Art and Society

    Diversity in European Higher Dance Education

    In the past few years, led by global movements such as #metoo and Black Lives Matter, the questions of eurocentrism, sexism, racism, and other forms of discrimination have come to the fore in Western societies at large. In different contemporary dance worlds, these movements have led to a variety of initiatives, organizations, and legal proceedings. The questions of inclusion and discriminations have touched not only the professional world but also dance schools, which saw the emergence of a variety of student led initiatives. European contemporary dance and its educational programs, tend to present the knowledge created within it as internationally valid or even universal, bringing up a clash with non-dominant forms of contemporaneity.

    While the questions of discrimination, sexism, and racism are global, there are many ways in which such questions find particular expression in the dance world and in dance education:

    •    dancers work with their bodies with proximity and intimacy,

    •    artistic creations are often busy with pushing dancers beyond their known aesthetic and physical limits,

    •    the relations between employers (choreographers) and employees (dancers) are often multiple – including relations of friendship, of love and hierarchical relations are often reversed from project to project,

    •    dancers often work across cultures,

    •    the division between self and worker is complex.

    These are some of the reasons diversity-related questions have touched the dance field in particular ways.

    This research departs from the observation that different dance schools practice diversity in a variety of ways. The location of each institution, the prevailing dance culture, the working language, the teaching body, and the curriculum are all variables that influence the creation of institutionally specific ways of practicing diversity and they all engender different degrees and forms of inclusiveness and exclusion towards the student body. Starting from understanding precisely how such variables articulate to produced specific forms of diversity and exclusion in each institution, the questions Diversity in European Higher Dance Education is asking are:

    •    What kinds of diversity practices are already in place in these institutions?

    •    How do different dance institutions recognize and deal with issues of exclusion or discrimination when they arise in the student body?

    •    How do the students see and articulate their own experiences of exclusion or discrimination when crossing one of these educational programs?

    Tackling those issues in a transnational and dance specific environment is crucial in order to avoid blind spots and produce outputs that are specific to the particular art form.


    La Manufacture
    Gabriel Schenker - DDE Project coordinator, dancer, teacher and academic head of the Bachelor in Contemporary Dance
    Elodie Brunner - collaborator of the research department and administrator
    Fabián Barba - artist and teacher
    Catol Teixeira de Oliveira - artist and alumni
    Bastien Hippocrate - artist and alumni

    P.A.R.T.S. (BE)
    Steven De Belder – DDE Administrative coordinator, coordinator of Bachelor and Master
    Charlotte Vandevyver - deputy director
    Justien Vervaeck – financial administrator, DDE treasurer
    Michael Pomero - artist and teacher
    Moya Michael - artist and teacher
    Renan Martins – artist and alumni
    Selby Jenkins – artist and alumni

    Stockholm University of the Arts (SE)
    Zoë Poluch - head of dance Bachelor
    Chrysa Parkinson - head of subject Dance
    Jorun Kugelberg - international projects coordinator
    Marit Shirin Carolasdotter – artist and alumni

    University of Utrecht / University of Amsterdam (NL)
    Rolando Vázquez - sociologist, decolonial thinker
    Rosalba Icaza - sociologist, intersectional feminist thinker

    Partage des résultats

    Communications :

    * SCHENKER Gabriel, TEIXEIRA Carol, « Diversity in Dance Education », Laboratoire IRMAS « Musique, arts de la scène et société », 25 mars 2024.