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Tanz die Toleranz (TdT) / Caritas Wien

Name of the N-arts activity: Youth Dance 

To discover contemporary dance as a medium to communicate with others and to develop a meaningful relationship with their bodies through the experience of movement, both as a learning process and as a tool for self-expression.

General Data

Characteristics

In the project Youth Dance of Tanz die Toleranz in 2019, and reached a live audience of almost 1750: In the summer semester, 60 participants rehearsed every Wednesday from 17:00 until 19:00, from February 27 until June 13, 2019 under professional artistic guidance. The participants performed the choreography “No Lost Love” in five different places in Vienna: Akademie theater (3rd district), StraßenKunstFest (16th district), Brunnenpassage (16th district), Ankersaal (10th district) and at the Caritas Action Day (7th district). These performances reached a live audience of almost 1000. In the winter semester, 35 young people participated from September 18 until December 11, 2019, every Wednesday from 17:00 until 19:00, and learned a choreography under professional artistic guidance. It culminated in the performance “Heavy Heads and new Ways”, presented at Brunnenpassage in Vienna on December 9 and 11, 2019. The performances reached a live audience of over 750.

Framework

Description of the activity

The participatory choreographic process to create a piece.

Rehearsals/training once a week for four months, each session lasting 2 hours

Additional training for small groups or solo (repeated twice in one year).

Youth Dance is an intercultural participatory dance project serving a highly binding format for young people aged between 13 and 25. Its aim is to involve youngsters, who are native of Austria alongside same-aged peers with a migration background, who may have varied religious backgrounds or are asylum seekers. This diversity gives young people the chance to meet others and build new relationships across socio-cultural boundaries. 

Performances in front of an audience at the end of each cycle.

Rehearsals and performances took place at “ArtSocialSpace Brunnenpassage”

 Intentions, goals, aims

Planning/preparation

Learning / Training Method

Through the structure of a dance class the young adult participants become familiar with the structure and experience of training the body, which involves specific learning processes and skills: warming up, strengthening physical condition, developing coordination, practicing, remembering and rehearsing choreography, improvising and cooling down. 

The method can be broken down in different phases: the first phase is primarily frontal teaching. The teacher/choreographer shows, the participants imitate (mirroring). During this phase, movement sequences will become internalized and “owned” by the dancers. This is a particular aspect of working with dance: a continuous evolving phenomenon of deep learning using the body and memory combined. During a second phase, improvisation contributes to the artistic/creative learning process, which will be enacted in the frame of the performance.

The interaction of the group contains elements of following each other, touching, giving and taking weight.

In the training sessions the choreography is developed as a process of including all learners regardless of their skills and abilities.

Outcomes

The learning result was presented at a performance together with 3 other groups on two evenings and in different locations in front of an audience of about 800 people.

Through the training process the following outcomes were achieved: