Germany based dance biennale Tanzmesse NRW is an international event marked on the calendars of every dance professional around the world. This year it has broaden its geographic borders and welcomed delegates from 40 different countries. Lithuanian Dance Information Center (LDIC) which organized Lithuanian dance presentation for eleventh time had their booth among 120 other exhibitors. Together with LDIC team, Internationale Tanzmesse NRW was also visited by Contemporary Dance Association members: creators, choreographers, performers Greta Grinevičiūtė and Agnietė Lisičkinaitė, Kaunas delegate Birutė Letukaitė (Kaunas Dance Theater AURA) and Klaipėda representative Agnija Šeiko (Dance Theater PADI DAPI Fish).
Pictures: Dmitrij Matvejev
Lithuanian delegation provided information about Lithuanian dance festivals, dance companies, organizations, individual dance artists and international residency opportunities. One of the most important accents of the visit was Vilnius City Dance Theater Low Air performance, which closed the artistic programme of the fair.
Importance of New Contacts
Especially wide professional and artistic context makes this fair highly influential for the global professional dance market, so it’s no surprise many collaboration ideas and projects were born during its existence. Members of Lithuanian delegation also had a chance to establish new connections directly with representatives of other countries, to present their production and generate fresh ideas for future projects. “I am glad that presentation of Lithuanian dance each time gets more and more attention. LDIC booth to stood out because of both bight design and the number of visitors. More than 100 professionals queuing for extra tickets to the sold out performance Game Over reassures that we are interesting to the world and have something to be proud of. I am also happy that many foreign dance professionals are getting interested in specific artists, follow their creative journey, offer various collaboration projects and asks about possibilities to participate in our Lithuanian Dance Platform.”- says LDIC director Gintarė Masteikaitė.
Starting conversation about Baltic Dance Platform
Information about the work of Latvian Dance Information Center from our neighboring country was also presented in Tanzmesse NRW biennale. It lead to talks about the new collaboration project: „We started a conversation with Tanzmesse NRW council members about an exclusive presentation of the Baltic States dance in 2020. This means that Lithuania together with Latvia and Estonia has a unique opportunity to present their artists in a form of Baltic States dance showcase “- tells Gintarė Masteikaitė and adds that it is definitely a result of long and consistent work in the international networks.
Artistic programme closed by Vilnius City Dance Theater Low Air
This year organizers selected participants for the artistic programme from more than 700 performances. Vilnius City Dance Theater Low Air have been invited to close the artistic programme of this years biennale with their performance Game Over.
This show garnered a lot of attention and was sold out. While some viewers didn’t get a chance to see Game Over at least they got to meet the Low Air team in person. The creators of the performance Airida Gudaitė and Laurynas Žakevičius made their appearance in the fair for a second time. „We were here six years ago – very young, unexperienced, we didn‘t know how to introduce ourselves and we expected to create a quick effect. It took a while to understand that everything needs time. This time we have more experience, we recognized a lot of faces in the fair and those we didn’t know – we attracted with our booth. Tickets to our performance were sold out a month before and we even got a lot of requests for a video of the show. We received a lot of good feedback from the public and professionals in the field of contemporary dance, we found contacts for future plans – an invitation from a producer who’s creating a program for a festival in Cannes. There’s also a Hong Kong based producer interested in us” – the creators of the performance shared their experience.
This year the artistic programme consisted of more than 50 companies and artists from around the world that presented more than 50 performances and almost 60 open studios, works in progress.
“Tanzmesse” dance biennale is organized by North Rhine-Westphalia dance department since 1994. It is the biggest and the most important world-wide meeting uniting dance community. Not only dancers, choreographers and their managers participate here but dance production organizations, agencies, information centers, schools, universities, dance clothing and equipment manufacturers and public authorities who take care of dance arts in various countries as well.
Lithuanian delegation participation in the fair is partly financed by Lithuanian Council for Culture.