Seven Days of Winter by CaDa – AD workshop 2

ön 6th of March, 2020, Companhia de Danca de Almada premiered “Seven Days of Winter”, the first of their creations in the year in which the company celebrates 30 years. The speakers who were presented during the event, were Bruno Duarte, Luís Malaquias, Henrique Pina / Moonway Films, and Pedro Sena Nunes and the moderation was led by Ana Macara.

This session was part of the Clash project – when classic and contemporary dance collide and new forms emerge, co-financed by the Creative Europe Program | Europa Criativa Portugal (Grant Contract No. 2018 – 2032/001 – 001) and in Portugal, by the Ministry of Culture through the Directorate-General for the Arts.

Audience Development Activities by CaDa – Workshop 2

In recent years, Ca.DA – Companhia de Dança de Almada, has been proposing to carry out video dance projects that bring out the crossing of languages ​​as a way of opening new aesthetic paths, innovating and expanding its cultural and artistic intervention in the community and stimulating the development of new audiences for contemporary dance. In this context, director Henrique Pina was invited to reflect on the dance piece “Inverno”, the latest choreographic work created in 2019 by Bruno Duarte for Ca.DA, in co-production with Teatro Municipal de Bragança. This is how the short film “Seven Days of Winter” emerged, based on that work, inspired by the winter traditions of Trás-os-Montes (Northern Portugal), and translating into a cinematic vision of that piece. After a whole process of research on the cultural heritage of Trás-os-Montes, we took the Ca.DA artistic team to that region for an artistic residence, from where they brought images, sounds and signs of the ancestral mystique of that region.

On March 6 at 9pm, in the Auditório Osvaldo Azinheira – Academia Almadense a session will be held open to all interested audiences with the presentation of an excerpt of the play “Inverno” by Companhia de Dança de Almada and the debut of the short film “Seven Days of Winter”, directed by Henrique Pina, followed by a presentation by Pedro Sena Nunes and Q&A session with the presence of authors Henrique Pina, Bruno Duarte and Luís Malaquias, moderated by Ana Macara.

Free entry. Pick-up of tickets from 8pm, on site.

Education meets Professionals at Balleto di Roma – Workshop 2
On 25th of February 2020, in Teatro Vascello in Rome, students of the CAP (Professional Start-up Course) and of the advanced courses of the Balletto di Roma School attended the rehearsals and premiére of the re-staged creation “Sogno, una notte di mezza estate” by Davide Valrosso.

They will also attend an introductory talk by the Artistic Director Francesca Magnini who will introduce the history of the work and the details related to the creative process of the Shakespearian piece.

The goal of our activity is to expose the students to professional work practices under the guidance of expert artists and teachers in order to encourage them to think, research and communicate; to develop an open mind and a generous attitude in the rehearsals room and on stage; to be closer to the Company’s work.

CLASH! PES National Seminars – January 2020

One of the big challenges of the Clash! project was to develop a Professional Empowerment Strategy using a common approach to face the issues coming from the three-macro area of the project: Dance Training; Audience Development; Marketing and Communication. The Team from Sapienza University of Rome worked hard in dialogue with the other partners – Balletto di Roma (IT); Polski Teatr Tanca – Balet Poznanski (PL); Companhia de Dança de Almada (PT); 420People (CZ); Derida Dance Company/Art Link Foundation (BG) – to find as solution a principle able to accomplish this goal.
Final updates on Clash! seminar, an adventure of growth, training, and comparison.

Seminar on Communication and Cultural Diplomacy @ Balletto di Roma

Marketing and communication strategies are always the results of a constant updating of practices and visions to be tested. From the results obtained so far from the Clash! project it is always useful to consider the following topics as focal points of the strategy: territorial marketing, cultural diplomacy, visibility on the available online channels. A moment of open and detailed sharing has been realized starting from the direct meeting of the professionals who are working on the Clash! project with the reference audience of the seminar. The following points have been touched:

– project description from birth to the current state;
– the motivation behind the meeting of the different countries involved;

– role of the research organization of Sapienza, University of Rome;

– the role of the dancer with respect to the choreographer in the re-creation of the performance;
– sense of confrontation of visions, present and futuristic, between classic and contemporary: still distinct categories or towards the abolition of the same?


