Updating professional profiles towards contemporary dance

UP2DANCE is supported by the ERASMUS+ Program of the European Union and aims to promote a collaboration exchange of good practices at EU level, in particular regarding the development of specific skills needed for the contemporary dance professions of today and tomorrow. This project is coordinated by Balletto di Roma (Italy), with the collaboration of Derida Dance Center (Bulgaria), Magenta Consultoria (Spain), Polish Dance Theater (Poland), ICK Dans Amsterdam (Netherlands) and Companhia de Dança de Almada (Portugal). 

UP2DANCE seeks to investigate the profound changes that occurred throughout the last 20 years in the field of contemporary dance and to create an overview of the current state of the art at European level. The project draws attention to the imbalances of artistic and societal developments in contemporary dance in the participating countries and envisions possibilities for the harmonization of discrepancies.

Despite the enormous creative force, vitality and resilience of contemporary dance, there is still a long way to go to create the ideal working conditions for meaningful and sustainable artistic growth during all stages of a dance career on national and European levels. In some EU countries, the recognition of professional figures linked to contemporary dance is still scarce and fragmented, with negative consequences for the employability and social security of professionals. At European level, there is no uniformity in training or in the recognition of the necessary skills and characteristics of different dance professions, which can hinder the mobility of professionals in the sector. 

The goal of UP2DANCE is to give a boost towards an EU wide process of harmonizing and updating of the curricula of professional profiles in contemporary dance, aligned with the collectively shared needs of our time and with the specific stages of development of each participating partner country.

More specifically, some of the main challenges that will need to be addressed are:

  • The vision of dance in South-Eastern Europe is still strictly connected with Classical Ballet, which prevents both professionals and audience from being able to make a shift towards embracing contemporary dance languages.
  • The situation in Europe is far from homogeneous: Northern EU countries have almost fully embraced contemporary dance whereas 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.
  • Different countries have differing needs for re-defining curricula and differing agendas for updating training programs in line with the most recent trends.
  • The recognition of the professional dance profiles is still scarce and fragmented, with negative consequences for the EU wide employability of professionals.

As a starting point, the main activity to be carried out will be the organization of round tables with local, regional and national stakeholders, with the aim of detecting the state of the art in recognizing professional roles, occupation, discussing skills and the type of training at different levels, looking for existing gaps and ways to overcome them.


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