Dancing is a social practice, expression of a country history, of its tradition, value, change, and people. As performative art, dance brings an idea of the body, its social identity, its evolution from the past to the present, and transforms all this memory in a language made by movement. This process shows up in the theatre where an event expression of the soul of an entire community takes place. This means dance has the potential to be a channel able to establish in the people a common sense of belonging. According to that, one of the big challenges of the initiative Clash! When Classic and Contemporary Dance Collide and New Forms Emerge was to develop a Professional Empowerment Strategy to face together the issues coming from the three-macro areas of the project: Dancer’s Training; Audience Development; Marketing and Communication.
In these terms, we argue that a good training in dance practices allows a dancer to be present and aware during a theatre performance, developing like that a communication with the spectator based on kinaesthetic forms of understanding. As a consequence, the outcoming performance will be funded on the quality of communication with the audience leading it to learn and react to a precise language of movement based on the collision of classic and contemporary dance models; these new forms of understanding dance by the public will facilitate the operation of marketing and communication. Our reflection underlined how a way to face the Clash! issues consisted of putting the body, as a common site of knowledge, to the centre of the attention of this research project, providing strategies to give value to the social engagements and exchanges by dance practices.
In the Dancer’s Training Professional Empowerment Strategy, the Clash! between classical and contemporary dance models has been meant as understanding, feeling, and researching in dance with and within the body as a tool for expression. The investigation underlined the partners’ need to re-direct their practices in order to re-think the pedagogical approach used in a dancer’s daily training. In these terms, they developed new strategies to combine several techniques driving contemporary performers in the process of discovering renovated modalities to express themselves.
Clash! Audience Development Professional Empowerment Strategy recognizes dancing as a practice for sharing information, knowledge, and awareness. During the four laboratories, partners saw the need to make the Audience Development Strategy come from a deep research process to be performed by each dance company involved in the project. Taking into consideration the goal to be achieved, or rather to support the spectator’s understanding of the transition from classic to contemporary dance models, the strategy aimed at communicating the importance of cultivating a culture of the body for increasing social and physical benefits in everyday life, and repristinating a common sense of belonging with a community.
The speculation underlined the importance to understand how to develop a Marketing and Communication Professional Empowerment Strategy based on the acknowledgment of networking as a tool for crossing over the borders between countries, providing international visibility for the dance companies partner in the Clash! project. The Clash! research explored the concept of 'cultural diplomacy' to look for innovative models of marketing dance productions throughout a local impact.