Successful First Baltic Dance Platform

The Baltic Dance Platform was introduced for the first time during the recent New Baltic Dance festival. More than 60 international performing arts experts watched dance performances from Baltic States, participated in networking events and meetings with artists in Vilnius.

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Advantages of cooperation

Lithuanian Dance Information Centre (LDIC), Latvian Dance Information Center, Estonian Theater, contemporary dance platform Sõltumatu Tantsu Lava and Lithuanian Cultural Institute decided on this collective project because of important goals – to give quality presentation of the contemporary dance of the Baltic region on the international stage and to promote cooperation, networking, dissemination of information, joint projects and educational activities among the contemporary Baltic dance creators and organizations.

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The organizers of the platform pointed out that one of the main reasons for such close cooperation was the limited visibility of small countries on the international scene. The aim is to attract more attention from international dance institutions and organizations, to be stronger in a competitive international dance market and to present the Baltic region’s dance spectrum. The platform organizers seek long-term cooperation and plan different follow-up activities and projects.

Glasses’n beard photography picture. Presentation of European Dancehouse Network (EDN) iand Global Practice Sharing (GPS)

Baltic dance has been appreciated by more than fifty experts

Sixty-two experts from twenty-five countries in Europe, Asia and North America arrived at the Baltic Dance Platform. It was attended by representatives of organizations and events such as Stockholm Culture Festival, Korslo Theater (Netherlands), Kowloon Cultural District (Hong Kong), Maison pour la danse and La biennale de Lyon (France), Dance house Helsinki, Polish Dance Platform, international dance fair Tanzmesse NRW (Germany), Aerowaves Network and others.

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The limited spaces and finances of the festival dictated the invitation method of foreign guests, all of whom were invited personally, regarding their professional fields, types of work and the international projects they implement. However, this did not stop the message of the first Baltic Dance Platform spreading – 25 additional interested experts had to be sent a negative response and put on future events’ lists.

Glasses’n beard photography picture. Showcase/pitching sessions

During the platform, experts and general audience watched 7 full-time performances from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia; 16 projects were presented on the showcase programme. Platform also hosted networking events and presentations by two international networks: European Dancehouse Network (EDN) and Global Practice Sharing (GPS).

Dmitrijaus Matvejevo picture. Šeiko dance theatre, “Boléro – Extended”

Evaluation and First Results

The first, pilot Baltic dance platform has received great support and appreciation from foreign professionals and all three Baltic dance communities. For most foreign experts, this was the first trip to Lithuania and the first acquaintance with the Baltic dance community. Experts pointed out that they were fascinated by the Baltic artists’ openness and willingness to communicate as well as professional presentation of their work. The organization of the platform and the atmosphere were positively evaluated as well. Meanwhile, the participants of the platform were happy to see the creators from neighboring countries and to learn more about each other.

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The results of the Baltic Dance Platform came immediately after it: Tanzmesse NRW, Europe’s largest dance biennial, invited the platform’s organizers to present the Baltic Dance at the 2020 fair. It is planned that a separate event will be dedicated to the presentation of the Baltic dance.

The same proposal was received from the performing arts biennial CINARS (Canada), as well as negotiations for a wider presentation of the Baltic dance at the IETM (International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts).

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The dance artists who took part in the platform had a unique opportunity to present their work directly to foreign experts, to make new contacts and offer their production to the international market, so there is no doubt that news about projects born during the platform awaits. The first Baltic dance platform has become a successful start for future events – it has been decided to organize it every two years, so the second Baltic dance platform will be held in 2021 in Estonia.

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