Dear colleagues, dance lovers, friends,
Where to start when writing this end of season little word, so much has happened.
The first thing that of course comes to mind is the fully cancelled rest of season as of March 13th. One would think that would have allowed some rest and peace, but a lot of turbulence came our way. The consequences of the Covid-19 situation were massive and required the ability to adapt of many; dance artists, us, theatres, festivals, programmers and many more. The crisis made crystal clear how dependent the sector is of the independent workers, who saw their income vaporize with all the canceled activities. Luckily the funding bodies were very flexible and emergency measurements from the government helped them to at least have a basic income.
Then in June the advices for the next four year of structural funding were announced. Dansateliers received a negative advice from the National Arts Council, which was countered two weeks later by a very positive advice from the Rotterdam Arts Council to the City of Rotterdam to keep on investing in Dansateliers in the period 2021-2024. Needless to say, this made us very happy.
In the meantime, the Black Lives Matter protests made their voices heard. The protests received a lot of support and made things move. We were also touched and affected by the protests. It’s become clear how vulnerable we are and how much hard work still needs to be done to co-create a society where equal rights are applicable to all. It’s been a time to (anew) come to some realizations. What we will need to do is listen well, observe well, make space, reflect, make our decisions consciously and most of all, keep the dialogue going. Something that we, here in the house tend to practice on a very regular base, also in articulating our own discomfort.
And let’s keep on making (beautiful, relevant, questioning, confronting, mirroring etc.) art! What a bliss it has been to again have dance artists working in our studio’s in a creative process. Searching for the right form and language, processing and questioning their findings. It’s been heartwarming to be able to close of the season with a public sharing, even though it was just a small audience. It was such a pleasure to be able to talk to some of you about FASE by Marta & Kim, which they shared as a work-in-progress in our garden.
Looking back on the period before the crisis we would like to mention the two nominations for the Prize of the Dutch Dance Festival, for which both Marta & Kim and Connor Schumacher were nominated and we do it with a smile on our faces. Same for the selection for the Aerowaves Twenty20 of Panflutes and Paperwork by Ingrid Berger Myhre and Lasse Passage. Or the many standing and cheering ovations when touring Funny, Soft, Happy and the Opposite by Connor Schumacher, who, by the way wasn’t only nominated. He actually received the Prize of the Dutch Dance Festival. As we speak, he is working on the first preparations for Physical Culture 1.5, the work that will be co-financed with the prize. We also had a lovely edition of our annual young makers project One Night’s Dance, with an ambitious and very diverse pallet of young dance artists, who beautifully inaugurated our renewed theatre space.
The recent months are marked by canceled premiers, festivals, residencies and an atelier to which we were very much looking forward to. Practicing Dance Dramaturgy – Learning to learn. Merel Heering and tyroneisaacstuart, who were going to moderate the event, have had conversations in the past few months with the guest speakers who were supposed to contribute to the atelier. We will publicize those conversations after summer, so stay tuned for that. We discovered how even on-(zoom)line movementclasses became very popular, replacing the usual Monday evening get-together movementclasses in our studio. Loïc Perela created a podcast that will make you move by yourself by using his guided improvisation tasks, by now almost a hundred people have bought it. It will again be available from August on, for those of you who might be interested.
In August we will be back and will start up with some parallel projects. Stating the Obvious, a new creation by Ingrid Berger Myhre, Physical Culture 1.5 by Connor Schumacher and Marta & Kim who will continue developing FASE, that will premier as a site-specific work in the program of Festival Circolo in the fall. Quite some premiers ahead so we will keep our fingers crossed to not have the virus interfere again.
Now is the time for zooming out….We wish you a lovely summer and are looking forward to seeing you again somewhere in August!
On behalf of the team,
Kristin de Groot