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Dance Improvisation Jam

We hosted our first Dance Improvisation Jam with young dancers gathering in The Doodle Room and guests artists Devarshi Kar(Percussionist) and Abhishek Banerjee (Visual Artist) adding to the flavour of the evening. It was a special night as creative energy flowed through the room, and sparked new ideas for dance collaborations and projects. Thanks once again to everyone who joined us for this.

Read about the event in the Telegraph t2 here.

Do have a look at some of the event videos on our Facebook page.

Stay tuned for more information on jam sessions in the future.

Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaign: Support our 2017 edition!

“A truly contemporary festival of dance… one of its stature in India! An extremely valuable effort – for opening exchanges of ideas, aesthetic experience, and creative journeys!”

– Dr. Urmimala Sarkar (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

” I have heard of Dance Bridges Festival and its impact on the dance community from my friends in Kolkata. I got to meet Vanessa, the director, last year and I was so impressed by her determination. The passion she shares and her enthusiasm to keep the festival going despite all the hurdles she faces is what sets her apart. It is a great initiative and it needs all the support”

-Meera Krishnan (Prakriti Foundation)

We have recently launched a  crowdfunding campaign  to raise additional funds to help cover technical costs, artist accommodation charges and production expenses. Watch our campaign video here .It would be wonderful to have your support in this endeavour.

We believe in the power of community and the collective creativity of artists working together. We believe that Dance Bridges Festival 2017 will impact many different lives in powerful ways by:

  • Bringing a new platform for international performance to the city of Kolkata
  • Making participation inclusive and accessible to new audiences and people of all socio-economic backgrounds by running events on a non-profit basis
  • Encouraging and empowering young dancers in their pursuit of a professional career
  • Nurturing local and international talent through the residency project, internship training, workshops and opportunities of collaboration
  • Imparting educative and fun experiences for everyone to encounter dance through various mediums and from different perspectives
  • Building long term relationships across cultures to enable ambitious artistic exchanges
  • Enabling the international community to experience the history, culture and creative atmosphere of a city like Kolkata and other places in India

We look forward to your support in making this exciting second edition of the Festival a grand success. We hope you can join us in Kolkata for the event, but even if you can’t, do stay connected with Dance Bridges. Sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. Email your queries to info@dancebridges.in. Thank you!

 

 

TPAM Performing Arts Meeting in Yokohama 2017

Dance Bridges Festival was at TPAM 2017 hosted in Yokohama from 11th-19th February through the support of  Japan Foundation Asia Centre (New Delhi).

This is an excellent platform for networking professionals in the arts community with over 500 delegates including artists, festival directors, representatives from performing arts venues and cultural houses, producers, managers and government officials based in Japan as well as across the international arts community.

TPAM runs under the format of several different programmes, TPAM Direction, TPAM Exchange and TPAM Fringe. Each of these incorporate different areas of performance showcases by mature and upcoming artists, symposiums, artist talks, group meetings and speed networking.

A few highlights & insights from the trip:

  • There is a new focus on developing Asia as an epicentre for performing arts internationally and hence a growing emphasis on commissioning and producing more collaborative projects among Asian and other international artists.
  • Some of the performances presented across genres included ‘Fever Room’, ‘Performance Encyclopedia’, ‘Samut Thai:Unfinished Histories’, ‘Zero One’, ‘Ngoc Dai/Senyawa’,’Taipei Notes’,’Road to Evil Spirit’, ‘Be Careful’, ”Tower'(theatre), Layer/Angle/Composition’ and ‘Balabala’.
  • A symposium was hosted by European Dancehouse Networks (EDN), which focusses on connecting performance venues and production houses (expanding now to festivals) and there was a discussion on the possibility an Asian network for the same.
  • Dance Bridges Festival co-lead a group meeting session on Meets Asia:Dance & Outreach, where Director Vanessa Maria Mirza was a panelist alongwith Beijing based Festival Director Zi Xhao and Vientienne(Laos) based We Dance Company dance artist Phanthamith (Lucky) Phommachanh. The discussion was very well received with a number of questions about the future plans of the Festival. Several artists and producers showed a keen interest in developing projects with Dance Bridges Festival and visiting Kolkata/India for this purpose.
  • Japan hosts a large variety of very good artist residencies and we connected with some directors hosting programmes in Tokyo and Kyoto that are wonderful opportunities for both professional and emerging artists to apply for. There is a wonderful creative atmosphere conducive to artistic research and some of the best facilities to help support these endeavours.
  • The Artists’ Salon hosted by a team of eleven music, theatre, digital arts and dance artists from Europe was a very interesting session with a broad range of artistic expertise, talent and productions being showcased. Again it was lovely to view some of their collaborative projects with Asian artists.
  • Speed Networking or just networking was absolutely fantastic at TPAM and was not limited to only the official sessions. TPAM created such a warm and friendly environment to connect that whether it was at the ticket line, coffee shop, street crossing, breakfast buffet or late night meeting point at Amazon Club, making introductions and swapping business cards was the most natural thing!

We were so glad to have been at TPAM 2017, and look forward to building  and developing this new association with Japanese artists, producers and collaborators through the TPAM arts network and support of Japan Foundation Asia Centre for some exciting new projects through the months ahead.

