I-DANCE (Inspiring Dance: American Nations' Choreographic Exchange)
Dance is meant to be shared! I-DANCE focuses on knowledge sharing, creating an inspiration network!
Bringing American Dance Artists Together
There are dancers, dance teachers and even small dance companies in Latin America that have been virtually cut off from all contact with North American dance for more than twenty years due to the political instability that has plagued the area. Nevertheless, this dance community is working incredibly hard against the odds, hungry for more contact with the global dance community and in need of exposure to the trends and developments that have occurred during the years of isolation. Like a band of travelers that has survived many hardships, they lack the resources that will bring them back to a more robust health and vitality, namely interaction with artists and companies that are vibrant examples of the art form in the 21st Century. But they also have incredible stories and a unique spirit to share with their North American counterparts. I-DANCE will bring choreographers, teachers and performers from the USA to Latin American countries in order to promote exactly this kind of "inspiration exchange".
Started in 2007, with a visit to Managua (Nicaragua) by internationally recognized dance teacher Kevin Irving, I-DANCE brings artists of stature to dance communities in Latin America with the goal of fostering creativity and development all around. The 2010 project, which brought American performer and choreographer Lindsay Gilmore to Managua was a huge success, thanks to many generous donations. In 2011, renowned choreographer Nicolo Fonte, from Brooklyn, NY, created "Codiciosos" for Compañía Nacional de Danza de El Salvador during a 1 week residency in El Salvador. That work has now been performed by CND on tour throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. I-DANCE also funded another return to Managua in 2011: Jennifer Chin, teaching the technique of Jose Limon taught workshops in Managua, Granada and Diriamba. I-DANCE is currently planning new projects to Costa Rica and Peru for 2012 and 2013.
The role of the arts in a healthy society is well documented and certainly accepted in the so-called 1st world. I-Dance considers that support for the arts is just as important in cultures that are less financially well-off. The creative impulse behind artistic expression through dance is remarkably similar the world over - but the crucial ingredient for the creation of meaningful and innovative dance often only arises through direct contact with people doing the same thing with a different emphasis, a different perspective. Everyone gains from the increased contact facilitated by this project as knowledge, experience and inspiration are shared through formal classes and performances as well as the personal bonds that are quickly formed between dancers regardless of nationality, background or training.