the European Union and is being realized in 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) and was launched with a meeting in Poland (January 15th - 18th 2020).
The kick-off meeting started with presenting all the partners and their organizations along with the main activities related to the training programs they have been running, as well as presenting the project itself.
As a result of discussion and brainstorming, the following conclusions were made:
• Contemporary dance lowers the barriers among practices and roles and thus provokes the need for new definitions in connection to describing new roles.
• The main objective of UP2DANCE project is to promote the collaboration exchange of good practices at the EU level, in particular regarding the development of specific skills for today and tomorrow's contemporary dance professions.
The main activity to be undertaken would be the conduction of 6 round tables which are foreseen with local, regional or national stakeholders aiming to detect the state of the art on the recognition of roles, discuss the competences and the type of training at different levels, discover gaps and make a comparative analysis.
Based on the discussions, the partners deepened the reflection and came to the following shared definition: The main objective of UP2DANCE project is to promote the collaboration exchange of good practices at the EU level, in particular regarding the development of specific skill for today and tomorrow contemporary dance professions.