Lithuania Represented in an International Dance Market
From the 27th until the 30th of August Düsseldorf City in Germany welcomed the 11th edition of the acclaimed International Dance Market INTERNATIONALE TANZMESSE NRW. Thanks to the initiative of the Lithuanian Dance Information Centre, Lithuania was one of the 40 exhibiting countries. In addition to this, the crowd of dance professionals in Tanzmesse had the chance to see Waiting for Godot, a dance performance by the choreographer Martynas Rimeikis from the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre.
NRW Forum - Tanzmesse venue. Photo Dmitrijus Matvejevas.
NRW Forum - Tanzmesse venue. Photo Dmitrijus Matvejevas.
Lithuania represented in Düsseldorf
Lithuania was very present in Tanzmesse this year, not only through the exhibition booth and the performance of Rimeikis, but also thanks to the image of the dancer – choreographer Ugne Dievaityte, a Lithuanian residing in Spain for some years now. Dievaityte was chosen for this year’s visual material of Tanzmesse. Another pleasant fact was that Dmitrijus Matvejevas, the most famous dance and theatre photographer in Lithuania, was assigned as the official photographer of the fair.
It has been also the 10th anniversary for Lithuania to be represented at Internationale Tanzmesse NRW. This year, many dance companies and organizations from Lithuania took part in the national delegation, such as Menų spaustuvė / Arts Printing House, the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre, Arts agency Artscape, the Contemporary Dance Association, Artists Group Fish Eye, AURA Dance Theatre, the Urban Dance Theatre "Low Air", Vytis Jankauskas Dance Company, Dansema Dance Theatre, the Baltic Ballet Theatre and the National M.K. Čiurlionis School of Art. The dance critic, Ingrida Gerbutaviciute joined the delegation as well as the audiovisual artists Julijonas Urbonas and Akvile Eglinskaite, who presented their experimental art project Gravity.
Ukraine in the Lithuanian booth
For the first time in almost twenty years Lithuania presented Ukrainian dance in the dance fair by inviting to its booth the Independent Performance Group TanzLaboratorium and the International Contemporary Dance Festival "Zelyonka-Fest", both from Kiev. Anton Ovchinikov, head of Zelyonka-Fest, summarized the impressions and experiences of the Ukrainians in the biggest and the busiest dance marketplace in a world saying: “It is the first time we are able to network, meet dance professionals, exchange our experiences and contacts. It used to be much more difficult before. We had many personal meetings with agencies, festivals, and dance companies here in Düsseldorf. It was a great experience, and it will help us to follow up on our development strategies, collaborate with the European dance scene and examine the possibilities to give a bigger exposure in Europe to Ukrainian Contemporary Dance professionals. These several days were incredibly rich and intense; we have so much information now that we’ve been thinking to establish a national dance information centre in order to spread the word about the contemporary dance scene to our compatriots.”
A part of Lituanian and Ukrainian delegation at Tanzmesse NRW. Photo Dmitrijus Matvejevas.
A part of Lituanian and Ukrainian delegation at Tanzmesse NRW. Photo Dmitrijus Matvejevas.
Networking as an important development tool
According to the head of the Lithuanian Dance Information Centre, Audronis Imbrasas, taking part in such a huge and professional market is crucial for the development of the contemporary dance scene in Lithuania and in the whole world. During the last twenty years a tremendous amount of collaborative projects between two or more countries was born in Internationale Tazmesse, part of them were accessible for the Lithuanian audience in different festivals in the country. This Market is also an important platform for Lithuanian dance professionals to meet their colleagues, create together and showcase in different places around the globe.
One of the trends that attracted Mr. Imbrasas in this year’s Market was the geographical variety and a different perception of political boundaries and borders. According to Imbrasas, next to the booths of big countries such as USA, Canada, Taiwan, Belgium, Spain, Italy etc., there were booths presenting the dance scene of specific regions in a country, such as the Southeast of UK, Loire-Atlantique in France and others. On the other hand, some joint booths were present like the Scandinavian and the Slovak-Czech.
Birute Letukaite, the artistic director at AURA Dance Theatre was happy to be part of the Lithuanian delegation and to see such popularity of the Lithuanian booth at the marketplace. According to her, the main goals in such markets are personal contacts, outreach and networking. These components are important in getting to know potential partners and building efficient communication with them.
Facts and figures
This year, the marketplace offered 165 booths presenting more than 400 different dance organizations from all over the world. Besides this, more than 60 dance groups performed on 11 stages; 3 world and 15 national premiers took place.
Internationale Tanzmesse NRW, organized by the Dance Bureau in North-Rhine Westphalia, is the largest and the most important meeting point in the world for dance professionals, producers, dance schools and universities, information centres and agencies.