About DDC

desrida stage -1

Vision, mission, objectives, and fundamental principles


Derida Dance Center is the first center for contemporary dance and education in Bulgaria, founded in 2010, and functioning through Art Link Foundation. The center has a broad spectrum of activities that fulfill the objectives of the organization, namely to be an instrument for accelerating the development of contemporary dance art in the country by supporting the existing and emerging talents in the field. The main areas in which the center operates are independent dance productions, training and coaching program for Contemporary Dance, international partnerships, residency programs, presentation, and curatorial activities. 


-  To stimulate the creation and the dissemination of contemporary art and culture;

- To increase the knowledge and skills of dancers, choreographers, speakers, and other participants and creators of contemporary performing arts;

- Creation of stage products and programs;

- Creating and conducting workshops for creative interaction of artists;

- To popularize the Bulgarian contemporary performing stage products in the country and abroad;

- To support training and professional development in the field of choreography, contemporary dance, and physical theater;

- To contribute to the enrichment of the cultural life of local communities and to regional development, including cultural tourism;

- To support the activities and performances at home and abroad of artistic teams and related organizations according to their needs;

- To contribute to the development of international cooperation in the study, preservation, presentation, and promotion of contemporary performing arts and cultural heritage. 


Work principles

For 12 years the organization has been building, developing, and rediscovering a set of principles of work through which it achieves its goals:

- Carries out activities for the popularization of contemporary art and culture by managing and developing its own stage space, where it monthly presents independent Bulgarian artists, but also visiting international ones; carries out artistic projects and partners in national and international ones;

- Organizes independently or in cooperation with other organizations and conducts local and international festivals and/or other forms - congresses, conferences, seminars, etc .;

- Organizes workshops for creative interaction and professional development;

- Publishes printed and internet materials to achieve its goals;

- Participates in national and international projects and programs;

- Prepares long-term strategies for the development of contemporary art in Bulgaria;

- Researches contemporary performing arts worldwide and contributes to its enrichment by creating and promoting stage works, productions and co-productions;

- Develops and maintains a communication platform in order to inform about the contemporary performing arts and related activities and events;

- Implements and manages programs for financing individual activities and events;

- Raises funds for the implementation of the Foundation's activities from local, foreign and international funds, organizations, individuals, and legal entities, including through project activities under European and other international programs



Art Link Foundation works in the field of contemporary art and culture (including dance, theater, music, visual arts, contemporary circus, performance, etc.) and their development and promotion. The cultural value of the organization's activities is expressed in its presence in the capital as the only independent stage for contemporary art, which supports, presents and promotes the professional development of independent artists through numerous programs and projects ("Platform 9 3/4”,“ Derida Dance Center Season 20/21 ”,“ Dance PORT Derida", etc.) under partnership conditions. As a cultural operator with many years of experience in the field, Art Link Foundation actively participates in the process of improving the working conditions of the entire independent sector, engaging in numerous meetings, discussions and working groups at the national level, and participates as a partner in consortium of five international organizations (ICK DansAmsterdam, Netherlands; Balletto di Roma, Italy; Polish Dance Theater, Poland; Companhia de danca de Almada, Portugal and Magenta Consultoria Projects, Spain) in the implementation of the project "Up2Dance" (part of Erasmus + European Union), which focuses on improving the mobility, professional recognition and social security of professional profiles in the field of contemporary dance at European level. The overall activities of the organization and the cultural content it promotes are socially engaged, asking questions about environmental issues, violence, social exclusion and cultural diplomacy. The main indicator of the importance of the activities / content for the stakeholders and the audience is the successful policy of the organization to create a community between the audience and artists by organizing various meetings and social events. The international recognition of the organization and its membership in the two largest European platforms for contemporary dance - "Aerowaves - dance across Europe" and "European Dancehouse Network" contributes to the enrichment of the cultural content of the capital by annually giving the audience the opportunity to meet to internationally recognized choreographers, and to artists - to work with such.



Art Link Foundation maintains its own stage space - DERIDA Stage at 32 Tsar Samuil Street, 1000, Sofia.

The DERIDA stage is a completely independent space for contemporary art and culture, whose official opening took place on April 19, 2019. Various dance and theater performances, a contemporary circus, audiovisual performances, photographic and art exhibitions, and social events find their place in the monthly program on the stage. In addition to cultural posters, the stage provides time for rehearsals and training within programs developed by the organization ("Platform 9;"; "Resident program of Derida Dance Center", "Dance PORT Derida", "Derida Dance Center - Season 20-21" etc.), as well as in partnership with other cultural operators from the country and abroad. The space has its own virtual tour, which can be viewed here: https://visiontech.bg/derida/


Links to materials and channels



Oficial pages and profiles on the social media:


-  Website:   www.derida-dance.com

-  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DERIDAstage


-  Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/derida_dance/


-  Vimeo:       https://vimeo.com/deridacompany 

-  Youtube:    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNL6PgElAVTCLhWGMzln5Xw


Links to professional platforms where Derida Dance Center / Фондация "Арт линк" is a partner


-  European Dancehouse Network:     https://www.ednetwork.eu/member/derida-dance-center 

-  Aerowaves - dance across Europe: https://aerowaves.org/partners/ 


-  Movement Research: https://movementresearch.org/programs/exchange-programs/gps;


-  Masdanza: https://www.masdanza.com/english/atanas-maev-2/ 


Links to materials giving information about the organization:


European projects: 


Dancing Histor(y)ies






The project Dancing Histor(y)ies, Binding Communities and Heritage Through Dance, is European project aimed at linking communities and cultural heritage through dance.

