Departures and Arrivals



[DNA] DEPARTURES AND ARRIVALS is a collaboration between 13 European institutions who are active in the field of contemporary dance. The project is initiated by PARTS, the school for contemporary dance based in Brussels, Belgium. The other partners are production houses, support organisations, theatres and festivals who support and present upcoming choreographers in a variety of contexts.
[DNA] is a project that is active from October 2014 until September 2018. It is the heir of the network Départs, which was active between 2001 and 2014.

The project [DNA] DEPARTURES AND ARRIVALS puts itself in the heart of the field of contemporary dance and the main challenges of its further development and expansion in Europe.


DEPARTURES. The first challenge is education. Guiding young artists, from their dance training to their start in the professional world, is of central importance for the further development of the art form. Old models of art education are not fulfilling anymore, since they tend to separate themselves from the living practice of art. Yet, the desire and the need to pass on and receive advanced knowledge are as strong as ever. New models are incorporating the living practice of artists into the education. [DNA] is dedicated to develop this field further, and more importantly to secure the democratic access to such new educational models, by organising auditions all over Europe and assuring that talented young artists are not hindered by their social/financial background to pursue their dreams and ambitions.

ARRIVALS. The second challenge is entrance into the professional field. The world of contemporary dance can only keep on growing and developing when it can be renewed and challenged by young talent that enters the field. [DNA] gives opportunities to young artists from different parts of Europe to start their career and to sustain it after their first professional experiences. This will help them secure their position and influence the further development of the art form. An overall challenge is the expansion of contemporary dance in general. Although contemporary dance has built up a good reputation in certain countries, this position is not yet secured and vulnerable to changes in cultural politics. In other countries there still is a lot of work to do to increase the recognition of it as an independent art form. In these countries the position of starting choreographers is even more fragile, which the [DNA] project seeks to counter.

ARTISTS. A groups of 6-8 "Focus Artists" will be supported actively over a period of two years. A close dialogue between these artists and the coorganisers will lead to tailored forms of support, in the form of coproduction grants, presentation opportunities, residencies, coaching and so on.  In parallel, [DNA]  invests in the punctual support to a broad group of young choreographers through residencies, presentations, co-productions etcetera. This group of "Panorama artists" are selected by the partners from their local networks, who receive small or larger opportunities to develop, create and present their work in a European context.