 

 

Message from the Director, Dance Bridges Festival 2017

In preparation for our second edition in 2017, Dance Bridges Festival will see a change in organizational structure, expanding local & international partnerships and collaborations. Read below a special message from the Festival Director, Vanessa Mirza:
‘Dance Bridges Festival 2015 would not have been possible without the support of Dance Alliance Kolkata as our main partner. It is wonderful to have a shared vision for artistic and cultural exchange within an international context and platform for dance in Kolkata, India. While Dance Alliance Kolkata and the international network of World Dance Alliance continue to support Dance Bridges Festival, we are now in the process of developing as an independent organization.
We will soon launch Dance Bridges as a registered society for the purpose of hosting the Festival and other associated events. We are currently completing formalities for this shift and the Executive Board will be representative of Kolkata’s dance, arts, music, education, business and cultural communities. The Festival is also supported by an International Artistic & Programming Committee, Advisory Board & Organizational Partners & Sponsors.
As part of the International Artistic & Programming Committee, it gives me great pleasure to announce that Dam Van Huynh (Artistic Director, Van Huynh Company/ Centre 151, London, United Kingdom) has joined us as the Associate Director of Dance Bridges Festival 2017. We also welcome on board two international programmers, Chieh-Hua (Jeff) Hsieh, (Artistic Director, Anarchy Dance Theatre, Taipei, Taiwan) and Pierre Palluet (Dance/Music Artist Producer & Centre Manager, Centre 151, London, United Kingdom). It is wonderful to have such accomplished artistic associates work alongside with the team in Kolkata to curate and plan for the event in 2017.

We wish all the applicants the very best as they send in their proposals and look forward to an exciting series of performances, workshops, films and other festival activities. For any information regarding Dance Bridges Festival 2017 please write to us at dancebridgesfestival@gmail.com.
Vanessa Mirza (Director, Dance Bridges Festival)

Building Bridges through Dance

Vanessa Mirza, Director, Dance Bridges Festival, Kolkata, India 2015, writes about her experience of organising a multi-dimensional dance festival in Kolkata. The British Council was one of many partners of the festival, which concluded recently. ( Read the article online here)

The Dance Bridges Festival is a new initiative for dance and the performing arts in Kolkata by Dance Alliance Kolkata. The theme: “Talking Points in Choreography; Dialogues Across Cultures” emerged from a personal curiosity as a choreographer to know more about the creative process of different artists and how cultural influences affect choreographic works.

In curating performances for the Festival, I selected works that highlight this individuality and specificity, sometimes in subtle ways in others more overtly. Artists for the Festival included Van Huynh Company (UK), Anarchy Dance Theatre (Taiwan), I-Fen Tung (Taiwan), Sydney Skov (USA), Janet Reed (USA),Tomas Danielis (Austria), Rocio Berenguer (France), Prasanna Saikia & Buoyant Performing Arts (India). There were also special presentations and workshops by Waileth & Bardon (Sweden) & Meghna Bhardwaj (New Delhi).

Every artist and piece carried a different flavour that is a result of a personal history of dance training, choreographic style, creative decisions but also a reflection of cultural perceptions, thinking and infiltrations. It has been a great pleasure to network with different artists and provide for their needs creating an international experience for performing arts right here in Kolkata.

A very special part of the Dance Bridges Festival, was a three-week residency with artists from the Van Huynh Company in Kolkata with local dancers. Choreographer, Dam Van Huynh created a beautiful work titled “Resonance” with a company of five local artists and dancer Ieva Navickaite for the Festival. The 20-minute piece has original music accompaniment by Martyna Poznanska created from environmental sounds she recorded live in Kolkata.

Along with performances, the Festival included a section of film screenings with 20 dance films from over 14 countries. The dance films were curated in collaboration with Screendance Festival Sweden, Goethe Institut Kolkata, Gati Dance Forum and other independent artists. This was a truly unique part of the Festival and brought audiences insights into choreographic developments in dance as an art in the medium of film from across the world. During the Festival there were also several workshops in eastern and western styles of dance at different studios in the city providing another platform for sharing knowledge, connection and exchange.

As the artistic director and producer for the Festival, it has been a long process of connecting with sponsors and partners. The Festival was possible due to the support and collaboration of Swar Sangam, ITC Ltd.,Goethe-Institut Max Mueller Bhavan, the Austrian Embassy & Austrian Cultural Forum New Delhi, The Swedish Arts Grants Committee (Konstnärsnämnden), Alliance Francaise du Bengale, British Council, Screendance Festival( Sweden), t2 Telegraph, 91.9 Friends FM, Soni Power, Add Life Caring Minds, Rhythmosaic Dance Company, Buoyant Performing Arts Centre, Sparsh Studio for Performing Arts, The Calcutta School of Music aHotel Nest International, Chaitown Creatives and Berger Paints.

It is my intention to host this Festival as a biennial event and the next edition is due to take place in 2017. I hope the Dance Bridges Festival grows from this first edition to continue in building artistic bridges and cultural exchanges within creative communities across the world.