Co-financed under the “Creative Europe” program (Project id: 101099222), the project focuses on promoting archaeological sites through performing arts and aims to identify an innovative, effective, and replicable model for the enhancement of cultural sites actively involving local communities in artistic production and conscious heritage enjoyment, also promoting the international circulation of European artists. The project intends to create a common and adaptable general model to be disseminated and exploited at the European level, aiming to combine the material cultural heritage of the sites involved with the immaterial heritage of local communities and their stories, fused together through the creativity of dance.






- https://clashproject.eu/; https://www.facebook.com/clashprojecteu 

- https://www.up2danceproject.eu/; https://www.facebook.com/up2danceproject 

- https://performeurope.eu/distribution-opportunity-detail/p2MF6SLfhJZD97GC0wee




BNR: https://bnr.bg/post/101422333/derida-dens-centar


Creative Europe Bureau in Bulgaria: bit.ly/3iCARe0 


International Arts Manager: https://bit.ly/3aaLlfN 


Jerusalem Post: https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/culture/the-code-for-love-555902 


i24News: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBBxyT7aJGk 


American Dance Abroad: https://americandanceabroad.org/dance-dialogue-focus-on-atanas-maev/


Successful porjects


“CLASH! When classic and contemporary dance collide and new forms emerge” - www.clashproject.eu 


The project "Clash! When classical and contemporary dance collide and new forms are formed ”explores the state of art in Europe with a focus not only on the most established realities in contemporary art, and especially on all institutions that want to implement their projects in the field of contemporary dance and therefore need new codes, production models and public relations. The main goal of the project was to create a co-production international online dance festival, at which each partner would present their original production based on material from a previous study in the course of the project.

“CLASH! When Classical and Contemporary Dance Collapse and New Forms Are Formed ” is an international project funded by the Creative Europe Program in the amount of BGN 388,617.46. It is a co-production between 5 countries and 6 partners - Derida Dance Center (Bulgaria), Balletto di Roma (Italy), Sapienza Universita di Roma (Italy); 420PEOPLE (Czech Republic), Comphania de danca de Almada (Portugal), and Polish Dance Theater (Poland).

The main goals of the project are to promote international mobility of artists and professionals to enable them to collaborate; strengthen the development of new audiences and create a model for improving specific professional roles and skills.


“Derida Dance Center Residency Program” - https://bit.ly/3oy1DIe 

DDC REsidency


“Derida Dance Center Residency Program" is a project that the organization is developing for the eleventh consecutive year. More than 80 international artistic teams and 50 Bulgarian ones have created their performances within it https://ec.europa.eu/assets/eac/culture/policy/cultural-creative-industries/documents/artists-residencies_en.pdf 


“Platform 9 3/4” - https://bit.ly/3AgADzg 

 Platform 9 ¾ ”is a project that is being implemented for the second year in a row, related to the distribution of independent theater productions in the field of experimental theater and its borderline forms, the result of the interaction between different arts. These include drama, puppetry, dance theater, musicals, performative stage forms, circus, visual theater installations, and more. Within the project, 10 performances of teams were selected to be presented on the DERIDA Stage during the year, and at the end of the platform, two of the 10 projects were selected to remain in the monthly program on the stage. The project is aimed at independent teams, both young and established, with the main goal - of creating a platform for the DERIDA Stage, which will present the artists in partnership conditions, which will support and promote their career development.s framework. The model of the residency program was chosen and included as good practice in the handbook for artistic residencies at the European Commission:


Awards and selections

 1. The management model of Derida Dance Center was chosen from 240 examples from around the world and is included as a model for successful cultural entrepreneurship in the textbook for postgraduate qualification "International Arts Entrepreneurship: Innovative Strategies and Cases" (International Cultural Entrepreneurship: Innovative Strategies and Cases) the Canadian book publishing giant Routledge: https://www.routledge.com/International-Entrepreneurship-in-the-Arts/Varbanova/p/book/9781138844353;


2. In 2018, the artistic director of the organization was selected by a 45-member jury from 35 countries as one of the TOP 20 choreographers in Europe within "Aerowaves - dance across Europe" among 637 choreographers;


3. IKAR 2017 award for Contemporary dance and performance with S INNER.


4. In 2016 and 2018, the organization was awarded with Sofia Award for "Bright achievements in culture".;


5. The residency program model is included as a good practice in the handbook for artistic residencies at the European Commission - https://ec.europa.eu/assets/eac/culture/policy/cultural-creative-industries/documents/artists-residencies_en.pdf