Contemporary dance in Africa the subject of the IETM meeting

juli 2004 -

The Informal European Theatre Meeting (IETM) wants to use a meeting at the end of August in South Africa to build a bridge between the European and African modern dance world. At the same time, it is hoped that the meeting will provide an impulse for a network for contemporary dance in Africa.

The meeting will take place during the New Dance Festival in Johannesburg and the Jomba Festival in Durban. The program is being presented in both these cities. In Johannesburg (19-21 August 2004) people will discuss international collaboration and the development of a network for contemporary dance in Africa. There will also be training in arts management. In Durban (22-24 August 2004) there will be a conference about identity in modern African dance.

The meeting in South Africa is part of the Africonnexions project, which was initiated in 2003 in collaboration with the Belgian cultural organization Africalia. Two meetings dealing with the development of modern dance in Africa have already been held on the continent: during the festival Dialogue de Corps in Burkina Faso in December 2003 and during the Abo ki Ngoma festival in Cameroon in April of this year.

In addition to the meetings, Africonnexions attempts to strengthen networks by publishing a newsletter. The newsletter informs European partners about important events in Africa and keeps African partners apprised of European national institutes and their joint programs. Moreover, Africonnexions offers trainings designed to promote knowledge about cultural production and management in Africa.

The IETM is setting a new course with the Africonnexions project. For a short time now, the organization has been looking beyond Europe's borders to 'build bridges with regions in the world of which our members should be more aware.' In addition to Africa, these regions include Central Asia, the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Ocean, Latin America and the Balkans.