Dance Bridges Festival is an international dance festival with an emphasis on building artistic and cultural exchanges between international and local dance artists, showcasing and promoting cutting-edge and exciting contemporary choreography through live performances and film screenings.
The Festival also engages artists and the wider community providing dance education/training opportunities through choreographic residencies, workshops, artists’ talks, internships and further special outreach events.
The concept for such a Festival was born out of interactions with artists at the World Dance Alliance Global Summit in Angers – France in July 2014. There, several choreographers expressed a keen interest to connect with India, experience the culture, exchange with local artists and share knowledge through creative workshops with dance artists and the community. Kolkata’s vibrant culture and rich history lays the perfect environment for such an exciting initiative; therefore dialogues to launch a festival began between Dance Alliance Kolkata and a number of international artists.
The first edition of the Festival was hosted in August 2015 with the theme ‘Talking Points in Choreography: Dialogues Across Cultures’. Artists included choreographers/dance companies from the United Kingdom, the United States of America, France, Sweden, Austria, Taiwan and India. Furthermore the dance film programme included works from Canada, Mexico, Norway, Italy, Belgium, China, Germany and the Netherlands. The Festival received an overwhelming response with enthralled audiences and excited young dance participants eagerly awaiting the next edition of the Festival.
Dance Bridges Festival will now be held as biennial international dance festival in Kolkata organized by an independent organization Dance Bridges Kolkata. An open invitation to artists was made in July 2016 to apply for the 2017 edition of Dance Bridges Festival. The Festival was held from 22nd-29th August with an exciting convergence of artists and wonderful participation with theme ‘New Panoramas: In You I See My Dance’. After this second edition, Dance Bridges began to host special workshops, artist talks, dance jams and other events between Festivals. The third edition of the Festival was held from 1st-5th August 2019 with the theme ‘The Sense of Intimacy’ exploring performances across the city in unconventional spaces open to the public. You can read more about the artists who attended each edition of the Festival in our Archives.
The Festival hopes to build on every successive edition with increasing opportunities for artists and dance companies, developing a wider artistic network and a deeper sense of community for the performing arts and cultural sector in India and internationally.