9 Performing Gender local communities are dancing in your shoes!
Partners and Dance Makers are engaging hundreds of different people in a community building process.
Artistic co-creation and co-production the tools to explore and reflect on gender issues.
Each partner is involved in establishing a strong connection and a deep relationship with members of heterogeneous and blended communities.
How can we bring together dance, gender, personal stories and different backgrounds and knowledge?
Take a closer look through the map:
In the community I found a comfortable, welcoming, diverse, inclusive place, where I quickly felt identified and included, with Laura Kumin and Miren Muñoz Vitoria, who were waiting for us that afternoon in June 2022. Since then I have found a comfortable place to be myself and express my art… I was immediately connected and committed to the project, art, performing, various scenarios and then put down roots in the Vilarynio Space, a cozy and comfortable place for weekly practices.
I suffered one of the most difficult moments in my life, my mental health blocked all my paths and when I thought I was sunk in the dark, Miren, Laura and Marina Santo, they insisted on dancing with the community again, they said it would be good for me and really. Then I came back to the practices, and when I arrived, Marina Santo was moderating, working with different aromas, always giving back as much love as fits in her big heart. These practices sent me back the light and the path of peace and healing that allowed me to take charge of my life. Today I enjoy this growth and enrichment as a human being, trans person, artist and folklorist who feels, vibrates and lives with art and dance the most outstanding moment of my life. Without fear of living to show my non-normative, racialized and migrant body, but proud of my art, my color and my brilliance, a bit of feather as Javier Vaquero invites us in his fun and joyful practices, but finally being Olga Victoria Carreño Pedrozo, a human being infinitely grateful to Performing Gender: Dancing In Your Shoes and Paso a 2.
All that I have received from my colleagues has been understanding, support, affection, friendship, sustainability... in short, they are a community of dear people, the so-called chosen family, who does not judge you and accompanies you in your good and bad moments. I take with me that warmth that the community gives off, the knowledge that you have people who love you close to you. Everything learned that is not little. Personal growth and much lived (experiences with other communities, such as Los Veranos de la Villa (Elephants Laugh) among other experiences...
Of the artists who have gone through the workshops, I would link to mention Raquel Sanchez, I had a connection with her from the first moment that it seems as if we had known each other during all our lifes. For me, Raquel is an authentic person who knows how to connect with people. Her classes are very dynamic and my connection to my own body woke me up.
For me, getting to know the PG community has been like a gift in life, where all I take with me is riches. I am very very very grateful!!
What were the best moments you lived with the community?
The moments of reflection that were made at the end of each rehearsal (both with Marina and Javi) where each one expressed how they felt and how the experience in class had been. The beauty of how people open up and the generosity of sharing intimate things. These moments, although they make you more vulnerable, also make you grow as a person.
Nice to discover a new city, a new country and these European women from different ages through movement, dance, creation and eating! Personally for me it was beginning of opening myself again back in crowded groups after pandemic term. And it has been soft re-beginning of my professional movement process after my wrist injury (with which I was not capable even daily life movements). Also we experienced meaningful, creative, nourishing and fun exercises at times which were nice to explore and encounter. From professional and artistic perspective, sometimes it has been hard to continue in the process (even though I had worked in different groups like this), but somehow it is really beautiful to see how things have been resolving in its own way. The process have been helping me to understand Dutch culture, communication, way of thinking, how things, concepts proceed here. So I'm glad to learn these codes in a project in which I can have experiences with movement and creativity.
We want to fight
Trust and security are two crucial elements in the development of a community that includes those people who have normally been marginalised, discriminated against. The aim is to build relationships of trust, safe spaces in which people can express themselves freely and conquer the spaces they have always been denied.
Long term engagement
A challenge is to build communities that last over time and space to make sure that people continue to be part of the project. On the part of cultural organisations, especially at the end of the EU project, there will certainly be a need for fundraising efforts in order to support activities.
Open discussion about gender issues
It is sometimes difficult to talk about gender issues with young people.
Some people may not feel comfortable with others who are not part of their “group”, already identified as a community. The challenge is to prove that mixing different groups is possible and enriching.
One of the aims of the activities is to reach out to outsiders, those people who have never been interested in addressing the project’s issues and who are not connected to Performing Gender’s cultural partner organisations.
Artists, Audience developers, Artistic directors:
How to co-design processes? What are the key aspects to be taken into account?
All of them face a huge experience in community dance practices with non-professional dancers but also with people who have never practised dance. Not only that, they are all artists who have a certain sensitivity to gender issues.
They actively participate in the workshops, on an equal footing with the other participants. Not only to break down hierarchical principles and power relations but also to understand people’s needs and barriers.
Participates in moments of confrontation and discussion rather than practices in order to keep an overview and coordinate artistic production processes.
See which phases have already been
completed and which ones are about to begin