Event Archive - Details


Third Seminar of the Dance Futures project, Madrid

The third seminar of our European project Dance Futures took place on the 20/21 of March, in Madrid, Spain. The European meeting was followed by a national meeting on the same issue.

This project - Dance Futures: Creating Transition Schemes for Dancers and Promoting Sustainable Mobility in the Dance Sector - focusing on the dance sector addresses two issues: transition - whether it is caused by a personal choice, injury or the age - and mobility within the European boarders. This working seminar was part of the transition component of the project. Organised by FIA and IOTPD - the International Organisation for the Transition of Professional Dancers - the seminar aimed to put in motion the establishment of a transition scheme for professional dancers in Spain by bringing together all the relevant stakeholders to discuss the issue and review the possibilities.

The meeting that took place in the Auditorium of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, gathered more than 60 participants, mainly coming from Spain but also from the Netherlands, France, Germany, the UK and Hungary. The participants were warmly welcomed by Montserrat Iglesias Santos, Director of INAEM; José Carlos Martinez, former Etoile of the Ballet de Paris and current Artistic Director of the Spanish National Company and Margaret Joval, General Secretary of ConARTE. The first morning was dedicated to discussions about the challenges of transition for professional dancers in Spain. It seems that, in order to create a transition scheme for dancers, the Spanish dance sector will have to find solutions to three issues:

- The recognition of dancers' qualifications and their inclusion in the National Qualifications Catalogue;

- The division of the competences between the State and the Regions (Comunidades Autónomas);

- The funding and the structure of the scheme.

During the afternoon, the participants heard testimonies from several dancers, some having had difficult professional transitions at the end of their performing career and others having received the help and support of a foreign transition scheme; including a testimony from Seh Yun Kim, lead dancer of the Spanish National Company. Each of these testimonies was put into perspective with the presentation of a foreign model of transition scheme. The presentations brought many questions from the audience that seemed inspired by the examples.

The second day of the seminar started with an intervention of a Hungarian dancer and choreographer presenting the project underway in his country, one of FIA's target countries in the context of Dance Futures. This presentation gave hope to the panellists discussing the concrete way to establish a transition scheme for Spanish dancers. Many issues and ideas were discussed: Which structure should the scheme take? How to articulate it with the existing administration? How to find fundings? Two members of the Parliament - Rosana Pastor from Podemos and Miguel Lorenzo from PP - finally came to present the text currently discussed in the Congreso de Diputados on the Status of the Artist. They expressed their support for the creation of a transition scheme for professional dancers in Spain.

Even if some strong issues yet have to be solved, it seems that there is now a general understanding in Spain that a transition scheme for professional dancers is a necessity and not a luxury.

The two days national meeting went more deeply on the concrete way to establish a transition scheme.