Teachers of the seminar are experienced in teaching, especially K.Rzetelska nad L. Rembowski so they felt very comfortable in leading their class. They shared their knowledge with passion. In terms of dancers’ health and well – being, they stressed out the importance of emphasizing the benefits from incorporating prevention techniques like pilates in dance class – supposedly not only ballet class, but also contemporary techniques and others. It is a great way to dancers’ stage – longevity and protection from painful injuries. Participants who regularly practice folk and national dances appreciated improvisation class because they were well adjusting to the level of the group and that they enabled them to feel more ease in the body. However, Clash! seminars are quite rich in “practicians reflection” on new methods of merging different techniques and how they can reinforce each other. There was a suggestion to think about how to invite children to our theater, to create an offer for them. The other one: to have such a meeting more often/regularly. The company obtained new knowledge about good practices which we can implement in our marketing. We are going to engage more other cultural institutions, especially modern art galleries and museums, in order to reach more audiences. Moreover, focus our marketing on a new venue and its location (building relations with local entrepreneurs). We believe it is important to have a strategy so consequently, we can gather the audience who will follow us in a longer period and develop with us.

FINAL FEEDBACK from 420People

With this scheduled seminar we have planned to point out and share:

– The feeling of the importance of everyday dance (movement) training;
– The individuality of every dancer;
– Creativity and interdisciplinarity.

Students and dancers were guided through those basic points during classes by 3 different personalities – lecturers. We have put the importance on their deep strategical understanding and preparation. The seminar participants have also had the chance to visit 420PEOPLE`s newest show Panthera, which was finished with a discussion and evaluation. Final Seminar feedback concerns the effectivity of artistic work: It needs to be pointed out that it is important, in this artistic age category to learn and apply one short, uncomplicated movement combination so all participants can implement such learned elements into their current choreography. Their overall subjective evaluation was very satisfied and powerful. Both of them felt fully integrated into the participant’s group with no disturbing moments. Both of them evaluated the lecturer’s contributions as excellent and marked very good in the evaluation of all other seminar aspects. Theoretical and Practical Part, Performance as well as the Closing discussion were seen as very good. The deeper the knowledge of the body’s own abilities, the more flexible/versatile the dancer becomes. He is fully prepared for whichever style, dance techniques or methodology may appear during his professional career.


The workshop was open for professional dancers in the field of contemporary dance and classical ballet as well as for amateurs. Part of the participants had no experience whatsoever. The invited teachers were professionals in the following fields: classical ballet, pilates, Bulgarian traditional dance, improvisation. The process was focused on the research of participants` approach and the degree to which they acquire diverse motion practice. The pedagogical approach that was developed in working with this group was through stimulating the search for a personal sense of movement. The attention towards the experienced participants was limited to using known terminologies. All the experts found difficulty in finding a common strategy for working with the groups. A discussion was held after the end of the workshop. It was about sharing sensations formed by the work in the separate dance practices. The participants with professional experience discussed the complexity in acquiring the movement specifics through technology whereas the representatives with no experience talked about the process through their personal sensations with no focus on the extent of acquiring the working material in different movement practices. The research reflects on the future search for a strategy in learning, related not so much to form but to the feeling and overcoming of the anxiety of exploring the extraordinary. Stepping out of the comfort zone, self-observation and criticism alone is a prerequisite for seeking new directions, both in teaching and in the development of a multifaceted and diverse vocabulary of professional artists.

Education meets Professionals at Balleto di Roma – Workshop 1
On 21st of February 2020, students of the CAP (Professional Start-up Course) and of the advanced courses of the Balletto di Roma School attended the rehearsals of the creation which three dancers/choreographers of the Polish Dance Theater worked for three dancers of Balletto di Roma, in view of the Festival Clash On Stage.
The goal of BdR activity is to expose the students to professional work practices under the guidance of expert artists and teachers in order to encourage them to think, research and communicate and to develop an open mind and a generous attitude in the rehearsals room and on stage.
Open Rehearsal of Companhia de Dança de Almada and workshop

Date: 19th of February, 2020.

