The Dance On, Pass On, Dream On (DOPODO) consortium consists of 11 renowned European dance institutions who have come together to address the problem of ageism in the dance sector and in society. They are working towards a Europe where older dancers are valued for their experience and charisma, where our common European dance heritage is cherished and serves to inspire younger artists, and where older people are respected and engage in meaningful, creative activities.
This project is the 2nd phase of the previous DOPODO project (2015-2016), which was initiated by a core group of 9 European organisations as a long-term action plan to counter age discrimination. Ageism is still widespread in our society. A 2017 report from the UN Working Group on Ageing goes as far as saying that “the enjoyment of all human rights diminishes with age”, due to negative narratives that cast older people as ‘burdens’ on society or the economy. Professional dancers suffer from even more extreme forms of ageism. They are generally expected to retire from their performing careers around the age of 40, when youth and peak physical performance have supposedly faded
Our overall aim is to develop and implement a multifaceted transnational project that builds on the experience and success of the 1st phase of DOPODO to continue to strengthen the European cultural and creative sector, increase employment options for dancers over 40, promote creative ageing in the wider European population and improve access to our shared European dance heritage.
- Cultural and artistic excellence
- Fairness, inclusivity and diversity in art and culture – not just on moral and legal grounds, but because diversity leads to greater creativity
- Respect for and interest in our shared European dance heritage
- Access to life-enhancing cultural and artistic experiences for all, especially older people and people in care
- Cross-border cooperation, intercultural dialogue, celebrating differences as well as our common heritage, and championing neglected artistic voices
- Fighting against discrimination and prejudice
Our aims and objectives are organised around 3 strands:
Dance On– A Europe of ageless movement
- Create access to the European dance market and sustain careers for dancers over 40 in all 13 participating countries by providing meaningful professional and employment opportunities.
- Work with educational institutions to create long-term, sustainable strategies for strengthening the potentials of young artists and extending their career options.
- Transform preconceptions and clichéd ideas of dancers as eternally youthful beings and extend the age range of the Dance On Ensemble from 40 to over 70.
- Achieve a wide European diffusion of the project’s new and existing repertoire for mature dancers with outstanding choreographers and directors, promoting talent and artistic excellence.
- Expand the partnership’s touring capabilities by incorporating a growing network of 14 associate partners in 9 countries to enhance mobility.
- Cooperate transnationally on cross-border creations, joint programming, artistic residencies and regular networking activities to facilitate knowledge sharing.
- Attract a larger global audience by presenting the project’s productions and other outputs at 15 international festivals in 7 countries.
- Communicate and disseminate the project’s values and achievements in the press, through online and offline communication channels, via social media, and on a regional, national and European political level.
Pass On – A Europe that values its dance heritage
- Raise awareness of the fragility and intangible nature of our shared European heritage of dance history and practice, which has not yet been included in any national or supra-national lists of cultural heritage deserving protection.
- Create and improve digital access to culturally and geographically diverse dance archives, so Dance On, Pass On, Dream On II – Project Guidelines 6 that they can serve as resources and sources of inspiration for artists and dance makers.
- Uncover lost or marginalised voices and engage in a critical discourse on the dominant Western-centric view of European dance history.
- Create a sense of belonging to a common European space by making our shared European dance heritage more visible – on stage, digitally, and in cultural spaces where dance has traditionally not been present, such as museums or galleries.
- Stage reconstructions of lost dance works and understand the important role of older dancers as carriers and guardians of intangible cultural and embodied knowledge.
- Commission cross-border “Reply Projects”, in which contemporary artists from different countries engage with historical dance works to create innovative and tourable new works.
- Pass on the intangible heritage of dance from one generation to the next by re-staging seminal pieces from dance history on dance students from different European countries.
- Build capacities and skills through workshops and international sharings on archiving, oral history, digital documentation and copyright issues.
- Create unrestricted access to the project’s outputs and documentations of artistic processes.
Dream On – A Europe where every body matters
- Reveal the wealth of experience and competence of older people to evoke a reorientation in the way society thinks about age.
- Build on and expand the participatory dance projects and creative ageing initiatives for senior citizens developed during DOPODO’s 1st phase to widen access to culture.
- Support the transnational mobility of older people involved in participatory dance projects.
- Build the skills and capacities of artists and teachers who work with older adults and frail people through regular “Dream On Labs”, international workshops and cross border sharing platforms.
- Broaden awareness of the health and wellbeing benefits of dancing in an ageing society and understand that dancing together helps build social bonds.
- Undertake political lobbying and advocacy work to scale up the project’s reach and build networks of national and international stakeholders, supporters and decision-makers.”
Bureau Ritter (Berlin), Sadler's Wells (London), Mercat de les Flors (Barcelona), Holland Dance Festival (Den Haag), STUK (Leuven), Compagny Jus de la Vie (Stockholm), Kumquat (Paris), Nomad Dance Academy (Ljubljana), Onassis Stegi (Athene), Station- Service for Contemporary Dance (Belgrado) and Codarts (Rotterdam).
The departments that are implementing DoPoDo activities at Codarts are: IMIT, ba Performing Dance, ba Teaching Dance, Master Arts Therapies and the Communication & PR department.
More information: DO-PO-DO – Dance On – Pass On – Dream On (dopodo.eu)