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Engagement of the local communities

24/04/2021 • 31/07/2021


Communities represent the core of the project. It is not just a matter of finding, reaching, engaging a community, it is also a matter of co – design processes and practices. Each country is involved in establishing a relationship with members of their local communities, into a training and production artistic process, in order to foreground marginalised voices and share new stories on gender, with relevance to new dance audiences. 

Dancing in your shoes means that artists come into contact with the community and the community experiences the creative and artistic perspective as social approach. It is set up as an osmotic process whereby there is a mutual exchange of knowledge and suggestions that will lead communities to an understanding of gender issues. Also, a real process of co-design is achieved.


Photo gallery

Workshop with Feel Good Factor by Yorkshire dance


Workshop with sixty plus women by Norrlandsoperan


Workshop among partners by Cassero LGBTI+ Center



Main engagement actions and activities

PARTNERS MEETING | "Working with communities" Session development keyboard_arrow_down

International Lab Meeting – April 2021

Following the work, sharing and updating sessions among the 11 project partners that were held between December 2020 and March 2021 on the digital platform Zoom and were dedicated both to a reciprocal deepening of the experiences gained and to lay the foundations for the construction of horizontal models of audience development, in April 2021 we arrived at the International Workshop, developed by Cassero LGBTI+ Center together with the University of Bologna, which saw the partners involved in two online work sessions dedicated to community building.

The name of this working session was “Working with Communities” Session Development and it was an opportunity to help partners imagine how to work in the future with communities, with artists and with each other through the World Café methodology, in a simplified form for the online version.

The objective of this work session was to define a first shared mapping of terms, themes, models and operational proposals for the development of the project and to lay the groundwork for further exploration of these aspects in subsequent meetings.

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ITALIAN ENGAGEMENT | Partner workshops at Gender Bender International Festival 2021 keyboard_arrow_down

Two workshop sessions leaded by Daniele Ninarello and Simona Bertozzi, the italian dance makers.

Attended by all the partners who were in Bologna, workshops were great opportunities to test some engagement practices. In addition to this, they were an important opportunity for the partners to physically experience the poetics and choreographic languages of Daniele and Simona, which gave them the possibility to see how they will work with the communities of Bologna.

In this way, many of the problems and doubts, that emerged during the co-design process conducted by the partners during the lockdown months, could finally find possible constructive answers and were solved when these strategies were physically applied.

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ENGLISH ENGAGEMENT | Yorkshire Dance keyboard_arrow_down

Yorkshire Dance approach

The english partner has the ambition to create an intergenerational ‘Company of People’. They began by establishing partnerships with 4 specific groups; House of Flava (a QTIPOC group), RJC Dance (young people), Feel Good Factor (Older people), and Space2 (Women and Children). Through a co-produced approach, they selected 8 dance artists and structured a 16 week introduction of weekly dance sessions with each group. 

Yorkshire decided to do some collective work around shared values around gender. They talked about Transphobia issues and gaining trust within the groups. A list of 5 questions for each of the artists, exploring their relationship with gender and where they want to see gender issues in the future has been created. Further intentions are to develop a safer spaces policy which can be implemented across the programme.

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SWEDISH ENGAGEMENT | Norrlandsoperan keyboard_arrow_down

Norrlandsoperan approach

Step by step in safe spaces are the key principles behind the program staged in Umeå by organisers at Norrlandsoperan. To date the project has staged several interactive performances, film screenings, talks and workshops with dance artists and costume designers. In the beginning these were mainly held outdoors or online. Now are increasingly taking place in the same room.

Together with choreographer Marit Shirin Carolasdotter, participants have examined indigenous peoples’ attitudes to the land from a Sami perspective.  While Sindri Runudde has guided them through a sensory dance world beyond visual impressions.

They have also made friends with dancers from the Norrdans dance company and immersed themselves in voguing and the ballroom culture by watching the films Kiki and Paris is Burning. Not only that, they have also strutted their way down the catwalk under the direction of choreographer and drag king Sofia Södergård.

Read the full article.

PUBLIC PRESENTATION | Performing Gender - Dancing in your shoes keyboard_arrow_down

15th September, h 18.30, Palazzo D’Accursio – Municipality of Bologna 

PG-DIYS was presented to about 80 guests including artists, operators of other national organizations, activists and social workers, associations, representatives of municipal and regional institutions, as well as representatives of some European embassies.

During the public presentation of our European project we also talked about

  • co-design processes
  • the language of dance as a universal language
  • the role of art in the production of well-being
  • queer identities
  • and much more. Read the article and watch the full video here

PARTNERS MEETING| Gender Bender International Festival 2021 keyboard_arrow_down

15th september, Palazzo D’Accursio – Municipality of Bologna

Meeting colleagues from other organizations was a relief from a human point of view, while from a professional point of view we all felt a great need to take stock of how the project was progressing in our respective countries, in terms of  economic sustainability, thinking about the staff and analyzing the situation from an artistic and operational point of view.

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