Place: Companhia de Dança de Almada (studios)

In order to bring the community closer to the daily work of a professional dance company, Companhia de Dança de Almada invited groups of students, members of cultural associations and/or social solidarity organizations who wish to see the dancer’s work and informally chat with the choreographers and performers.
For this session two groups will be welcomed at the company’s facilities, where they will watch the work of the dancers, consisting of a warm-up class and rehearsal of pieces from the repertoire, and also to chat informally with the choreographers, teacher, rehearser, and dancers. The senior group is also invited to a short workshop in creative dance practice.

Project update – December 2019

One of the big challenges of the Clash! project was to develop a Professional Empowerment Strategy using a common approach to face the issues coming from the three-macro area of the project: Dance Training; Audience Development; Marketing and Communication. The Team from Sapienza University of Rome worked hard in dialogue with the other partners – Balletto di Roma (IT); Polski Teatr Tanca – Balet Poznanski (PL); Companhia de Dança de Almada (PT); 420People (CZ); Derida Dance Center/Art Link Foundation (BG) – to find as solution a principle able to accomplish this goal. Finally, they recognized as a principle the body as site of knowledge able to provide models and to give value to the social engagements and community exchanges which dance practices can produce. This research made arise also the meaning of clash! as the contemporary partners’ attitude toward exploration, understanding, feeling, and research in the dance field with and within the body as a tool of human expression. Thanks to the project, the investigation underlined the need to re-direct our artistic practices in order to re-think the pedagogical approach used in the dance field, with the purpose at developing ways for combining several techniques able to drive us toward processes of discovery and to produce new ways to express ourselves and communicate with others. Within the strategy, the role of a pedagogue was recognized as crucial for the dancer’s training. With pedagogue we meant an expert with a theoretical and practical background in the discipline able to develop a training that brings together tradition and innovation, providing the dancer with tools to increase not just his/her physical skills but also his/her creativity and the capacity to talk about the practical experience in dance, in order to give a value and develop the importance of this domain of knowledge with the local and international community.

According to the Professional Empowerment Strategy proposed by Sapienza University of Rome Team, the five dance companies involved in the Clash! project had to study a way to combine the good practices learned during the previous workshops placed around Europe with the needs each organization found important to focus on in order to improve the impact of dance culture in their own country. From September to the end of November 2019, each partner carried 3 internal seminars, each of one of the three themes faced in the Professional Empowerment Strategy. Then, they chose one theme on which organize the external seminar open to stakeholders.

Clash! National Seminars for Stakeholders

Seminars were held in each partner’s country: Prague, Sofia, Almada and Rome. 

Topics addressed were:

  • Dance Training; to share new pedagogical and creative approaches in dance and choreographic practices;
  • Audience development, to understand how to allow general audience to have an accessible entrance into the knowledge that is dance
  • Marketing and communication, to share how to enhance the territory and its offer.

Each seminar was enriched thanks to the practical exchange and contamination of different traditions and the purpose to experiment innovation within dance and choreographic field.

Polski Teatr Tanca – Balet Poznanski  (PL) was the first of the five dance companies that organized the external seminar on 22nd September 2019. They chose “Dance Training” as theme for the seminar proposing a new pedagogical approach for the dancer where ballet training is combined with Pilates, following a class of  Polish folk dance, and finishing with a class of improvisation. The strategy was designed by Katarzyna Rzetelska, member of Polish Dance Theatre since 2005. Her aim with this strategy has been to lead stakeholders toward a new experience of the dance training by suggesting principles to apply in their environment as a way of sharing the Clash! experience. She recognized Pilates technique as an important somatic practice to support dancer’s physical training and able to bring strength, control, balance, coordination and body awareness. Polish Dance Theatre experimented that Pilates combined with ballet technique can be very efficient tool to warm up a dancer’s core and specific groups of muscles, working with breathing for the prevention of injuries. Folk dance class stylized in a contemporary dance choreography – from Polski Teatr Tanca’s performance Wesele Poprawiny – was chose then as a way to give an insight into Polish tradition and heritage as well as an opportunity to experiment a contemporary dance approach to it. Finally, Improvisation class focused on building the feeling and the trust within a group in order to learn how to work with different bodies around. Polish Dance Theatre chose to select a precise target group as participant at the seminar, or rather: teachers, pedagogues from dance schools, universities with dance department in Poland, from 18 to 65 years old.

