Contemporary Dance | Dansa València Festival is combined with a reflection on identity

“I think that determines Valencia dance To be a platform for contemporary Spanish dance. Maria Jose Moratechnical director of festival dance Contemporary dance Valencia, and thus explains what distinguishes the festival, which concludes its thirty-sixth edition this Sunday. What he says is easy to verify: not so much because Programming, which since Wednesday the 19th has occupied the main theater spaces of the Valencian capital, but above all, for what can be seen around the theaters. Numerous and incessant hugs, meetings and conversations between programmers, artists, journalists and other sector agents, all mingled with local and visiting audiences fond of contemporary dance, were the key word for a few days in which tickets for performances were practically sold out and received with great success by the public.

the The bulletin board for the 2023 edition did not include major premieres, But they passed through Valencia some The most prominent names of the current creation Mainly on the national scene. Some companies like the 2018 National Dance Award Anthony Rose which was presented at his Teatro Principal FarsaliyaThey reflected in their works on the human condition.

Others, like Poliana Lima, Luz Arcas, Lampirfecta, El Mucha Mucha, Natalia Fernandez, and Marco da Silva Ferreira They represented the business you were looking for Identity and folklore. There was also room for local talent (Rosa Sanz, Paula Serrano or Mar García and Javi Soler, among others). “We always try to make a schedule so that everyone who comes in gets to see each other The pulse of contemporary creation Spanish,” Mora explains.

Valencia dance Works more or less on purpose like Industry fair. The creators had the opportunity to submit their proposals in two places meeting with programmers and managers, The festival has also started working with international agents to contribute to the international programming of proposals presented at the festival.

Revival of the festival

Make the festival a A real platform for the sector It is one of the endeavors of the current technical director, who has held his position since 2021. Dansa Valencia is a historical festival, But despite the fact that it managed to establish itself as one of the most important areas in the territory of the state, over the years it declined until it almost disappeared due to the lack of commitment of the political leaders at the present time. Maria Jose Mora She was first a festival dancer, then founded her own company – Maria Danza – and later became a cultural director. He was part of the Dansa València team when, in 2021, he participated in the public competition opened by the Valencian Institute of Culture and in which he had to choose the new work project for the festival. And won it. The first year, having just emerged from the worst of the pandemic, he found himself with already closed schedules and budgets. So the 2023 edition is actually his second at the helm.

The comment most mentioned among those who attended the 2023 edition is that The weather has returned to what it was in his best years. Mora had set this goal, to make it a real platform of support and reference, and to achieve this she began working on various initiatives that, after two years, began to bear fruit.

“We live for these days dance partyExplains with a smile the manager attending to Spanish newspaper After completing an activity, present the project to programmers and managers. “But what really interests me is the work of the whole year in two directions: Expand your audience Who attends the festival and dance performances in general and Artist support in its creation and marketing operations.

To achieve the first, it was Dansa València this year The second edition of active excursion programs, activity mediation Directed by a dance journalist and cultural director Sarah Esteller Which is, basically, bringing the audience closer outside the dance area of ​​the performances. “A questionnaire is prepared which is put out to the public and three groups of people of different ages and origins are selected, the context of many of the works presented at the festival is explained, in the workshops, which they later come to see and finally, after the performances, they meet the artists and can ask them or comment on what they think about it,” Esteler explains. For her, she says, this year it is very exciting to see that the faces she met last year have returned to the public this year on her own initiative. “It’s very interesting to see how they decipher the shows and how they test them,” Mora explains, and how a year later they called us to tell us that they were going to watch this or that show. “

In addition to this initiative, the festival is developing Other mediation activities with the public. In the 2023 edition, to name a few, they carried out a workshop during the months of February and March with a group of adolescents at risk of social exclusion, in collaboration with the Per Amor a l’Art Foundation, the results of which can be seen in the days leading up to the festival; So is the workshop/festival I love to dance but I’m terribleor also open to the public, or an activity Contemporary dance for the elderly.

Local motive for dancing

Parallel to the “prom” Mora describes, there is a annual work Launched by his team in the governorate’s municipalities with the aim of linking creative people to local spaces. “What artists always require is space and support to be able to work and that is what we are working on with this programme.” Back to impulses to dance (motive to dance), some kind of action encourages Training of local culture managers In contemporary dance so that they can program this artistic method in their theaters and halls. Last year, six municipalities participated, which this year continued in the program, which has been expanded to 11 municipalities. “I put a lot of trust in the little things, in making a native speaker grow,” says Mora. Programmers learn history, communication, and the highly technical keys to the discipline and give municipal spaces to creators for some time so they can shape their business. With this, the director explains, Revitalizing the relationship between dance and local communities. Then we see each other here on the days of the festival and we work on cementing the relationship.”

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These local networks that the Festival has begun to weave also have a connection in the alliances that the Festival establishes outside the territory, with collaborations such as the Movement Laboratory in the courtyards of three schools (one in Valencia, another in Cadiz and another in El Prat de Llobregat), or the relationship with Graner, the center Establishment of dance and live arts in Barcelona, ​​associated with the Mercat de les Flors.

“I don’t want the festival to grow any further, the festival is more than compact,” Mora emphatically asserts. “We already have a very stable job with programmers, what we want is more agents to get involved and not just the government of Valencia. This is a strategic project for contemporary Spanish dance, but it should also be seen by national institutions in order to be able to talk not only that Spanish dance is spreading in all over the world, but also processes, dwellings, creativity…”

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