From Towards Vivencia, we would like to contribute with our expertise in online training to help all the artists who are stoically enduring the necessary restrictions imposed worldwide.
Browse through the following resources, share them and/or reach out to add more interesting material
Given the circumstances that don’t seem to have an ending date soon (yet!), and after 14 really full on weeks of online classes, we have decided to serve the community by extending the number and variety of those online classes and we are contacting really inspiring teachers to join them...
Towards Vivencia’s ethos has always been to support artists through a consistent online training for mind & body. This period of time brings new challenges that we are ready to overcome with you all.
These past weeks, all of our classes were free for the participants. As a company we managed to provide a very little fee to our incredible teachers to financially support them in these times of need. We want to address and thank them for the amazing work they have done at bringing people together, and battling the uncertainty.
Since the begining of the COVID-19 global lockdown we have managed to provide loads of classes, know new people, build a strong online community of artists and work with you all separated but very close. We keep inspiring each other, we keep fit together and from TWV we aim to provide regularity in these uncertain times. We want to address and thank you all for the amazing work you have done so far.
If and only if you CAN a 5-6€ contribution to maintain this platform alive would be much appreciated.
We have opened this PayPal account to receive spontaneous financial contributions.
Thank you for your support and contributions in whatever form they are coming to us. They are coming!
When a dancer is gone, a bit of Dance dies with them.
This letter is my celebration for all those dancers that allow Dance to exist through them. But it is also an unrealised epitaph for those dancers who physically, spiritually or financially will not be able to survive the terrible circumstances that COVID-19 has created. The dancers who are without their daily practice. The dancers who are without their already precarious jobs and the dancers who fall between the cracks of the system(s).
When dancers dance, something is created where nothing existed before.
They are faithful warriors at the service of beauty, grace and humour. They are the hand that reaches further than is needed or called for. They are rhythm and all the twists, stretches and contortions. They are the masters of time and space.
Dancers are closer to the divinity that created the universe than the majority of us. They belong to the pantheon of gods responsible for ephemeral architecture, constantly creating new universes that are both experienced and perceived simultaneously. They generate unique moments and unique experiences that have never existed nor will ever be replicated again.
New dances are born when a living creature, human or not, decides to consciously be the channel for Dance to exist. But those novel dances take time (a long long time) to mature and blossom. A long time. The loss of a veteran dancer is always a great loss for Dance. And I fear a near future when we will lose many of those dancers who are not supported during this time because they normally operate outside of three major systems of power:
Dancers fall through the cracks of the first one, the socio-economic macrosystem that western culture is currently immersed in. The establishment that views artists in general, and dancers especially as the contemporary nomads, hobos and fools of the world, sometimes entertaining, rarely deified, often misunderstood and constantly underestimated.
The indifference from the second mesosystem is a bit more painful, as they are family to us: the art market. Here, only a few actors, painters and musicians are appointed as demigods… most of them with an incredible talent, but more often than not also entering the kingdom of the chosen-ones through nepotism rather than meritocracy. This is yet another world, where Dance is left far behind the recognition charts and where the distance between a dignified professional practice and a precarious one is immense.
The third microsystem is the most difficult to understand. It is the Dance family itself, where traditional institutions and NPOs make up 20% of the Dance family and hold 80% of the resources; while the other 80% of the Dance family is left to survive off of the remaining 20%. Does it ring a bell of how the first macrosystem is mirrored by this micro universe? Theatres, organisations and long standing festivals are once again fighting individually for their own survival. Fighting once again, and once again forgetting most of those who make Dance exist within their theatres, organisations and festivals. Forgetting once again that those dancers are the underdogs crushed and fighting against not one, not two, but three systems working against them. That’s a lot of weight to bear.
Please understand that through my words, I am NOT making a martyr out of the dancer, labelling them as the innocent victim of a cruel world. I am simply highlighting the objectively unjustified inequality that these three systems impose on the independent dance-artists.
We are all siblings in the micro universe that is the Dance realm. And over the last few weeks, some of us have observed (in amazement and disbelief) how our siblings that live in more solid houses have sealed their windows and shut their doors, leaving most of us outside without much questioning. Independent artists have been left out in the cold, facing a long winter that has not yet even started but we can all sense in our bones.
At the moment, the stages are empty, but the true beauty of an empty stage lies in what it was and what it will be. All that empty space, the sound of no-sound, the absence of that faint smell of sweat all wait patiently for all the future universes that will be created and unfold then and there. All that magic that comes from a performance will only exist if there is a performing performer. But as long as there is a dancer, there will be Dance.
By dancing we became the empty vessel for something bigger to exist through us. But this is not a unilateral relationship. Dance cannot exist without dancers. But Dance, in return, offers us the gift of experiencing the full spectrum of what it means to be human.
And that is also our service to the world. As dancers, we explore the whole range of humanness to allow anyone who witnesses our dances to experience it through us. By witnessing and experiencing it with us, we are allowing them to touch and attain a bit more of any lost humanity within them, or at least remind them that they still have it somewhere inside.
With love, passion, resilience, grace, beauty and humour, we live at the service of Dance and all it can do for humanity.
Dance serves us as we serve others, but we cannot survive under three heavy systems. We need to be recognised as equals. If any organisation reading this thinks they do recognise the value of dancers, or want to reevaluate their support, here are a few simple reminders: Always add the dancers’ names to the programme notes, both digitally and in print. Credit the dancers as the ones that provide meaning and purpose to your organisation and pragmatically apply it. Create schemes and initiatives to share financial meaningful resources with independent dancers. Add independent artists to the panels in charge of making any executive decision within your organisation, not only as consultants but as decision makers. Do all these things to cultivate and honour the relationship between the institutions and the dancers. Act with the best interest of this relationship, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health.
We, the independent dance artists who live outside of institutions are the masses who nurture Dance through shows, workshops and ideas. Our survival is at risk and if we disappear, Dance, or at least a huge part of it, will disappear with us too. Then, organisations will be left with nothing to fight for anymore and they too will cease to exist.
I want to end this letter addressing to you all passionate and brilliant individuals who are at the front of institutions, NPOs and regularly funded companies. You, who have the ability to respond to the circumstances, the response-ability to distribute the scarce resources that the macro and meso systems have mercifully dedicated to Dance, please remember those who are at the forefront of Dance, yet who exist outside of all the three systems. This is an opportunity for us together to re-imagine the future. A way to work together not only to secure the temporary survival of your institutions or the dancers, but establish new solid foundations for Dance to thrive at large. Incorporate independent artists regularly as part your decision-making boards. Allocate meaningful percentages of your resources to the freelance community, ask and talk to us, we are creative beings, not greedy ones.
It should not be about institutions versus independent artists. We should build a future where institutions function with independent artists and the other way around.
People with the response-ability of managing resources, how are you going to dance with the current circumstances to create an inclusive Dance for all? From this point on, with my words and my actions, I, at your service, offer all the support I can offer to build together a future full of Dance rather than a frightened, conservative, minimal one where Dance survives, but remains incomplete.
Remember that there has never been, there is not and there won’t ever be Dance, without dancers.
Jorge Crecis, PhD
Founder & Director, Towards Vivencia