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Manifesto for Artistic Community Dance in Switzerland

 


At an internal round table during the Tanzmehr Bühne together*and*other dance festival 2021, the participating choreographers, group leaders and dancers exchanged their passions, challenges and wishes for artistic community dance in Switzerland. Everyone agreed that we want to stand up together for better working conditions in all regions of Switzerland. This resulted in a Manifesto for artistic community dance in Switzerland, in close collaboration with the network TANZVERMITTLUNG SCHWEIZ. 

 

With the Manifesto we want to inform about artistic community dance in Switzerland and improve its working conditions and promotion.

 

Dance professionals are invited to sign the manifesto on the website of TANZVERMITTLUNG SCHWEIZ. This network promotes the communication of dance as an art form and aims to strengthen broad cultural participation with and through dance as an art form.

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Information on Manifesto download

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Manifesto

 Credo: Dance as an art form should be accessible to all. 

 

1. What is Artistic Community Dance?

By Artistic Community Dance we mean the development of diverse performance projects that give people from different cultural backgrounds, age groups and physical conditions access to dance as an art form. The projects arise from an artistic vision and are usually initiated by dance practitioners, rarely by institutions, which distinguishes them from educationally or socially motivated proposals. The non- professional dancers involved bring their physical expressiveness, their life experiences and their individual movement qualities into the process. The choreographers bring artistic strategies, organizational skills and pedagogical sensitivity to the process.

2. What are the quality characteristics of Artistic Community Dance?

• Participation: central is the cooperation at eye level between professional direction and non- professional dancers, with mutual respect and curiosity.
• Diversity: diversity of the dancing people and their bodies.
• Collective processes: the interests and needs of all participants are given space and considered within the artistic vision.
• Transparency: important artistic decisions are communicated transparently.
• Professionalism: The choreographers are professionally trained dancers with proven choreographic and dramaturgical experience, regardless of the dance style. In addition, they have a high level of pedagogical, social and organizational competence or consult experts for this purpose (i.e. project management, social specialists)

3. Why is Artistic Community Dance important for society?

Art should reflect society and offer new perspectives on relevant issues. Our society is very diverse, multinational and includes people with disabilities. In dance works, the homogenous bodies of young, often white and athletic professional dancers are usually seen on stage. A large percentage of the population is not represented. In order to challenge the dominance of normative bodies (not only) on stage, diverse bodies belong on the dance stage. In Artistic Community Dance projects, more people gain visibility and self-efficacy. A diverse audience is addressed that can identify with the bodies and stories of non-professional dancers and gain an authentic voice through them.

4. What does Artistic Community Dance need?

It needs new strategies, formats, spaces and players to promote non-normative developments in the art of dance. It needs committed dance practitioners with a genuine interest in participation and accessibility. Their work needs time, space and continuity - this requires cooperation partners such as theatres or social institutions and, above all, funding for productions and performance contributions. We recommend specially defined funds for projects that focus on artistic participation.

5. Our goals and adressees

Our goal is to make artistic community dance more visible and strengthen it in Switzerland. We campaign for better working conditions and funding for ACD projects. Through the broad distribution of the manifesto, private and public funding bodies are to be made more sensitive. Workshops and coaching opportunities serve as quality assurance. The manifesto is aimed at representatives of municipal and cantonal cultural policy, those responsible in public and private funding institutions, organizers of dance projects and festivals, choreographers in the field of Artistic Community Dance.

6. Who are we?

We are professional choreographers and dancers who are passionate about creating pieces together with non-professional dancers of all ages, genders and nationalities, regardless of their physical or mental condition. We have chosen to work with non-professional dancers because they challenge our idea of what dance is and inspire us to break new ground.