The Art to Dance Community
Under the title “The Art to Dance Community – an African Way of European Inclusion”, organizations from social, artistic, and therapeutic fields from Germany, French, Portugal, and North Macedonia have joined forces to establish a methodological framework and international network for intercultural dance pedagogy.The transnational, interdisciplinary project proposal is intended to provide the actors with a platform to share knowledge, exchange good practices, collectively develop professional standards and innovative methods, jointly implement them in practice, evaluate and disseminate them comprehensively.
Dance for cultural and media aesthetic education, as a communication tool, creative expression, an instrument for individual and collective change as well as socio-political discourses form the thematic framework of the project.
By synergistically merging socio-cultural, pedagogical, therapeutic, and artistic perspectives, African music and dance traditions will be operationalized as a tool for social inclusion. Structurally, the project cycle as a whole consists of knowledge accumulation, method construction, practical implementation, evaluation, embedding into the scientific discourse, and dissemination in terms of regional, national, and international stakeholders.
In order to conceptually reconcile the demands of professionalism and individualized support, the project relies on the development of transferrable process models, on which both, the activities, as well as the jointly compiled practical formats, are based on and which evoke a continuous feedback process due to the structure of mutual interactions of the theorypractice transfer.
In addition to a six-week intensive phase in Portugal, the project activities include staff mobilities for practical implementation in France, Croatia, Portugal, and Germany. In terms of content, each activity is assigned an individual, thematic focus in order to illuminate the project objective from a new perspective.
In co-production, transferable formats and innovative methods are developed, implemented in the previous practices of the host organization, and jointly evaluated for action research purposes. In accordance with the main goal of the political educational mandate of Germany, the methodology is supposed to enable the individual to self-reflect and cope with their own life within society in a self-effective manner. The aim of the interdisciplinary approach is to offer new perspectives and approaches towards solutions regarding current demographic change and the accompanying questions of social justice and cultural identity.
The artistic-therapeutic encounter is intended to promote an active altercation with individual and collective identities and realities and, as a dialogical platform, enable communication beyond verbal language barriers. In line with the EU framework strategy, the overall project pursues a bottom-up policy, in order to provide new approaches towards the participatory shaping of a European community through creative processes. With this pilot project, we want to initiate a paradigm shift from deficit-oriented integration requirements towards a perception of cultural diversity as added social value.
In regards to the actual implementation, a large number of low-threshold workshops and interactive concerts will be arranged to cover the broadest possible range of target groups.
Multiple cooperations with social institutions and inclusive event designing aim at particularly targeting marginalized populations whose access would be otherwise hindered by their socio-economic status.
In addition, the joint participation in well-established cultural events and festivals issupposed to significantly expand the project´s reach and enable sustainable coworking beyond the project duration.
Furthermore, in terms of concrete results, a practice-oriented, methodical handbook for European dance pedagogy will be created and published royalty-free, which, embedded in a toolbox of additional audio-visual material, enables the transferability and a large sphere of applicability as well as widespread dissemination in a sustainable manner.
At an intangible level, the intercultural and interdisciplinary approaches are supposed to complement and expand scientific discourses around the educational potential of dance in multicultural contexts.
In addition, the strategic partnership intends to establish structures for sustainable networking, exchange, and cooperation within the consortium as well as towards external organizations and stakeholders.
Overall, the proposal acts as a pilot project in terms of shaping transnational, interdisciplinary inclusion work in a European context.