By the end of the project three pivotal moments of dissemination of the creative processes and results achieved have been proposed:
● a livestream of three lecture provocation by artists exploring the intersection of dance practice, and questions of gender, sexuality and marginalised communities. The provocations were delivered in English with live captioning from Brussels’ cultural venue LaVallée on Tuesday 14 November 2023
How do artists navigate the relationship between their personal identity (and identities) and their artistic practice? Is identity-based practice necessarily activist practice? How do artists choose to employ, subvert or reject the categories placed upon them by wider society – including by the cultural sector? These were just some of the questions explored by the British Council and the other partners in the European collaborative project Performing Gender: Dancing In Your Shoes.
Watch the livestream on /youtube
● a presentation of the project to policy makers at the European Parliament, coordinated by the Cassero LGBTI+ Center, the British Council and the European Agency EACEA
● a video documentation of the project by British Council: through the production of 6 short films, British Council implemented a dissemination campaign towards policy makers
Watch the video campaign by British Council
Commissioned by the British Council, the following films explore some of the key themes and artistic practices of the project, as well as ways that artists and arts organisations have collaborated with local cultural policymakers and communities to build projects with deep and lasting impact.
Experience the transformative power of movement and self-discovery
The liberation of the body, self-acceptance, and the beauty of diversity through dance and expression. A community of participants shares their personal journeys and insights on how this project has impacted their lives and the broader community. Watch as they break free from societal norms and embrace their authentic selves. Discover the strength and empathy that comes from connecting with one’s body and celebrating individuality.
This is more than just a dance project; it’s a path to a happier, more compassionate world. Be inspired by the beauty of working with the body.
3.5-year journey, where stories have woven a deep connection
People rediscovered their shared backgrounds, hidden in the city. Participants opened up, delving into their histories, diaries, and albums, forging lasting connections beyond weekly meetings.
British Council was committed to supporting this bond beyond the project’s end. These diverse groups care for one another, challenging traditional views of senior activities. Through self-discovery, we’re learning and growing, welcoming new challenges with open arms.
Performing Gender has been a series of European collaborative projects using the Performing Arts, and Dance in particular, to deepen understanding of questions around gender and sexual identity. The results have included greater innovation from artists, strengthened communities and excellent dance works.
The 2020-2023 edition, Dancing In Your Shoes, has explored how artistic processes can support community-building through genuine Co-Design between professional artists and target community members.
The fascinating world of co-design in the Performing Gender project
Co-design is at the heart of this unique endeavour, where community members and professional choreographers come together to create something truly extraordinary. This video delves into the complexities and joys of co-design, showcasing how it empowers participants to shape the project’s direction. You’ll understand how this collaborative approach transforms the artistic landscape and allows everyone involved to have a stake in the creative journey.
An inspiring journey with individuals from diverse backgrounds
Meet Olga from Colombia, June with Indonesian heritage, Marianne, Vesna, and many more. They come together, forming a unique community embracing dance as a means of self-expression, self-discovery, and healing. These brave souls share their stories, experiences, and the profound impact of their involvement in the project.
From using dance as a refuge to fostering acceptance and understanding, their stories are a testament to the power of unity and the arts. Witness their incredible transformations and the sense of belonging they’ve found. Dive into their world and discover how this vibrant community transcends borders, ages, and backgrounds, finding solace and strength in dance.
The journey of Cassero, a space rooted in the diverse history of Bologna
In the heart of the city, Cassero has been a beacon of inclusivity since its establishment in the 1980s, proudly becoming the first expressly gay space supported by the city administration. This historical milestone cultivated a community that thrives today. The Gender Bender community, now 20 years strong, is a testament to this enduring legacy.
Furthermore, the success of the Gender Bender Festival showcased the power of co-designing processes and services, strengthening the bonds between institutions and the cultural scene. Explore in this video the significance of co-design in the context of municipal structures. Learn how innovative practices like co-design can lead to social innovation and present opportunities for institutions to collaborate. As the Gender Bender journey continues, you’ll witness its transformative impact on local communities and discover the potential to foster social change from the ground up.