Program name: Choreography Creation Camp
- Local Context
For young people in Jordan, whose talents lie in performing arts, there is often one major factor that disrupts their ability to create: a massive lack of opportunity, within the education sector, and in the process of career building.
Innovative societies value artists as much as scientists and entrepreneurs. More than ever, participation in arts-based subjects of dancers and choreographers, appears essential as they near, what seems to be, the edge of extinction.
There is nearly no coherent and consistent dance education in the country and the creative and collective nature of dance has become to be seen as invalid, useless, and unbeneficial to young people in education. Through an informal survey, we found that the number of young people who had attended live dance performances in the previous 12 months is strikingly low .
The majority are given the answer of none at all. Children and young people are quite simply being cut off from dance and it seems that the opportunity to even begin to generate an interest in dance is no longer provided or valued.
What is even more saddening – perhaps frightening – the very few local dance creation and local dance performances are rapidly disappearing, with more than a hundred young people in the local dance community stripped of the opportunity to improve on and showcase their creative talents. Many dancers have voiced that the need of a vital platform for aspiring young people from which to showcase their potential, the need of opportunities which provide inclusive creative projects that are crucial in allowing the dance to thrive and to survive in Jordan.
2. Pandemic and Jordan dance community
Studio 8 is a Jordanian non-for-profit company active in the fields of dance. It was founded 2014 by a group of young artists aiming to shape and humanize the dance art through innovation, experiment, development, exchange, education and research.
In Jordan, on 18th March 2020, the government imposed a nationwide lock-down that closed shops and prohibited the movement of people. The tight lock-down restricts the movements of Jordan’s 10 million people.
Studio 8 and its office and dance lab have been closed to the public since then.
Prior to the lock-down, from February 2020, Studio 8 had been preparing for a new dance production with 10 local artists. The production was estimated to complete in September resulted with a series of live performance and participatory experiences in the form of a national tour across Jordan. It would be Studio 8’s first national tour, possibly the first national tour of a Jordanian dance productions in decades. But the virus outbreak had changed everything, Studio 8 suspended the project.
Although the lock-down has eased since June, small groups are gradually allowed to rehearse in the dance lab. Local artists and enthusiasts believe the pandemic is still likely to affect Jordan and the world for quite some time.
As Studio 8 founders, we have been keeping a close contact with our artists from local dance community and conducted an informal need assessment. Many local dance artists said that the outbreak has affected their careers significantly and they felt that they have lost the last vehicles for the individual to express themselves in a big way when all live events, exhibitions, travel and public presentations were shut down.
They voiced that their need to be supported, to be given a safe “space” to explore new mediums and innovative formats of artistic creation, research, development, presentation and collaboration. Therefore, for the past 3 months, we are developing a new project of a dance-creation-incubation program to support, help launching the careers of local young choreographers.
3. Project description
Title: Choreography Creation Camp (CCC).
Partners: “Choreography Creation Camp” (CCC) is organized by Studio 8, with the support of Drosos Foundation, EUNIC Jordan and European Union in Jordan.
About: This program supports emerging local young choreographers, dance makers, performance directors to sustain their individual or collaborative creativity, and, in the process, finding new ways to be connected with their audiences.
Through the program, up to 23 artists are given training in the art of choreography with skills development in directing, researching, presentation, leadership, and production. Participants are encouraged to think critically about dance performance from the point of view of makers, performers, audiences, and society. They are also encouraged to research – in various forms – online, at the library, in archives, via interviews etc.
Aim: This program offers crucial professional development support to produce, giving professional development opportunities to dance artists and choreographers. Furthermore, the program provides career-related guidance in the form of virtual tutoring and consultations, helps emerging dancers explore career options.
Structure: The creation camp takes place both on-line and in physical space of small groups in the dance lab of Studio 8.
Part 1 includes 17 lectures, discussions, case studies, physical workshops (in total 1620 minutes).
- Topic 1- Choreography
- Topic 2- Production
- Topic 3- Innovative new approach
Part 2 takes place in the form of hands-on experience of production & mentoring. When the Part 1 completed, participants are given the opportunities to apply a combination of learnt skills to create choreography and perform through an innovative way, for example, creating a new type of dance audience experience by positioning a camera and a micro-phone on stage from the point of view of the performer, and live stream, offering an approximation of what it feels like to be a dancer during a show.
4. Project Impact:
What will be achieved after implementing this project:
– New, original local creative works of dance created.
– Artistry and professionalism in local dance production increased.
– The employment and livelihood opportunities of local dance artists increased.
– Knowledge exchange and cross-disciplinary collaborations increased.
– The demand for dance and original dance work in Jordan increased.
|Project||Target Groups||Expected number|
|dance-creation-training||emerging young artists, semi- professional and amateur artists of performing arts, visual arts background, arts education background||23|
|collaboration of the dance-creation||film-makers, actors, designers, composers, sound producers, visual artists, musicians, videographers, photographers, architects, students, event managers, production managers, etc.||80|
|presentations of dance works created by the project||Jordanian and international audiences||119,606|