Fearghus Ó Conchúir Choreographer and Dance Artist
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October 08, 2010

Modul Dance: The first gathering

Modul Dance is another structure to navigate.  Artists and dancehouse partners gathered for the first time at the Maison de la Danse in Lyon to get to know each other and begin planning how the opportunity will evolve.  Reading the Modul Dance website I see that it was an Artists’ Think Tank  but mostly it was a valuable ‘getting to know you’ opportunity and a ‘getting over the anxiety’ opportunity.

Despite knowing we’d been chosen to be there, I and at least some of the other artists couldn’t help but feel that we were speed-dating with the dancehouses and hoping that at the end of the whirlwind we’d have one their affection.  Once I could see past my own anxiety, I realised it was equally pressurised for the dancehouses that have come together to make the EU bid that underwrites this project.  They’ve negotiated their considerable differences of scale, remit and context to collaborate and now, having been successful in their application, need to work out in practice how what it all means.  I hope we artists can help with that.

There are moments when the language jars for me in this process: the language that inadvertently refers to us as ‘young artists’ isn’t just a misrepresentation (I’m not the oldest and anyway, it was a prerequisite that we be experienced) but it implies a power dynamic that places the artists in a subordinate position.

I hope that the choreographers and dancehouses can be mutually supportive in making Modul Dance a multi-faceted success whose architecture houses many different possibilities for creativity, delight and learning.  Of course, the more knowledge that the artists have about the governing structure, its budgets, goals and timeframes, the more we can contribute to a common success.

The choreographers are:

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