On 5th October, Companhia de Dança de Almada (PT) organized its external seminar on Marketing and Promotion. Under the theme “Dance Festivals: the promotion of choreographers and the relationship between tradition and contemporary” four guest speakers presented the result of their research in the area. This opened a way for the discussion between all the participants about the importance of festivals in promoting choreographic creation, paving the way for the confrontation between traditional perspectives and more contemporary attitudes in cultural programming. The seminar worked on three key subjects/topics: “festivals”, “tradition” and “innovation”. The seminar included a coffee break, opening a place for interaction between all participants. It was aimed at dancers, choreographers, producers, and people interested in the promotion of dance at regional, national and international level and in exchanging ideas about policies and contexts for the performing arts. Participation was free, and there was an attendance of more than 40 participants.

420People (CZ) came up on 22nd of October with 5 hours long seminar day on Dance Training for dance school students and (soon to be) professional dancers. With this seminar, 420People would like to point out the importance of everyday dance (movement) training, on the individuality of every dancer and on his/her creativity, by working on an interdisciplinary pedagogical approach. The students and dancers were guided through those basic points during a class where 3 different personalities were taking charge of the flow of the seminar: Václav Kuneš (choreographer, seminar’s artistic supervisor), Filip Stanek & Veronika Tököly (both dancers from 420PEOPLE). Addressing the similarities and continuity of the 3 of them while stressing the points where they individually differ and take another/personal route. The 3 teachers were strategically prepared beforehand of course. The participants then would get the chance to see 420PEOPLE`s newest show Panthera and the whole day finished with a stimulating discussion and evaluation.

Derida Dance Company/Art Link Foundation (BG) hold one external seminar which took place in Sofia on 27th October on Dance Training, supervised by Jivcko Jeliazkov/

Finally, the last Clash! Professional Empowerment Strategy National Seminar was hold by Balletto di Roma, in Roma on 23 November on Communication and Cultural Diplomacy.

Stay tuned!

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Internal seminars for AD and management by Derida Dance Center
In two consecutive days at the end of October, the team of Derida Dance Center discussed the topics on New management plan and promotion and audience development based on the CLASH! Professional Empowerment Strategy.
On the first day Atanas Maev – CEO of Derida Dance Center and Project manager of DDC, led a seminar on the topic of management and promotion. During the seminar, the team of Derida Dance Center discussed the communication channels that can be used to promote contemporary dance in Sofia and to create a better and more active environment in the upcoming year that shall contribute to the CLASH! Project.
There have been established two channels that the team will develop. The first approach will focus more on cultural diplomacy. The activities shall integrate the society of representatives of different governmental facilities and embassies who have an impact on the current art projects in Bulgaria. They should be more informed about the current needs of the independent and contemporary stage as well as their strengths and weaknesses.
The partnership between DDC and those representatives will be established in formal and informal meetings and inclusion of the representatives in AD activities throughout the year.
The promotion will be searched through the expansion of the social media channels. After research on the current situation, the team decided to work more about providing up-to-date information to its audience and more strong visual content. At the moment DDC is collaborating with an NGO – Photo-corpus who are working in the field of promotion of dance mainly through photographing different events and not only providing the content complimentary to organizations as Derida but also through promotion on their network as well. The DDC team also focused on the research of possible online media that is targeting an audience between 20 to 45 years old.
On the second day, Atanas Maev led a second seminar dedicated on audience development. During the event, there have been established two channels that the DDC team will develop – the opportunities to reach new audiences through involvement of new social groups such as foreigners on one side and to reinvent the ways to communicate with the dance and art communities of Derida on the other side.
The team researched the different interdisciplinary activities. The activities that will be included will be in the two directions. First new approach to reintegrate the audience that has already been part of DDC performances and projects will be discussions and presentations of people working in the various fields and connected to art in professional and non-professional ways. Those will engage the audience with a new approach and to help them to rediscover the community and its activities. The different experts will also include various new participants that might not clearly discover the contemporary art in Sofia and the opportunities to engage with contemporary art – dance, multidisciplinary projects, photography and etc at Derida Stage.  The second approach for new AD activities will be a collaboration with NGOs that are working in the field of cultural and historic tours. Their cultural tour that monthly is visited by more than 500 people will make a stop in Derida Stage (the newest stage for contemporary art by Derida Dance Center) where the participants will have the opportunity to learn more about the Bulgarian dance and learn few steps s as well as about the activities on the Stage The tour is held regularly – about 4 times per week. The DDC team will continue in the implementation of PES strategy by developing more layers during the discussions and presentations and adding a movement partly to the event. In the spring of 2020, DDC will implement a more detailed questionnaire about the satisfaction of the two groups.

