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ON THE BLOG: Success for Dance Roads Open Process

Dance Roads Open Process (DROP) has been named one of three UK-led Culture success stories. To celebrate, we found out about the project from lead partner Chapter and project co-ordinator Carole Blade .

What was the thinking behind DROP? 

"Dance Roads Open Process (DROP) aimed to develop and expand the provision currently available to the small-scale contemporary dance sector in Europe. 

“We wanted to reach out, develop new relationships and feel more connected to the wider dance sector across Europe”

"The two-year programme provided practical and artistic tools to enhance choreographic practice, developed an interactive tool mapping European dance networks, and hosted a number of platforms supporting the dialogue and exchange between dance leaders, promoters and artists from a broad range of EU countries." 

What was the final output of DROP?

"DROP culminated in five participating choreographers presenting their newly developed work to audiences in each of the partner venues in Cardiff, Bordeaux, Turin, Arnhem and Montreal, accompanied by workshops, residencies, talks, as well as research projects to support audience development, international dialogue and best practice."

How did the partnership come together?

"The network had been delivering a biennial touring festival, jointly coordinated by each partner country for many years, and had been discussing ways in which we could further support and add value to what we were already doing.

“It was just a matter of when, and taking the time out of our busy schedules to develop a richer and more layerd programme."

"The impetus came when the UK partner, Chapter, was awarded additional funding to develop a new initiative, the Creative Producer for dance programme entitled Coreo Cymru.

"This initiative set up in 2012 was the ideal vehicle to drive the network forward and to help expand reach and opportunities. The fact that the network was approaching its 25th anniversary was another great reason to focus our combined energy and attention to developing a bid for European funding."

Why did you want support from the Culture programme? 

"First and foremost, we wanted to reach out, develop new relationships and feel more connected to the wider dance sector across Europe, providing space and time to the sharing of ideas, approaches and practice. 

"We wanted to offer an environment where we could learn from and be inspired by each other and gain new skills to support career development and international profile, for both the individual artist and for organisations supporting choreographic and audience development." 

What did you gain from being part of the project?

"As organisations, the project gave us opportunity to look beyond our own infrastructure and programme. It gave us time to meet and find out about others, and opportunities to develop new relationships and partnerships. 

"For the artists, it was the spring board towards many new avenues, offering different creative inspiration and new connections for presenting their work, and importantly the confidence to promote their work more widely. This has had a lasting legacy on what we do as a network and as individual organisations."

Image: Choreography by Jasper van Luijik tn

Ani Saunders