The 2nd Asia-Europe Dance Forum took the stage from 21st-28th November, 2004 in Berlin, Germany. Why do we need to talk about dance? Why am I asked whether my work is anchored to my cultural traditional roots? Shall we not talk about genre differences more than Asian and European styles? To what extent can contemporary dance be considered and is it a critical art form?
These were some of the questions raised during the forum, which gathered fifteen choreographers from Europe and Asia, two dancers, one filmmaker, one dance critic and two dance curators. The whole event was articulated around workshops and evening performances.
Dance curators Bettina Masuch (Germany) and Helly Minarti (Indonesia) developed the idea of the contemporary dance lexicon, which served as a common line for the 16 workshops, led by the participants themselves. The idea was not to have resource persons ‘teach’ in the workshops, but to allow the participants to articulate their own workshops following key words listed in the said contemporary dance lexicon. The workshops took the forms of dance movements, video presentations, lectures, improvisation ‘games,’ etc.
“I’m sure we all learnt valuable lessons, ideologies from this and what I love about such artistic and cultural exchanges is that it opens up more room/or misunderstandings… then it is up to us to change that into better understandings. We can then agree to disagree and begin to develop not just a global mindset, but also an international mindset.” – Ebelle Chong, Singapore.
The Asia-Europe Dance Forum, co-organised with Hebbel am Ufer, was supported by Goethe Institute and Singapore Arts Council.