In 2010, together with Cosmin Manolescu, I created the E-Motional programme. < Under-titled “Bodies & Cities” E-Motional 1.0 was a complex two-year mobility and artistic exchange dance programme, gathering artists and dance professionals from six countries – Romania, Ireland, Latvia, Cyprus, United Kingdom and Turkey, who developed new projects, individually or in collaboration, or explored and connected with new artistic contexts, that were scarcely known before. Undertaken between May 2011 – April 2013, the project was organised by Gabriela Tudor Foundation (Bucharest, Romania), as lead coordinator, in partnership with Dublin Dance Festival and Dance Ireland (Ireland), the Association of Professional Dance Choreographers (Riga, Latvia), Dance House Lemesos (Limassol, Cyprus) and body>data>space (London, UK), as co-organisers. It benefitted from the support of the Culture 2007-2013 programme of the European Union, the European Cultural Foundation and a variety of local funders and supporters in each of the project countries.

For two years, E-Motional has supported the contemporary dance communities from participating countries through a complex programme of artistic research (17 artists, 5 working periods), residencies (18 projects supported, over 30 participating artists), mobility and networking grants (26 exploratory visits), dance management fellowships (13 fellows) and workshops (2 sessions), performance exchanges (15 events), two co-productions and a concluding festival/forum. The professional development of dance artists and managers alike has represented a key element in the project vision.

On its conceptual level, E-Motional has approched the relation between the human body, the urban and geo-political context. What could be emotional within motion and movement and in relation with different cities and contexts (cultural, personal, virtual)? E-Motional referred firstly to a movement that comes out from something, that brings out something, and further plays with the idea of movement in its interior and exterior states. It also referred to Europe in movement, which is understood as an interior continent, with its personal histories and sceneries, forming an emotional map. The project moved in space, a concrete space where the encounters between people led to new approaches of artistic development, a learning opportunity to all those involved.

We believed it is equally important to address both the professional development and the experimental feature of contemporary dance, which is why learning and networking experiences, artistic research and performance exchanges were intertwined in the fabric of E-Motional. Furthermore, the project was open to all interested professionals from contemporary dance: choreographers, dancers, managers, dance critics, as well as to artists from associated fields (visual arts, new media, music) through a variety of activities.

Along its way, E-Motional has tried to find ways to capitalise the results of processes, which are most of the time invisible, such as that of continuous professional development of artists and that of experiment. In a context hungered by consumerism and finished product, the project has celebrated the idea of process and has facilitated the access of the audience to the efervescent creativity of the collaboration between extremely different artists.

E-Motional has represented in itself a generator of new artistic contents, somehow unusual for the more and more atomized contexts in our countries, through the collaboration model it created. By gathering different profiles of artists and different aesthetics to focus on a simple theme (body and city), the project assumed a risk that proved to be succesful. Something came back – and not only that, for instance, the 10 artists participating to the research strand matched, thus giving us the hope that we could maybe patent an inspired formula of matching artists.

Starting from the performative walk as a practice of getting to know and of mapping a neighbourhood, to bringing dance on a radio, to discovering the rhythm of a skate-park or the pace of a pair of boots walking in the rain, through mud, to a performative experiment exploring resonance through movement, or to capturing the present in order to leave it as inheritance to those that we will be 30 years from now and to many other projects and visions, E-Motional has celebrated the artistic processes and experiment.> – excerpts from the project catalog,

Visit the project archive for more details at www.e-motional.eu/2011-2013.

Watch a short movie about E-Motional in Bucharest by Daniela Palimariu & Dan Basu:

[drawing by Branea]

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