Through the 4 workshops held, partners have acquired new competences on different themes, amongst which dancers’ training, audience development, marketing, and communication.
The professional empowerment strategy envisages ways partners can share the knowledge acquired:
• inside their organization, with the different departments and staff members;
• externally, with stakeholders interested in sharing experiences, competencies and planning further common actions.
The aim is to internally share the best practices acquired and to reflect on which actions/activities to enroll in their usual practice, to be implemented during the CLASH! Project, and to set the basis for further development with selected stakeholders.
It is foreseen that partners will run the professional empowerment strategy within August and November 2019: they will run:
• one or more internal seminars tackling the 3 themes (dancers’ training, audience development, marketing, and communication);
• one or more external seminars, tackling at least one theme between dancers’ training or marketing and communication (being audience development part of an ongoing activity since autumn 2019 to the Festival).

The Professional Empowerment Strategy has been produced by Sapienza University of Rome (Italy).

The document is available online here.

National seminars on Dance Training by Derida Dance Center

Two national workshops were held by Derida Dance Center / Art Link Foundation on the topic – Dance Training. The external seminar was held on 27 October 2019 and facilitated by Jivko Jeliazkov. The workshop was open for professional dancers in the field of contemporary dance and classical ballet as well as for amateurs. Part of the participants had no experience whatsoever. The invited teachers were professionals in the following fields: classical ballet – Maria Gezenchova, pilates – Viktoria Sirakova, Bulgarian traditional dance – Emilia Zankina, improvisation. The process was focused on the research of participants` approach and the degree to which they acquire diverse motion practice.
All the teachers aimed to gradually develop complexity in the motion content to the point where the experienced participants in certain fields began having difficulty in mastering the working material.
On the one hand, the focus was put on establishing the level of professional competence and on the other hand, what was the personal approach that participants with no experience develop in order to acquire the movement technique to the maximum.

In the first week of November 2019 an Internal Seminar on Dance Training was held by Jivko Jeliazkov.

The workshop was conceptually designed and conducted with the participation of professional dancers who participate in projects by Derrida Company and other independent artists. Classes in different dance directions were led by teachers, whose main aim was to place the participants outside their comfort zone through moving in different than their known aesthetic.
The level of complexity achieved was different in different dance practices. Different assimilation in different directions is noted. The survey did not identify dancers who learned different dance practices equally.

No terminology was used in the workshop by the teachers. In the process of acquiring the dance practices, part of the dancers succeeded in mastering the level of complexity thanks to knowledge and practices from past experience. There wasn`t a participant that had not developed movement culture in the given conceptual frame.
The Bulgarian folklore dance proved to be the discipline that made the dancers most difficult, in view of the unequal beats and the necessary speed at the feet, which is extremely characteristic of the so-called Shop district.